Skip to main content

tv   This Is America With Dennis Wholey  WHUT  November 14, 2010 9:00am-9:30am EST

9:00 am
>> how has the technology changed journalism, and has it changed it for the better or for worse? >> much better. >> much better or worse? >> technology is much better. instantly, we get news wherever we are. before, i remember, 15 years before i started newspapers in america, we had to wait for a flight in pakistan. we had one person at the airport, then we took the news
9:01 am
from them and then we wrote it. >> why do you say worse? >> if we are talking about time, but i am talking about context. they often right the wrong thing and then the next minute they covered it, as if they did not write anything. >> there is a lack of depth in the news. we have breaking news immediately, it instantly. >> how has it changed would you do? >> the conversation, everyone is right. technology, in a sense, has made my life much easier as an editor. but as a consumer, i agree. a lot of the stuff that is passing as news is not news. sometimes it is wrong information. for instance, i got a text
9:02 am
message on facebook. a friend of mine posted at 3000 people had died in a.d. from a hurricane. the reality is -- haiti from a hurricane. the reality is, only three people died. you need to get things right. we do not often have time to analyze. what we need to do, as old media, we need to do that right kind of journalism. >> we have 24/7, loggers, -- bloggers, iphones, witnesses on the scene, sending us photos. >> at the same time, it has reinforced our, i would say,
9:03 am
brand. this makes professional journalism more important than ever. yes, bloggers exist,tweets. >> do you think reporters nowadays are trained as when you came up? you think so? >> yes. >> the job is easier. >> but at the same time, you have to give so much more information. i would not say it is easier. maybe in terms of technique. for a photograph, we do not need to go to the airport. you can send a photograph from their remote places. -- very remote places. being a journalist today, you have so much more quantity of
9:04 am
information because the distribution of information does not exist. we have to update the website every five minutes. the guy who is updating, the journalists, he has to check the information in the update. >> but a lot of us are print- oriented. if i read another story about the death of print journalism -- you have young people today who do not read newspapers at all. they go on the internet and they may go to a news source, but they will only pick out the stories they are interested in reading. >> in africa, in terms of technology, what is happening, we have talked about the influence of western media. a lot of african companies now have their own web site.
9:05 am
the websites are well maintained, they are publishing great news from their country. so to some extent, if people are not listening to cnn, bbc, has helped people's perception of africa. people can now go to a website and read about what is happening in south africa, nigeria. we have more than 20 daily newspapers in nigeria. most of them have very good websites. so you can read what is going on in nigeria. >> you had a point, theresa? >> i think the media has an
9:06 am
opportunity right now to target their demographic. it is not any more about general news, and general news for everybody. that information is available everywhere. what we're doing at the media group, in mexican papers, we know who our reader is. we do everything from their point of view, how and what they want to read. that is very important. we are a print paper. we are abc-audited. from year to year we have over 40% growth in circulation. our audience is 18 to 40 years old. it is a young audience. we know who is reading. we select what they want to read. >> hold that note. six journalists representing all different countries have interesting takes on how
9:07 am
technology is changing the business of journalism. also, a little bit about how they see american media. sit tight, "this is america." "this is america"is made possible by --
9:08 am
>> we are back. >> my point of view, as a pakistani-american, is different. our newspapers are not national or international. the readers are less than before because people are taking news from the website or internet. i believe my pakistan news subscription has increased. you know why? wherever activity is going on, pakistani-american, they send it to me. we put those activities in the newspaper. people are waiting for the newspaper because it is a
9:09 am
community newspaper. >> so they say all politics is local. people who are pakistani here in the u.s. want to read about what is happening at home. that would be normal as well. let me ask this question. do you think the technology we are using today has made the world a more dangerous place? >> i do not think so. it makes things easier. we are aware -- if somebody is sending us a fake story, like gary said, the next minute we can verify if it is correct or not. it is getting easier and better, not dangerous. >> the publicity given to suicide bombers, weather is in a
9:10 am
church, baghdad, approaching a bus in istanbul, bombs coming from yemen, these are huge stories. >> let me give you an example in pakistan. the morning newspaper on tv said there were suicide bombers in the city but we do not know where they are. these people got news. it is happening. after five years sometimes we see a bomb blast. >> is the number one story in the world terrorism? does everyone agree? >> again, we go back to the influence of the western media. it is the number-one issue in the world because it is affecting them more than it is us. but the reality is, when you go
9:11 am
to a lot of other parts of the world, that is not the number one issue. >> i do not agree with that. i do not agree with you. >> i am asking this as a question. i left it open for disagreement. >> the front page is where you have the latest terrorist stories. of course, it is on the front page, but you also have the stories that concern the country. in france, they are going to have a strike. for many french, the problem is the job level, retirement reform, politics, national politics, continues to be the most important for each country. >> are you suggesting the american media has the terrorism story out of perspective? >> of course. >> and you have worked for the best.
9:12 am
>> some might say. it is one of the most prominent. >> we are talking about "the new york times." >> i remember visiting friends in the 1980's and i was shocked to see soldiers toting guns on the street. now i see them at grand central station everywhere here. terrorism was a problem in the 1980's in spain. it only became front-page when it came here to the mainland. that is why i do not think it is the most important story. for america is. >> in nigeria, we had a bombing on october 1. of course, we had things happening in the view gone bad. >> we have had bombs in italy, france, for the past 25 years. >> but america is a target? >> to a great extent, yes.
