Liveblogging: “Trust As The New Truth”

By Brian 

CNN has saved the best panel for last today:“Trust As The New Truth,” moderated by Christiane Amanpour, is getting underway now. Here are the highlights:

> 4:42pm: In his six months as CNN president, the one decision “I would take back would be the one to go ahead and cover Michael Jackson at all,” Jon Klein said. “[We should have said] ‘we’re just going to sit this one out.'”

He said the network could have covered the opening of the trial and the verdict, and “packed up the tent” for the rest of it: “I think there are better things we could have used those resources for,” he said — and the action would have sent a signal to the viewers and the staff. “We are going to hold you to that next time,” Amanpour said. “Please do,” Klein responded.

> 4:35pm: Christiane Amanpour noted that the situation in Sudan hasn’t received enough press attention. She’s trying to go back: “Right now we’re waiting for Visas and we haven’t been able to get them, since we were last there, last summer.”

Much more, after the jump…

> 4:28pm: ITV EIC David Mannion: “Someone mentioned Eason Jordan. What Eason said seems to me perfectly reasonable and perfectly true, yet he was [kicked] out of his job.” Same for the Newsweek story: “The basics of the story, I bet you, were correct.”

> 4:24pm: Someone raised a question about having to decide whether to broadcast pictures of hostages. “I think you guys in the media miss a beat, miss an opportunity to be transparent about what your criteria are and then communicating that,” Edelman said. Amanpour: “In others words, tell people how we’re agonizing?” Owen wasn’t sure it was necessary.

But Klein said Edelman may have a point: “We take for granted that the audience understands who we are as human beings and how difficult the decisions [must be]. The truth is, they think of us as pretty impersonal vehicles, and they lump us in with the worst of our business, and even assume that we even take a glee by putting on pictures like that. I can’t tell you how often I hear ‘Oh, you just did that for ratings.'”

> 4:18pm: Klein: “Unlike bloggers, we verify, THEN we publish. Bloggers do it the opposite way. So hopefully having to beat the other guy is an incentive to dig and dig and develop great sources and come up with information that no one else has.”

> 4:16pm: John Owen: “I think we should be reminding our viewers how this war is being covered and who it is that’s doing it” — frequently Iraqi stringers. He said it should be mentioned on the nightly news everyday.

> 4:12pm: Mannion: “We should acknowledge that we all view the world through our own prisms…You have to work quite hard to remain completely independent on all stories.”

> 4:01pm: Efforts to make the news more entertaining have hurt us, Klein said. Ted Turner created CNN to present the news — “And the more we can deliver on that — do real reporting, find out facts and deliver them in a compelling and engaging way — then we’re going to be okay.”

> 4:00pm: “We have the trust of vast vast numbers of people,” Klein said. “…A hugely successful blog gets 100,000 hits during the course of the day, about 50,000 or 60,000 individual visitors. As much as I respect Powerline, that’s not a whole hell of a lot of people in a world that has several billion people living in it. We have a massive reach…”

> 3:58pm: ITV’s Mannion: “There’ll be good blogging, bad blogging, indifferent blogging…We just kind of have to accept it.” Mannion added that “we’ve built up our brands as truthworthy brands over a number of years, and that won’t suddenly disappear.”

> 3:55pm: The panelists are CNNI managing editor Chris Cramer, former head of Jordan’s Satellite Channel Suzanne Afanah, CNN/US president Jon Klein, president of Edelman P.R. Richard Edelman, and former Canadian Broadcasting director of news John Owen.

> 3:54pm: The panel began with the presentation of Epic 2014. Amanpour said she disagreed with it: “What we do is extraordinarily special, and it’s not going to be cannibalized,” she believes.