‘Save Jericho’: The Cowardice of Traditional Media

So, I’ve written extensively about the ‘Save Jericho’ Campaign, as have a large number of internet sites and blogs. This thing is only a week old, and already it has escalated into an internet phenomenon on the levels that were unfathomable when the show was canceled last week. And, it’s had an impact: CBS executives are apparently meeting this week, although the chances of a season two still seem fairly remote. However, there’s something that needs to be made note of: there has been little to no coverage of the ‘Save Jericho’ campaign in the “traditional” media.

This would be your newspapers. Your television stations. Your major media outlets for entertainment news. These sites? Aren’t quite as willing to jump on the bandwagon. Now, there have been some stories about it in more major news outlets, but there is a distinction that needs to be made.

Those outlets (New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune) are not reporting on the actual content of the Save Jericho campaign, but rather on its status as an internet phenomenon from a group of crazed fans [The New York Times walks a fine line]. They are not covering the ‘Save Jericho’ campaign as something real, something genuine, but rather as some sort of novelty. Now, for the sake of the campaign, this coverage is good. Major papers covering the story is getting press out there, and that’s a great start.

But these major papers are refusing to really pick up this story and run with it: they were unwilling to send media to cover the delivery of peanuts to CBS headquarters, they are tentative to actually talk to the people involved, and on the whole they’re reporting about the story instead of actually reporting the story itself. And when they do it’s brief mentions in their pop culture blogs, not actual articles. And I think there’s a reason for this:

Cowardice. I believe that they are unwilling to engage this campaign as an actual entity because it will be legitimizing the internet as a source of power in media. It will be legitimizing blogs, message boards, and everything else. To cover this campaign in the same way blogs have, these major papers would have to admit that they were scooped, that the same stories bloggers are writing about are worthy of their pages.

And that would change the mass media forever.

David Carless’ manifesto of sorts about Jericho, which can be found here, talked about how Jericho’s success should be considered a battle between Old Media and New Media. At the time, I disagreed: the new media internet mediums existed only to support the old ones. However, I’m starting to see where this applies: when NutsOnline failed to gain much attention with their media release for their nut delivery yesterday, Jeffrey had this to say:

Thanks to the great fans who turned out. We didn’t get the mainstream media coverage we were hoping for and it is increasingly clear to me that this is an INTERNET story, and that we, the little people, have to use our own media – and the more open minded Internet media – to keep telling this story.

Now, since that point they are apparently receiving more mainstream press [Which is good news]…but this thing has been escalating for days and there has been nothing of note. These people at these papers can’t possibly not be aware of the campaign if they pay any attention to entertainment rumblings. Even if they pick up the story, it remains to be seen just how much these major newspapers will be willing to promote this: will be about saving Jericho or about the oddity of the campaign itself? Will it be a kooky story about crazy fans, or a serious investigation of the issues being discussed?

I think that the latter option will only ever be followed by blogs, online sites: I don’t see major news outlets as willing to delve into these issues. While that press will be good for the campaign, I think that a traditional media outlet should step up to the plate (without being coerced) to pick up this story and report it not as “Peanuts gone wild” and instead actually discuss the issues people on the internet are discussing. Is there no one in the traditional media brave enough to tackle these questions raised by fans (Nielsen Numbers vs. Online Viewings, Network focus (Fans vs. Advertisers), etc.)? Blanket coverage is fine, but that only goes so far.

There is apparently more indepth coverage at the beginning of the week: I really hope that someone is willing to step up to the plate, because if they don’t I’m going to bombard them with peanuts until they leave the ballfield in shame.

11 Comments

Filed under Jericho, Television

11 responses to “‘Save Jericho’: The Cowardice of Traditional Media

  1. Hawksdomain

    Yay Memles!! Wonderful article and I only wish that the Old Media would take it to heart! But, like you, I don’t think they will anytime soon, but maybe after they see we’ve come up with enough money for 2 full page ads in major media! (Variety & Hollywood Reporter)

    At the beginning of the week, I figured you and I would go around a time or two, but I’m thrilled that you do see that this is not a fly by night fancy for us, we will save Jericho, one way or another and the people will be heard, because it is also much more than just saving a TV series now!

