Shiny Metal Object Time…

Broadcasting & Cable’s George Winslow writes about the latest example of CNN’s continuing obsession with bells and whistles over nuts and bolts story telling…

“I think we were way ahead in 2006 and 2008 with our display technology and the Magic Wall,” says David Bohrman, senior VP and the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for CNN. And while the Wall—a large touch-screen display technology from Perceptive Pixel that allowed CNN anchors to add detailed graphics and data to coverage—worked wonders, Bohrman points out that “all of our colleagues are catching up. To stay ahead, we are working on several fronts to push forward in some really spectacular ways.”

One big development, Bohrman adds, can be found in New York, where CNN is installing equipment to display virtual objects. “It builds on the fundamental technology we used for the Virtual Capitol and the hologram” in 2008, but unlike that hologram experiment, this installation will be permanent and is designed to be used on a daily basis following the election, he promises.

The installation will combine motion capture technology from Motion Analysis, and new graphic rendering equipment from Vizrt, to use virtual objects in “a way no one has ever done before,” Bohrman says.

Here’s a novel idea, and this goes not only to CNN but MSNBC and FNC as well (though mostly to CNN since it’s the biggest serial perpetrator): Try reporting the elections for a change without turning it into some technological dog and pony freak show complete with marionettes (anchors) trained to do things they didn’t go to journalism school for. Just a thought…

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12 Responses to “Shiny Metal Object Time…”

  1. Amen, Spud. The coolest election-night technology I ever saw was Tim Russert’s White Board.

  2. I agree about the whiteboard.
    Tonight on Hardball, Chris Matthews had some digital board behind him keeping score on the polls regarding the Senate races.

  3. Some of this stuff works and some doesn’t. The magic wall can be a useful tool if used in moderation and the Cisco stuff that allows the interviewee to see the interviewer are both useful. The problem is CNN tends to go overboard and have it do stuff that can just as easily be done on simpler technology.
    Chuck Todd had a new gizmo recently that was an IPad app. The advantage was that he could draw on the IPad and it would appear on the big monitor next to him so he didn’t have to draw on the monitor itself. All it did was put a bunch of squiggly lines on the screen. Dumb.

  4. Try reporting the elections for a change without turning it into some technological dog and pony freak show complete with marionettes (anchors) trained to do things they didn’t go to journalism school for.

    I’ll second joeremi’s “amen”.

  5. I’ll third joe’s “amen” and add a hallelujah to the chorus. As the late Joe Friday would state…”Just The Facts, Ma’am”.

  6. Chips! Back from summer vacation? 😉

  7. ^ He’s slumming. Ignore him.. 😉

  8. He’s slumming.

    I support it.

  9. Joe & Laura 🙂

    Actually, I’m still in the job search mode (pretty difficult in Northeast Ohio) but I’ve been spending some time volunteering for a local candidate in his fight against the incumbent.

    I’m still reading the post(s) & I’ll add something now & then, however I felt that I needed to do something different.

    Joe…I still miss our very civil discussions…there is hope when we talk to each other & not at each other.

  10. Joe…I still miss our very civil discussions…there is hope when we talk to each other & not at each other.

    JERK! 😉

    Good luck with the job search, and with the campaign for whatever nutjob you’re supporting..

  11. Good luck with the job search, and with the campaign for whatever nutjob you’re supporting..

    That would have seemed funnier if Chips had responded. Since it’s apparently gonna bug me all night if I don’t mention it…KIDDING. There. I can sleep now.

  12. Joe:

    No harm…no foul. I know you were kidding.

    Trust me…with this economy & searching for a job you have to have a good sense of humor and a thick skin. 😉

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