Leo Laporte’s Finest Couple of Hours

We’re still drowning in Steve Jobs coverage a few days later. Despite all the mainstream coverage (too many examples to cite) about his passing, I think the finest tribute came from people in the tech community, the circles Jobs moved in from the earliest days of founding Apple computer, to the tech journalists and bloggers he both inspired and sparred with .

In the area of video coverage, I would have to hold up this now-historic example from Leo Laporte’s TWIT podcast network as the finest example, rivaling the coverage of the US networks and even all-news outlets like CNN.

Leo Laporte at the TWIT studios (photo from the LA Times)

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Leo Laporte, Tom Merrit and Kevin Marks were doing a live streamed episode of the show “Triangulation” just as news broke on Twitter that Jobs had passed away.

When the Twitter chatter had become too intense to ignore, and mainstream news services had finally confirmed the story, Leo and friends immediately broke away from the regular show to start paying tribute to Jobs’ life and work.

What followed was completely spontaneous, moving, and a marvel to watch, and is a testament to the power of the Internet-empowered to create meaningful content very fast using the tools at their disposal. For the the next two hours, Leo and crew, who were visibly saddened as well, did an outstanding job covering the story and provided information to a stunned audience of tech enthusiasts.

I watched this much later, compiled and edited for YouTube consumption, but I can imagine how much more poignant it was to watch this live on Twit.TV.

While a mainstream news production would have to scramble to assemble footage, quotes, and find guests to make the appropriate tributes, Leo and his TWIT crew, powered by online video sources, search engines, social media, and their own powerful memories of the man, immediately launched into a full-scale tribute in real time, with historic clips, commentaries, and late breaking news – as it broke over the web that is.

Leo has always been the dean of Netcasters, and his TWIT network has blossomed from a show about one man, his friends, and a microphone, to a full blown Internet media powerhouse with production values that rival million dollar broadcast studios.

That evening, Leo wasn’t just everyone’s favorite jocular tech uncle holding forth with his opinions on tech, Leo rose to the occasion and was our community’s Walter Cronkite. In an earlier era of newscasting, Cronkite covered momentous events like the Kennedy Assassination, the Apollo moon landing, and never wavered in his commentary.

And that’s the way it is.

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