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Vin Crosbie Vin Crosbie
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Dorian Benkoil Dorian Benkoil
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Bob Cauthorn Bob Cauthorn
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Ben Compaine Ben Compaine
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Dorian Benkoil senior consultant at Teeming Media. An award-winning journalist and editor, he was a foreign correspondent for AP and Newsweek, and international and managing editor for ABCNews.com. At ABC News he moved to the business side, handling sales integration and business development, before joining Fairchild Publications as General Manager for their Internet division, becoming editorial director for mediabistro.com, then a consultant for Teeming Media in New York. He graduates this year with an MBA from Baruch's Zicklin school of business. Learn more about him at Benkoil.com or his blog - MediaFlect.com.

Robert Cauthorn is a journalist, former vice president of digital media at the San Francisco Chronicle, and was the third recipient of the Newspaper Association of America's prestigious Digital Pioneer Award. He launched one of the first five newspapers web sites in the world and is generally considered to have delivered the first profitable newspaper web site in 1995. Cauthorn has been in the middle of the transition from old media to new and is recognized as frank-talking critic when he believes newspapers stray for their mission. In mid-2004 he became the president of CityTools, LLC a new media startup based in San Francisco.

Ben Compaine has divided his career between the academic world and private business. He was a journalist when manual typewriters were considered state of the art, but also led the conversion of his college newspaper to cold type. He has started and managed weekly newspapers. His dissertation at Temple University in 1977 was about the changing technologies that were going to unsettle the landscape of the staid and low profit newspaper industry. Since then he has focused his research and consulting on examining the forces and trends at work in the information industries. Among his most well-known works (and the name of his blog) is "Who Owns the Media?".

Vin Crosbie has been called "the Practical Futurist" by Folio, the trade journal of the American magazine industry. Editor & Publisher magazine, the trade journal of the American newspaper industry, devoted the Overview chapter of executive research report Digital Delivery of News: A How-to Guide for Publishers to his work. His speech to the National Association of Broadcasters annual conference was one of 24 orations selected by a team of speech professors for publication in the reference book Representative American Speeches 2004-2005. He has keynoted the Seybold Publishing Strategies conference in 2000; co-chaired and co-moderated last year's annual Beyond the Printed Word the digital publishing conference in Vienna; and regularly speaks at most major online news media conferences. He is currently in residence as adjunct professor of visual and interactive communications and senior consultant on executive education in new media at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and meanwhile is managing partner of the media consulting firm of Digital Deliverance LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut.
About this blog
Two forces have shattered the news media. Technology is the first. Although media technology is undergoing its greatest change since the day in 1440 when Johannes Gutenberg first inked type, for more than ten years now the news industry has mistaken new technologies merely as electronic ways to distribute otherwise printed or analog products. Estrangement is the second. The news media has lost touch with people's needs and interests during the past 30 years, as demonstrated by rapidly declining readerships of newspapers and audiences of broadcast news. How we rebuild news media appropriate to the 21st Century from the growing rubble of this industry is the subject of this group weblog.

Rebuilding Media

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July 30, 2007

Clinton Cleavage? Gimme a Break

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Posted by Dorian Benkoil

I know the forces of impudent American prudishness are hijacking the whole Hillary/cleavage "issue", but the point of the original Washington Post fashion writer's article, if you read it, was not that Hil's gone mad, flopping her orbs around wantonly or that her slight V-neck somehow caused a mistaken exposure – both of which were implied in the stark-raving coverage, blown up and bounced, and rebounced around again.

Rather, the credentialed fashionista was writing that this most managed of stage-managed candidates (running since she was in high school, perhaps) chose to tweak her carefully chosen and usually bland uniform in favor of a slight hint of sexuality. Her choice is, perhaps, akin to Al Gore's attempts at being environmentally friendly (or just friendly, period) in his earth-toned clothes, or, worse, Dukakis' attempts to look manly in a helmet atop a tank. But her choice certainly bears observing, just as Jon Stewart (or was it just my imagination) noted the crotch-hugging manliness of the commander-in-chief when he stepped aboard that aircraft carrier to declare victory in Iraq. (I know, it wasn't literally victory, but let's not niggle. That's what he clearly meant us to think.)

Sure, we might not have made such a big deal if it were Obama wearing a slightly sexier than usual T-shirt – then again, we might have. And if Hillary was trying to soften her image a bit, or dress in a way that amounted to a fashion trial balloon, then we're allowed to examine her motives (Al Gore's calls for civil discourse notwithstanding). But enough, please, about the cleavage or Clinton's body. That really wasn't the point. The woman's body is what it is. Her image, though, is carefully managed, and any change bears watching. Read the WashPost piece, and I think you'll see what I mean.

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