hotzone or notzone
September 14, 2005 1:13 PM   Subscribe

In the Hot Zone Yahoo! have hired journalist Kevin Sites (previously discussed here and here) to 'cover every armed conflict in the world within one year... to provide a clear idea of the combatants, victims, causes, and costs of each of these struggles - and their global impact'. The NYT (reg required) quotes Lloyd Braun, Head of Yahoo! Media Group, saying that he hopes they can combat the "growing public distrust of network news... [with] a transparency I think the Internet user wants and the news audience is craving".
posted by pasd (23 comments total)
I'm not sure I can trust anyone with a goatee.
posted by fungible at 1:15 PM on September 14, 2005

What, no trip to Peru? The Shining Path better get thier shit together...
posted by SweetJesus at 1:23 PM on September 14, 2005

Why can't you be more like Lloyd Braun?!
posted by Jupiter Jones at 1:24 PM on September 14, 2005

Ahhhh! Jupiter Jones, you beat me to it.
posted by scallion at 1:34 PM on September 14, 2005

I think it's a good idea, to few of us really know the whys and wherefores of what happens around the world and why, I think that considering Kevin's record he is a good fit for the job. Here's hoping he's able to get in, report and get out safely.
posted by mk1gti at 1:47 PM on September 14, 2005

Actually, what I want from network news is alot less bullshit coverage of the latest Jacko kid touching trial and alot more coverage of important stuff like the Downing Street Memo.

I came across this breakdown of coverage of the Downing Street Memo, Natalee Holloway and Michael Jackson. And yes, I do realize that Kevin Sites would be covering live warfare type news but I think this is a pretty telling snapshot of the skew in the news.

* ABC News: “Downing Street Memo”: 0 segments; “Natalee Holloway”: 42 segments; “Michael Jackson”: 121 segments.
* CBS News: “Downing Street Memo”: 0 segments; “Natalee Holloway”: 70 segments; “Michael Jackson”: 235 segments.
* NBC News: “Downing Street Memo”: 6 segments; “Natalee Holloway”: 62 segments; “Michael Jackson”: 109 segments.
* CNN: “Downing Street Memo”: 30 segments; “Natalee Holloway”: 294 segments; “Michael Jackson”: 633 segments.
*Fox News: “Downing Street Memo”: 10 segments; “Natalee Holloway”: 148 segments; Michael Jackson”: 286 segments.
* MSNBC: “Downing Street Memo”: 10 segments; “Natalee Holloway”: 30 segments; “Michael Jackson”: 106 segments.

Maybe, you know, focusing on real news and not the latest sensationalistic crap would make people trust network news more.
posted by fenriq at 1:48 PM on September 14, 2005

What can we possibly expect from this man? It takes a touch more than a couple of weeks to have any substantial understanding of any conflict. He has just enough time to read a few prevalent opinions and regurgitate them with that gently patronizing, knowing tone we've come to expect from war journalists.
posted by ori at 1:55 PM on September 14, 2005

I usually try to run down relevant experts on a conflict area, and see if they have any commentary.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:58 PM on September 14, 2005

We drive past [phenomenon of destruction]. My guide, [ethnic name], shrugs. "These things," he says, "are commonplace around here." Despite the devastation that surrounds them, the people of [locus of conflict] continue their day-to-day lives. I can only admire their astonishing fortitude, their pragmatism in face of daily horror. "We hope one day there will be peace," [name of guide] tells me. His smile not untouched by irony, but in his eyes I see a glimmer of faith.

Kevin Sites, [location of conflict]
posted by ori at 2:02 PM on September 14, 2005

I think this is AWESOME. Hopefully a precedent.

BTW, the Shining Path are history.
posted by mert at 2:06 PM on September 14, 2005

This sounds more like shock-based nature shows (FOLLOW STEED MCCLAIN AS HE ATTEMPT TO EAT A SNAKE IN EVERY AFRICAN COUNTRY!!!!) that try to shoe-horn learning/journalism into a silly, contrived, and dangerous concept.

I'd rather see thourough coverage of these "hot zones" rather than a list of check boxes. As is, it's more of an attempt at some sort of weird acheivment than...journalism.

But hey, I might be wrong, and crabby. If this sort of "event" raises people's awareness of certain conflicts, I guess it's good.
posted by tpl1212 at 2:25 PM on September 14, 2005

Seems like the comments here are covering the range of hopes/fears I have for this. First the whole macho named, globe trotting, one man and a bag full of cool gear thing make me worry it's just going to be reporting-lite for the Halo generation. But on the other hand, the guy does seem to have some credentials and maybe he really will cast some light on the horiffic conflicts and their causes which we don't get much of on the 6 o'clock news.
posted by pasd at 2:33 PM on September 14, 2005

Yeah, what ori said. Sites is a brave and insightful reporter, but this format is kitsch and entertainment with a Nu Gonzo edge, rather than a venue to help any of us reach deeper enlightenment about the conflicts he's going to cover.
posted by twsf at 2:35 PM on September 14, 2005

Well, I'm willing to withold judgement on this one until he starts producing stories.
posted by mk1gti at 2:57 PM on September 14, 2005

That's a Van Dyke.

And don't look to this for depth -- look to this as a helpful reminder of the number of armed conflicts going on in the world at any one point in time that you don't even hear about in the west (and North America in particular -- at least the BBC, given its former imperial reach, shows an interest in wars around the globe).
posted by dreamsign at 2:58 PM on September 14, 2005

BTW, the Shining Path are history.

Nope, they're on the rise again. They've launched several attacks since 2003, and sometime last year they held a press conference saying they would resume violent activities unless top 'Path officials are set free.
posted by SweetJesus at 3:11 PM on September 14, 2005

I think this looks like a great idea, and it should be really intersting. Yahoo! is making moves that are quite fascinating.
posted by cell divide at 3:16 PM on September 14, 2005

Hey if they want a real reporter who is willing to ask the questions that need asking, hire Amy Goodman.
posted by wheelieman at 3:16 PM on September 14, 2005

Go check out the photo agency VII web site for pretty much every conflict this clown is "planning" to cover.
posted by photoslob at 4:12 PM on September 14, 2005

Hey....Don't knock Kevin....Kevin is HOT stuff!
posted by SweetIceT at 4:16 PM on September 14, 2005

I misread the first comment.
posted by Joeforking at 4:52 PM on September 14, 2005

Michael Yon = the real deal
posted by techgnollogic at 5:10 PM on September 14, 2005

Transparency, eh? They're certainly transparent to the Chinese government.

posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:42 AM on September 15, 2005

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