Saturday, August 23, 2008
CNN's Rick Sanchez Creates Moments with Social Networking
Former WSVN-TV (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale) anchor Rick Sanchez has a saying-- "Television is about the moments it creates."
Tonight Sanchez, who's now at CNN, created several of those moments by integrating the technology of social networking with the traditions of a scheduled news program.
Sanchez doesn't have one of the signature spots on CNN yet-- but he is the weekend evening anchor at the Atlanta-based cable news network where he does two editions of "CNN Newsroom."
On the night after the network broke the story of Barack Obama's choice for a running mate, the network moved into a whole new territory of technology by inviting viewers to comment on replays of the major political speeches of the day-- from Springfield, Illinois.
As Obama's running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden gave a speech that Sanchez and his staff replayed in its entirety with breaks and interruptions for viewers and a panel of guests to comment.
It was a revolutionary move. While it's obvious to anyone that the goal of interactivity to hold on to one's audience, we cannot discount the significance of tonight's event.
Sanchez (and more likely his producers) are to be commended for going this route in their reporting.
The real challenge will be seeing how well this is replicated next week when the Republicans have their big announcement of a running mate for John McCain.
News cycles and interest shift and change so it's who knows what else might be competing for the media spotlight a week from now.
Nonetheless, Sanchez and his crew at CNN Newsroom have shown that it can be done-- news operations integrating social networking not only in their coverage plans, but in the plans executed for presenting the news.