Tape delays, Twitter and #NBCfail: Olympic coverage in a media-saturated world

Tuesday was one of the greatest days in U.S. Olympic history. After early struggles in the pool, Michael Phelps and his American teammates captured gold in the 200-meter freestyle relay. It was Phelps’s second medal of the day and his 19th overall, making him the most decorated Olympian ever.

Across the Olympic Park, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team took home gold for the first time since Kerri Strugg and the 1996 Atlanta squad. This 2012 team is better, say those who know something about gymnastics.

Gold in premiere sports, drawing even with the Chinese atop the overall medal count – it was a banner day for the Stars and Stripes.

But as I write this Tuesday evening, Americans are the only people in the first world who haven’t seen any of it happen.

Don’t worry, though, it’s 7 o’clock. NBC is pushing play on the VCR right about now.

Continue reading “Tape delays, Twitter and #NBCfail: Olympic coverage in a media-saturated world”

Help Fight the Hunger Crisis in the Horn of Africa

Credit NBC Nightly News and Brian Williams. Amidst continued bickering and brinkmanship in Washington over the billions of dollars we frivolously spend each year, the most-watched evening newscast has managed to consistently devote time to the devastating famine in the Horn of Africa. A video archive, along with a list of organizations in need of donations, can be found on the Nightly website.

It’s a terribly human story. Heartbreaking. And it moves people to action. Except it’s summer – people aren’t as attuned to the news of the day, and donations have been slow to roll in.

I chose to give to two organizations. UNICEF is operating feeding centers and drilling wells on the Somali-Kenyan border. The World Food Programme is using aircraft to reach victims of the famine in isolated portions of Somalia, far from the camps set up by most international aid organizations.

This is no attempt to toot my own horn – it is an endorsement of the operations of these two aid organizations. Donate a few dollars to one if you can.