The follwing article from The Daily Pennsylvanian can be found here.

Veteran media giant tackles new media issues

Pamela Yau

Media Credit: Mark Chou
NBC News President Steve Capus discusses his reaction to new media in a talk yesterday as a guest of the Critical Writing Program.

Steve Capus, president of NBC News, has come a long way from his days as a Temple University undergraduate working at local television station WCAU.

As Gail Shister said to her television criticism class in her introduction of Capus, "19 years later ? the [Temple] owl is running the peacock."

Capus came to campus yesterday to speak as a guest of the Critical Writing Program at Penn. The program has previously hosted Neal Baer, executive producer of NBC's hit show Law & Order: SVU.

Recognizing the challenging times the communications industry and the media have been going through in recent years, Capus pointed to the evolution of alternative media such as blogs and viral videos as one cause of these troubles.

In a world where "even a fool with a laptop can become a journalist, ? we still have to do our job well," Capus said.

What clearly differentiates traditional media from these new forms of emerging media is that the former reliably provides "unique content from a trusted source," he added.

A battle of the wits is now brewing between media outlets such as NBC News and online-content aggregators such as and

"Every other day someone is banging on our door to get our content," Capus said. "If you want to have unique content, you need to be protective of it."

At the same time, the irony has been that NBC has been at the forefront of embracing new media, as the network's news programs such as Meet the Press and The Nightly News with Brian Williams have become successful podcasts, and videos of their recent broadcasts can be found online.

Although many news critics believe that young people have written off television as a news venue, Capus does not seem to be as worried about this demographic turning to different sources besides television for their content.

"If we can get NBC News content on a platform no matter what it is, ? we'll take it," he said. "What we are doing is investing in you, and you are investing in us."

He also spoke about the continual efforts of NBC News in expanding their horizons by selecting better material and covering stories that are important to their viewers.

A prime example of NBC's commitment to the American public and telling stories that it believed should be told has been its continual coverage of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, for which they have garnered some of the most prestigious awards in journalism, Capus said.

"We continue to focus on those stories, and some believe we have been doing too much, ? but I believe it is just the right thing to do," he said.