A Fun Day at CNN

This afternoon I participated in CNN’s annual World Report International Conference for its overseas affiliates. I was part of a panel on blogging that included Harry McDougald, the famous “Buckhead” of 60 Minutes fame, Rebecca McKinnon, John Aravosis, Chris Nolan, Christopher Allbright, who self-financed a trip to Iraq as a free-lance journalist through a blog, Howard Kaushansky of Umbria Software, and someone I’m forgetting. Our moderator was Michael Holmes, an Australian who works for CNN and did a great job of keeping our segment on track. The presentations were done in the round; I took the photo below during a break between sessions:
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From my perspective, it didn’t seem like we were breaking a lot of new ground, but I suppose much of it was new to many of the international affiliates, and the CNN people seemed happy with the panel. I tend to view these events mostly through a personal prism, so for me, the biggest kick was meeting McDougald. The other thing that blew me away was how cordial the CNN people were. Every one of the CNN people we dealt with, including the producer who made our arrangements and rode herd over the program, Michael Holmes, Jon Klein, Chris Cramer, who succeeded Eason Jordan as head of CNN International, and hauled a couple of us bloggers out into the corridor between sessions because he was excited about the possibilities of our medium, Christiane Amanpour, who quoted our between-sessions conversation in the segment she moderated, and everyone else we met from CNN was friendlier than we had any right to expect.
I don’t suppose that CNN invited us bloggers with a view toward raising our opinion of their operation, but, speaking for myself, it certainly had that effect.

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