ROSE: As you try to make sure you handle all that and you can never be prepared for it. Are there rules about what you shoot and donâ€™t shoot. Have you turned to your camera man and said, â€˜turn your camera offâ€™?
WILLIAMS: Yes. I still call it â€˜the dinner hour,â€™ Charlie. I grew up in a kind of classic Henry Luce American two-bedroom ranch with an add-on bedroom and a one-car garage and we subscribed to Time, Life and Look, and so that formed my sensibility as a cold-war kid in America. We called it, â€˜the dinner hour,â€™ and we couldnâ€™t eat until Cronkite said, â€˜thatâ€™s the way it is.â€™ And I remember propriety and the Vietnam war and pictures that would make my mother shudder. And why would I shoot video tape that be so revolting as to get in the way of the larger story that weâ€™re trying to tell. We have YouTube for that, you know. This great new frontier where you can look at a tape of cat juggling or you can see what are basically kind of mini snuff films. The depth of human depravity. Itâ€™s all on the unregulated wild west universe.
ROSE: But people have to go there to get it.
ROSE: Not just turning on their television.
WILLIAMS: We have a certain responsibility. We have an an audience of kind of rock-ribbed Americans who for a lot of them, this is the traditional broadcasting. I have a bound with them. I have a compact. And they expect a certain standard.
And Williams says he blogs on his Blackberry from the field:
ROSE: With all the new architecture, it changes what you do in what way other than helping you reach a larger audience and having you say, â€˜if youâ€™d like to see my interview with the president, here it is on NBC.comâ€™
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Thatâ€™s right. I was covering this last war in Isreal. I remember this like it was yesterday. Below me in the valley the place where Jesus met St. Peter as he was tending his net. In my hand is my Blackberry. I was curious as to how the Yankees did the night before back home, how A-Rod and Jeter were doing on their race to become MVPs …
ROSE: Jeter was doing fine and A-Rod was having some problems.
WILLIAMS: Thatâ€™s exactly the story I found, Charlie. And I just finished an essay for the Web that I was hitting send on that I had written with both thumbs on this little keyboard. Thatâ€™s how the architecture has changed my work, but also you referenced this â€“ more content. We no longer just have to slice off the part of the interview with the president that deals with the Fed. That now finds an airing and I can direct viewers interested in the Fed to the Web site.
I don’t think Williams is a very good blogger (though, at least, he apparently writes his own stuff), but I do like the image of him in the Holy Land with his mobile device beaming his own thoughts to his web site.
The full show is available on Google Video.
[dels]brian williams, nbc nightly news, television, news, journalism, blogging[/dels]