Thursday, October 14, 1999

"And That's What I will talk about…"

The highly-promoted NYNMA panel on "And That's They Way It Will Be: How The
Internet Is Changing The Way We Get Our News And The Business Of News" was
the long-winded title for the 7th in their evening panel series on October
14th at the Fashion Institute of Technology's auditorium. Alice Rodd
O'Rourke, NYNMA's Executive Director, was out in her finery and Eric
Goldberg, Chairman of NYNMA's Programs Committee, had a sharp new haircut,
and many of the hundreds of attendees came out for the big meeting with the
news luminaries.

It 'twas a rare sight indeed to see Steven Brill (editor-in-chief, Brill's
Content), James Cramer (co-founder,, Leah Gentry (editorial
director, new media, Los Angeles Times), Walter Isaacson (managing editor,
Time Magazine) and David Talbot (chairman & editor-in-chief, sit
together on a panel to discuss the above-mentioned topic. But all the
rushing excitement came to a screeching halt when esteemed Tom Brokaw took
the podium. Maybe he didn't realize we were actual audience members sitting
in front of him, breathing and holding our breath to hear some witticism
drop from his lips. And we waited, and waited. Maybe this is what
television viewers (or Internet surfers) see when they stop the frenetic
clicking to the next channel (or website).

Waxing philosophical and recalling his boyhood days growing up in South
Dakota in the 50's, we learned that since little Tom's family got their
first TV set he considered it a "wonder" and a "window to a wider world."
We learned from Tom that "the Internet allows individuals to collect
information and broadcast in a way unlike any other," and is "the most
liberating and expansive medium ever imagined, much less developed…" Ahhhh,
a perfect segue to the Internet….But no--more memories of TV.
Did they ever get to the meaty discussion? Of course they did. And Mr.
Cramer was the energetic bulldog full of information, as he bantered with
Mr. Brill (a former boss of his). Walter Isaacson offered up wisdom-isms
and Leah Gentry, the only woman on the panel provided thoughtful insights
to the discussion. NYNMA's panels continue to grow in size and
spectacularity, and this news-celeb-studded panel started off their
whirlwind till the end of the year, with Super CyberSuds not far behind and
another merry Holiday party!