Monday, July 26, 2010

From O.J. to Sherrod, Halperin traces the spiral

Mark Halperin in Time traces the "spiral" in new media from O.J. Simpson to Shirley Sherrod. Speaking of its inception with the Simpson coverage, he writes: "By dominating the nation's attention through 1995 and beyond, the tale established a template in which the media is triggered and overwhelmed by any storyline that has basic elements of culture, controversy and polemic."

He marks the "three pillars of new media" as cable TV news, the Internet and talk radio. Of them, Halperin writes: "What all three of these mediums crave is content that is driven by contretemps, gripping video, factual disputes, logistics, and compelling dramatic personae." It's the kind of essay that makes reading any form of media worthwhile.

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