CBS is starting to integrate whiteboard-based explantions into the news. We first heard about it being used on the show Sunday Morning, where I imagine the lighter content seemed more appropriate. Thanks to Ron for the pointer to this video.
Just recently, the same team of Josh Landis and Mitch Butler were paired with Katie Couric on the Evening News to explain the superdelegates. You can see the video on this post.
It will be interesting to watch how the mainstream media reacts to these presentations. The New York Times published an article today called "Dumb or Just Fun?" and started the article with this paragraph:
Critics who regularly bemoan the dumbing down of television news would most likely have been enraged by the sight, on a recent weekday, of animated characters on an evening newscast explaining the political power wielded by superdelegates.
Dumb or Just Fun? Those are the only two choices? What about effective? What about innovative?
Personally I'm happy to see CBS experimenting with the whiteboard-based style. Of course we wonder if Common Craft was an inspiration, but we're not going to assume anything. If anything we're excited to see the format take shape.
We're believers that we all (including the evening news) need better explanations and more levity. Josh Landis and Mitch Butler, whose speaking style reminds me a bit of "Troy McClure" from the Simpsons, are raising the visibility of simple-yet-powerful explanations.
What do you think?