Rough Draft of History ... Books?
Get 'em while they're young, Peacock. NBC News has announced a new online venture to supplement America's high school history, politics and English curricula with NBC News footage. The awkwardly-named project, iCue – which stands for Immerse, Compete, Understand and Excel – will provide historical videos for students using mostly archived NBC footage.
As far as NBC figures it, it's a win-win. They get the public relations boost from informing (iCue …. IQ, get it?!) America's youth while engaging in some nifty brand management and product placement at the same time. According to the New York Times:
The effort, which the network is spending nearly $10 million to develop, draws heavily on its exhaustive film and video archives chronicling the most important events of the last half century, as well as on its best-known journalists, who will have a chance to report on stories that occurred long before they were born.When it comes to product placements, I'm far more comfortable having high schoolers exposed to Huntley and Brinkley than Joe Camel or The Funny Sonic Guys. But an unintended benefit of I-Cue may be a positive bump in how America's youth sees mainstream media. (It also may be a new bugaboo for conservatives who think that NBC is planting the seeds of liberalism in its viewers.) It's one thing for teenagers to hear their parents rail against blogging or alternative outlets, but it's an entirely different thing for them to see journalists bringing them some of the most crucial moments and stories of the 20th century.
There has been a huge debate in recent years – hell, this week, on this site, about this network – about how to bring in younger viewers to the evening newscasts. Maybe programs that introduce them to the institution as a learning/social tool are a better way to go than wiz-bang graphics and Paris Hilton coverage.