This morning I sat in on MEDIABISTRO.COM’s Morning Media Menu blogcast with CNN’s Rick Sanchez.
@ricksanchezcnn (his Twitter handle) says too many people in local news don’t “get” his broadcasts, which incorporate Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Instead of looking at it as “being cute”, @ricksanchezcnn says his program is a model that local newscasts need to look toward.
“Local news.. needs to be even more connected to their community. The news is as much being generated from our viewers as it is being presented to them.”
Sanchez says, “It’s a whole different game [the old way] was a speech, and this way is a conversation…Twitter has allowed me to engage in a dialogue with viewers which creates a better news cast for me.”
“Twitter users want to be a part of the process. they are smart, they are engaged, they don’t want gatekeepers”.
“This is participatory journalism at its best that we’re trying to do,” says Sanchez. “52,263 people are following me right now. That means I have 52,263 people who are my assignment editors, who are my sources, who are my general editors, who are my copy editors, who are part of my staff.”
And for the critics who say too much internet focus alienates the un-engaged, Sanchez claims 80% of those who watch his show are connected to the internet.
@ricksanchezcnn insists this foray in social networking is an extension of the journalism. Twitter, Sanchez says, has allowed him to engage in a dialogue with viewers. “It creates a general conversation, and half the times, or all of the time, I will use that feedback either as a question in my interview or even as an editorial process where I got back to my staff and say, get into my twitter page and here is what these people are saying, the consensus is they think we should do this story or the consensus is that this is crap.”
As to those who suggest his program on CNN Is revolutionary, “the only thing that I have done that is revolutionary in its approach is that I joined their club.”
CNN’s Rick Sanchez on:
The future: “The technology has always driven how we present the message.” Writing Tweets: it works if your an old broadcast journalism hound because thats how we are taught to write – make it tight, make it concise, make it concrete, make it say something.” What makes a good tweet: “When i write my tweets I’m always pushing something forward.” here’s what I’m thinking and here’s who want to interview today – question mark>”
In case you’ve not seen Sanchez’s broadcast, here is a sample from YOUTUBE.COM.Apologies for the title, it is NOT mine.
@ricksanchezcnn anchors the 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. edition of CNN Newsroom each weekday and serves as a contributor for CNN en Español. also is the host of Wednesday’s Shorty Awards (@shortyawards ) and one of Twitter’s top 50 celebrities.