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Rome Hartman on the “Fox News-ization” of Media

hartmanugcx10-21.jpgRome Hartman, current “BBC World News America” EP and former EP of “CBS Evening News,” said earlier this year that he’d been branded the “Howard Beale of Twitter” for his criticisms of it.

Well today, he was moderating a panel discussion about social media and its impact on news at UGCX, mediabistro’s user-generated content summit in New York.

Hartman was joined by Scott Karp of Publish2, Michael Meyers from Now Public, and Rachel Sterne from Ground Report as the group talked about trends in news gathering, producing, and publishing in an increasingly interactive news environment.

But the democratization of news coverage may not always be a good thing, Right Rome? “Crowds typically like crap,” Hartman says, asking his panelists, “How do you moderate that instinct towards junk?”

“It will probably be something in the middle,” said Karp.

Calling it the “Fox News-ization of the media landscape,” Hartman says “public cynicism” is due to “a widespread feeling that news organizations — partly because they have such economic challenges — have decided that…the chase for audience is more important than an objective decision about which story is worthy.”

One attendee asked if Fox News’ strategy and users have created the recent “groundswell.” More after the jump.


Hartman said that Fox’s approach seemed to be more business-driven than editorially or journalistically-driven and admitted that, “Fox is wildly successful at this…they have an incredibly loyal audience.”

“They try to make a distinction between their opinion programs and their news programs, and they have a lot of hardworking journalists,” he said. “I just think there’s a little dis-ingenuousness to it.” As for the White House feud with FNC, Hartman says, “We’ll see about the wisdom of the administration picking a fight… That has historically not been a good idea.”

Another attendee suggested the BBC and NPR were equally “as opaque” about bias, something Hartman, of course, disagreed with.

More Coverage from UGCX on WebNewser…

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