  2. Stephanie

    Covered in NY Newsday in todays paper – paper media can not ignore this forever. News is News!

  3. Kat

    Great article!

    Thank you for showing support in the Save Jericho Campaign!!!

  4. Great article! In the future, when people look back, they will know the new media started with the Save Jericho campaign.

    This is huge, many of us have never participated in a “save the show” campaign, so calling us “crazy fans” is just wrong. We are respectfully defending something we all belive in.

    Thanks for your support!

  5. Rahul

    Brilliantly written article, and too true!

  6. Debra

    Excellent article. Thank you.

    I’ve sent several messages to main stream TV stations, etc. to no avail.

    I am from the “traditional” media age and cannot understand why corporate America only utilizes the internet as a selling tool.

    There are strength in numbers and although I am “older” than the other participants in this cause I am delighted that my opinion is heard and I have an outlet to express it.

    Maybe it’s time for the old guard to step down

  7. Marcus Hennessey

    If the networks want viewers to tune in and stick with their program offerings week in and week out, than they must in return stick with those same programs and support them even through lean times. This is why a firm commitment to a full 2nd season for “Jericho” is the only fair and reasonable solution. CBS (and its competitors) dangle shows in front of the viewing public as “the next best thing since sliced bread” for the most part without any real interest in allowing the program to grow legs; if it’s the next breakout hit, great, if not there’s always cancellation (look at NBC’s “Studio 60” as just one example–now that sweeps are over, the peacock has no problem placing the show back in its schedule to burn off the remaining unaired episodes). The “NUTS” campaign will, before too long, become the 500-pound elephant in the room, and mainstream media will have no choice but to acknowledge the movement.

  8. The best take I’ve seen yet on the whole cotton-caboodle. I’m in my 50’s and a writer. I’ve seen the light. Used to hate it ’til I ate it. The Internet now nourishes where old media has failed abysmally, especially with the cancellation of Jericho. If CBS does not acknowledge their ignorance, at the very least, and preferrably apologize for their arrogance and disrespect, I’m gone for good, and probably not just from CBS. From now on, online publication could very well be the only route for me…this boomer-babe might even get frisky and try self-publishing online. We do have options folks. I’ve had it with them all. Cowards indeed! We must make a stand now or never.

  9. Ataraxis6

    Well, I guess the Save Jericho campaign should have got some coverage in mainstream media by now. I think it is just a matter of time. I can already see it building. We must keep in mind that they don’t work or respond at the same pace as we do on the internet.

  10. Pingback: Jericho May Return As a Theatrical Movie | /Film

  11. Kevin

    I am trying an experiment to see if we Jericho fans could resurrect this show so that the writers can finish this series off with dignity. The 2nd season was almost ruined thanks to CBS who refused to listen to the fans and keep it afloat for another 20 episodes so the writers could end it.

    The series ended on a cliff hanger and left many of us fans wondering about the town and the war between Texas, ASA, and the USA.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-back-Jericho-TV-Show/233496923341196?ref=ts&sk=page_getting_started

    To help do this I created a Facebook fan page and will see what I can do on Facebook to get something going. But without money to get ads paid for I doubt we can get the ball rolling as much as this blog did.

    Oh well hopefully they bring Jerhico back as a movie, a two-part movie. The market is out there for nuclear apocalyptic movies, I think it was canceled because it began to imitate life. The U.S. Government I have learned does have a contingency plan in which 25 American cities are nuked.

    Right now there are dozens of shows with horrid ratings and no cult followings whatsoever (Jericho has its own respectable cult following) on cable and regular network TV. There is more to Jericho’s cancellation then just ratings.

    In any event if you like Jericho and hate these corporate yuppies that don’t listen to the people that pay their salaries, you and I, then like our facebook page and we can see where this goes.

    Who knows… Facebook brought down the Egyptian Government.

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