9:13 am
people are looking at different countries -- >> in pakistan, it is the number one story every day. the top front-page story is terrorism. this is the only top level thing we have -- >> what do you think about all of these people, al qaeda, living in pakistan? >> after america invaded five years ago in pakistan, all the al qaeda went behind the mountains. when the americans chased them over there -- >> but they are there. so what is to be done about those folks?
9:14 am
>> i think the isi is doing a very good job. >> obviously, the saudis did a good job as far as intelligence was concerned about these bombs coming from yemen. >> the day before yesterday, a package -- that is not only saudi. that is also from pakistan. there is a person who used to be a part of the taliban. >> where does he fit into the story? >> he is the person who leaked the story. he called in saudi arabia but he did not mention their names. that person leaked this story because this package is coming from yemen. it will not be long before they are caught. maybe they have already been caught and they are not showing
9:15 am
the picture. >> another thing, when american media covers only one topic, their international coverage is reduced to terrorism, what they're doing, they are perpetuating terrorism. >> that is why i am asking is technology making the world a more dangerous place? there is a lot of publicity surrounding these attacks. is that encouraging? >> i would not call it technology. it is all media forms. a terrorist, by definition, is someone who wants to terrorize society. if one person out of millions of pakistanis want to set off a bomb, and they get all the coverage, that is what they are looking for.
9:16 am
of course they are perpetuating terrorism. >> suppose one of those airplanes blew up with one of those packages. my question is, will it ever end? will all of this -- is terrorism just part of who we are now the days? do we cover it the right way it should be covered? >> it is a policy issue. we are getting into policy issues, how you cover it. you cover it just like the news. if an airplane flew up in the middle of the atlantic, obviously, it would be covered, but what theresa is talking about -- when you focus on it and every day there is something about terrorism, you start to live in fear. at some point, life must go on. this is exactly what the terrorists want. there is a fine balance of
9:17 am
covering a legitimate story and instilling fear in people. i am old enough to remember the cold war when nuclear would be the end of us. now we do not even talk about nuclear war anymore. >> i know you have a thought, and i want to get to it, -- i think i see a thread developing here, maybe it is a had line. -- headline. yes or no, do you believe we are celebrity-driven in our coverage? >> not only in the u.s. in england, the number one story is wayne rooney, the soccer player for manchester united. it was the day of the prime minister released his budget. 400 billion pounds of cuts, but
9:18 am
rooney is still be star. >> celebrities, over there in nigeria, are they in the front pages? >> no, they are not. in terms of the question of terrorism, how the news is driven, you look at this country. somebody shoots somebody in school. before you know it, another person is a copycat. >> but you have to report the story. >> you see the effect of how this thing is mushrooming. we are beginning to appreciate this, talking about our politicians.
9:19 am
>> there are some dictators over there. [laughter] just a few. here is where i was going. there was at a rally in washington, sanity vs. fear, colert vs. stewart. colbert said that 6 billion people have showed up for the rally. [laughter] >> maybe people would believe it. >> some people would be saying, there were 6 billion people at the rally. do you think fear drives the american media in a way celebrity drives the american media? i will toss this in before i relinquish the table.
9:20 am
i asked a cab driver one day, is there a piece in the world? he said, no. i said, wouldn't that be wonderful? he said, if there was peace in the world, there would be no news. >> i think we talk too much about politics. for example, tonight and tomorrow night, there will be big impressionist auctions in new york. we could see another record art auction. i write about fashion. yesterday, i was at the gastronomy plant in brooklyn where two major butchers from america and france had met because they had new theories about how we should be eating meat. every reader selects what he reads. some people, we spend not more
9:21 am
than five minutes reading these terrorism stories. there is a had time, --headline, maybe first paragraph. i do not think people are so frightened. what i see around me, people are reading lots of other things. you are talking about celebrity, i am sorry, but i do not know this person. >> but he does not know your butcher from france. >> yes, of course. >> i had to make an interview with him when he moved here. i would say that i know a lot of people who do not read on paper but they subscribe to websites. websites are becoming
9:22 am
subscription. for example, if you want to read something on "the wall street journal" you need a subscription to read it until the end. and i subscribe to 10 websites. >> they could come back. has being a journalist in new york, is it a good job? >> yes. >> it is. do you all agree being a reporter or journalist in new york is good? >> sometimes. those that i would call war reporters. those that were in yugoslavia, afghanistan, everywhere. some women are like that, too. having to write about a butcher or fashion week, some reporters
9:23 am
do not like it. they considered it degrading. >> your background is also a photo editor, big time. what is the best picture you have ever seen published under your domain? >> we have 10 million pictures -- >> anyone picture that come to your mind? >> this one comes from my time in moscow. this was red square. it was like the end of communism. symbolically, but it followed a few months later. >> have you been influenced by being here in america? how has the american media changed the way you do your job? >> as i was telling jack, it is
9:24 am
easier for us to publish. before, we used to type the story, and give it to the editor, and then we would take it to the printer. he lived in jersey city. then we would have to go to queens where the paper was printed. then we moved to an area where we have to produce the paper in the office. after that, somebody would take the print out and take it to another printer. load -- upload it to the website. >> we are coming to the end of our time here.
9:25 am
i have been thinking about people over here and our conversation, some of the things that have been offered here puts us on -- may be myself and my viewers -- maybe we will watch television differently, listen to the radio. as well, princt. not only that we look at it from our point of view, but from your points of view as well. thank you very much for this constructive conversation. thank you all. for online video of all "this is america" video, visit "this is america" is made
9:26 am
possible by -- possible by --
9:27 am
9:28 am
9:29 am