No Gnus is Good Gnus

By Heidi Happonen

Anybody remember Gary Gnu?

We hear a lot about the evolution of journalism and the tandem re-thinking of public relations. The ability to tell a story in a compelling, informative and entertaining way is increasingly important as the media landscape splinters.

Innovative media outlets are looking for creative ways to tackle the news. But nothing compares to an effort by 19 Action News in Ohio.

According to a story from the Wall Street Journal, Action News 19 is covering one of the biggest corruption trials in the state’s history with the use of  … wait for it … puppets.

Jim Henson’s dream is now a reality.

For all the journalistic purists out there, (Poynter? Romenesko? Anyone?) I have just one word for you:

Genius.

The news station was told their cameras wouldn’t be allowed at the courthouse to cover the proceedings. Their response might be fueled by the rise of spoof news shows like The Daily Show, but it doesn’t matter. The results are brilliant. Plus, they got to use a disclaimer that I can guarantee that no news outlet has ever used in the history of broadcast journalism:

“The testimony is real, the puppets are not.”

The creative minds at 19 Action News weren’t going to let a little courthouse stonewalling slow them down. Maybe someone there was a Gary Gnu fan.

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