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Apr242014

CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU


CNN's Political Director Mark Preston addressed a capacity crowd at last night's Johns Hopkins University Symposia on "Journalism, Politics, and How the Internet is Changing the Face of Traditional Television News."  Mark shared his unique perspective on this topic, having started his career in traditional print journalism at Roll Call, describing himself as "always someone who bleeds ink."  Early in his own career he saw the collapse of the newspaper industry and the rise of the 24 hour television news cycle.  At this juncture, he left print journalism and began work at CNN (incidentally, the man who hired him at CNN was in the audience, JHU faculty member Tom Hannon).  Mark threw into relief the rapid changes in technology in the last decade alone, among them:  2005 YouTube founded; 2006 YouTube purchased by Google; 2007 the first IPhone.  These technological developments have had an enormous impact on how news is delivered.  In 2005, the majority of journalists did not want to write for websites; today, the opposite is true and the digital age is revolutionizing how journalist think, write, and present news programming.  

We live, as Mark put it, "a two screen existence" with most of us utilizing multiple mobile devices with TV while we multitask the gathering of news and information. Social media especially is  an increasingly important vehicle for the news media: CNN has over 41 million followers on Facebook and in 2011 had 1.6 billion global page views on CNN.com.   Interactivity is key in social media and now in journalism too.  To that end, CNN recently launched CNNx which gives viewers complete control of their news viewing, allowing viewers to choose which news segments they want to watch from a scroll down screen or to view segments they might have missed.  In effect, each viewer becomes his or her own news producer.  Television will always be an important and dominating vehicle for news viewing, but must adapt to the digital age to remain relevant.  Mark admits that noone knows for sure where all these new developments are heading -- noting it is prudent to not overuse social media and that the many of the practices of good old fashioned print journalism are still highly relevant to how journalists engage the faster paced world of digital technology.  He recommended a few sources for students interested in these questions to explore, including www.poynter.org and the Pew Research Foundation website.  He also recommended a study by Peter Hamby called, "Did Twitter Kill the Boys on the Bus?  Searching for a better way to cover a campaign."  A lively Q & A followed his fascinating and highly informative talk. 

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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University
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    CNN Political Director Mark Preston Discusses Digital Age, Media & Politics at JHU - GovStud Blog - Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University

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