Dave Winer has created a smart mockup of what he calls MSNBC-of-the-Future. The viewers can use checkboxes to say what they’re interested in seeing covered, and what they’re not interested in seeing covered. (Update: Dave gets lots of responses.)
Audience feedback is a fine idea. Until then I use a different kind of checkbox: the change-channel button.
Incidentally, the too-often putrid nature of American cable-TV news is never more obvious than when I’m traveling outside the U.S.
I’m in Madrid to give a talk later today, and the English-language cable news choices here are BBC, CNN International and CNBC Europe. BBC, of course, is the gold standard — head and shoulders above the others. But CNN International is vastly superior to its American counterpart, offering serious news programming and much less tabloid stupidity. CNBC Europe isn’t a lot better than the boosterish programming at home from the channel, but even this channel, because of its globalized view, is better.
It would be an intriguing test if U.S. cable and satellite companies put these versions of BBC and CNN on their systems. I predict they’d be huge successes. I’m absolutely convinced that there are many, many more Americans who care about quality news programming than the cable-news executives seem to think.