Socially Branded Journalism: Crossing the Generational Divide

On February 27th, 1968 Walter Cronkite closed his broadcast by introducing “an analysis that must be speculative, personal, [and] subjective.”

He was of course talking about the Vietnam War, and in particular the Tet offensive.

While those of us who have not yet cracked the half century mark in terms of years on this planet may have only a general awareness of what history has told us was a “police action” that could not be won, Cronkite’s words created a ripple effect that unknowingly and ironically has come to symbolize our fast paced, 7/24 instant access social media world.

Prior to that late February broadcast, news reporters did just that . . . report the news, or in the famous words of Sargent Joe Friday, “just the facts.”

When Cronkite “overtly and figuratively stepped out from behind the microphone to add his personal commentary to the news,” wrote Lee Cary in the July 18th, 2009 American Thinker, “Cronkite issued an implicit license to his journalistic colleagues to interject personal opinions into their factual reporting of the news.”  But unlike Cronkite, who “clearly labeled it as personal opinion,” Cary laments that “many MSM news personalities today weave their opinions into reporting,” perhaps in the process unintentionally obfuscating facts through a lens of personal viewpoint.

This of course is the hallmark of today’s social media and the “personal branding” phenomenon that provides everyone with at least 15 minutes of fame (or longer).

Personality, according to Future Buzz’s Adam Singer, is what is woefully lacking from the traditional mainstream’s highly polished and professional looking blogs.  But is there a balance?  Can the factual recounting of world events be offered through a medium of personal ideas and ideals and still be considered reliable news?

Recent FTC decisions to hold bloggers accountable for what they write, as well as announcing a series of roundtable discussions and workshops for early December asking the question “How will journalism survive the Internet Age” would seem to indicate that this is an issue for which there are no easy or immediate answers.

This is why I am personally looking forward to the November 5th PI Window on Business segment when I welcome Dr. John Tantillo to the show.

With his smartly placed fedora and colorful bow tie, Dr. John as he is known to audiences of Fox News’ “The Strategy Room,” is a gentleman’s gentleman, whose approach to responsible social media branding reflects the thoughtful journalistic integrity that Cronkite came to symbolize.

During this 60-minute segment we will endeavor to understand the forces that are reshaping the way we share information in what David Cushman referred to as social networking’s interconnecting “communities of purpose.”  A world where where each individual becomes the reporter and therefore the gatekeeper of information and its ultimate dissemination.

Against this backdrop of a perceived conflict between sound journalistic practice and the potential cacophony of unsubstantiated opinion afforded all of us through social media’s emergence, Dr. John will share his thoughts on bridging the generational divide to find the balance that reflects the best ideals from both eras.

To tune in to the the live broadcast on November 5th at 12:30 PM EDT through the On-Demand Player at the end of this post.

Dr. John Tantillo

Dr. John Tantillo

About Dr. John:

An award winning marketing professional, lecturer and teacher, Dr. John Tantillo is a trained applied research psychologist who is internationally known for his expertise at diagnosing the factors that impact target markets.

The Marketing Dr. wants to share his knowledge with individuals and businesses so they will benefit from his modern marketing principles.

For more visit


Dr. John discusses the Barry Bonds “brand” on Fox Business

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On-Demand Player for November 5th Broadcast:

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