Brain Children
  • Meta-Pundit
    • Premise
        • During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, web-only advertisements helped to shape the talking points of media personalities like Chris Matthews , Keith Olbermann, Greta Van Susteren, and Joe Scarborough, and sometimes even individuals who try to operate "above the fray" of punditry like Jon Stewart, Jay Leno, and David Letterman (See "Web-only campaign advertisements flood presidential race" "In a study released last summer….the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found most Americans heard about the most famous viral videos because they saw them replayed on TV").
        • Because a large and increasing number of Americans get their news from media personalities rather than from traditional broadcast or print media sources, these individuals have significant power to shape the national political discussion. Still, beyond campaigns' web-only ads, there hasn't ''yet'' been a concerted effort to use the Internet to directly influence these personalities and their television shows.
      • Proposal
        • This void can be filled by a website that publishes a rating system and gauges/grades each of these media personalities (over multiple periods of time: daily [i.e., per episode], monthly, etc.) with a variety of qualitative metrics.
      • Ideally, such metrics would focus on process rather than substance (e.g., % of material that avoids explicit mention of either party's talking-points-of-the-day; % of in-show discussion that is active, fair dialogue with guests of opposing perspectives). Some metrics would be determined by the site's designers while others would be generated and selected (i.e., voted on) by the site's users. A team of qualitative analysts would code each media personality's episodes for (1) the site designers' metrics and (2) any given metric a critical mass the website's users select, and publish the results daily.
      • This website would be most influential as a source for audience feedback beyond bare headcounts (i.e., network viewer ratings). For some media personalities, that feedback will act as a friendly nudge that helps them improve their shows. For others, the ultimate message might sound more like Jon Stewart on Crossfire.
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