Thursday, September 01, 2005

CBS' "nonbudsman"

Had a chance to read the Hollywood Reporter story on CBS' new "nonbudsman," Vaughn Ververs.

I like Ververs' work, and actually, it's an interesting idea. It's a very taut tightrope he will have to walk -- not going to be a critic or express his opinion, but will show people what goes on behind the scenes? Just the very selection of where he pokes around is going to slant things somewhat.

The headline on the story is: CBS News counters bloggers with 'Nonbudsman'

That, I think, misses the point. What may let Ververs do that delicate balancing act best is actually openly and frequently linking to those blogs, to critics, observers and supporters of the network. They can supply the criticism and he can supply the inside look and "facts" as best they can be determined (assuming people don't lawyer up, which, after some of these high-profile cases, I fear will become more common).

If Ververs doesn't do that, his work risks becoming just another isolated, insular navel-gazing exercise. It's not enough just to acknowledge and restate any criticism, for instance. The people most likely to come to Ververs' "nonblog" are going to want the links so they can decide on their own.


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