Wednesday, January 20, 2010

News Organizations Try on Skinny Jeans

In an odd bit of cultural confluence, CNN announced this week that the venerable news network is taking on some unlikely partners. According to Fast Company, CNN has entered into content-sharing agreements with the downtown lifestyle brand Vice and the Seattle-based record label SubPop. "The two arbiters of all things rocking and youthful figuratively hoisted old man Turner atop a throng of music fans," wrote Fast Company.

Even more unlikely than this partnership (Vice has made a big commitment to documentary filmmaking that includes the critically acclaimed feature "Heavy Metal in Baghdad") is that this development is part of a growing trend of major news organizations hooking up with indie rock outfits. For whatever reason, the staid, navy suit ranks of NBC News and ABC News have also recently launched efforts at indie credibility.

In May, 2009, NBC News introduced Bri-Tunes, an online space for anchor Brian Williams' musical curiosity. Williams shares playlists (his most recent playlist includes Antony and the Johnsons, Fanfarlo, and Mos Def) as well as video interviews with some of his favoriate musicians. Bri-Tunes debuted with a video profile of Deer Tick. In introducing the series, Williams said, "Al Roker has about nine shows on the air, I think, about barbeque and food, Matt Lauer does mens clothing beautifully, and so why not talk about our hobby here?"

Ahead of the curve, ABC News debuted a new web video series fueled by Pitchfork in February, 2009. Titled "New Music Monday," the series has Pitchfork writers offering their thoughts on the best new music with an intro from the ABC anchor desk. Our friends Bear In Heaven were featured in a recent episode of "New Music Monday" and summed up this whole trend in a corresponding tweet: "Seriously... It doesn't get anymore surreal than this... ABC news. Charles Gibson laughs at our album title."

No comments: