Media Responses to Humanitarian Crisis

The timing is prescient — and  little eerie.

On February 28, the Production Directorate lent a hand to do the video for this fantastic event, “Why Not?  Humanitarian Crisis and Media,” sponsored by CauseShift and Oxfam International.   It was held at Young & Rubicam’s Nye Leadership Center in New York City and featured a roster of distinguished panelists, including UNICEF’s Chief of Internet, TV, Radio, & Image Section, Stephen Cassidy and Columbia Journalism School Dean Sreee Sreenivasan.   The conversation was moderated by author Brian Reich, SVP & Global Editor at Edelman Digital.

As it happens, the issues discussed could not possibly be more relevant and important to events unfolding in Japan right now — both for media professionals and anyone interested in learning more about the most helpful way to gather information and respond to these kinds of crises.   And, being a social media event, the dialogue is ongoing and evolving in real time.

Check it out, share with anyone who may be interested, and feel free to join the conversation.

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DIY Video Production

Production Directorate Managing Director Jonathan Smith was recently interviewed by music & social media guru Dan Maierle about getting good video results on a budget.   The column is aimed for aspiring music artists, but it has some useful observations for anyone looking to get sharp results.

Check out An Artists’ Guide to Video Production: 5 Questions for a Pro at Music, Marketing and the Social Web.

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A vast wasteland revisited

Newton Minow was JFK’s Chairman of the FCC.   In a 1961 speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, he famously declared television’s programing was too often, “a procession of game shows, violence, sadism, murder, Western bad men, Western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons.” Television was a, “vast wasteland.”

We tend to agree that this is generally still the case and see the New Media Revolution as an opportunity to leave the wasteland behind and move to more worthwhile pursuits.   What does Minow think?   Check out this fascinating column at TheAtlantic.com to find out.

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YouTube Goes Pro

From The New York Times,

“YouTube, the video site owned by Google, formally announced on Monday that it had acquired Next New Networks, a Web video production company, in its biggest effort yet to move beyond short, quirky home videos to professionally produced content.”

The future gets closer every day….

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The line between TV and Web gets blurrier in HD.

Wired has a good review of some of the latest gadgets on the market that stream media without discriminating between online and broadcast.   Google TV may have had some launch hiccups, but its arrival (and that of peer competitors) seems to be nudging the technology along.   In the Wired review, Logitech’s Revue set-top box with Google TV comes out on top… but at $300, it will take another generation or two of technology before reliable, widespread adoption takes place.    Of course, in tech, a generation gets shorter and shorter every day.

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Big, big camera technology news

Small, relatively inexpensive, lightweight ‘prosumer’ cameras like the Sony PD150 and Panasonic DVX series brought a sea change to the world of film and television production.    They made it possible for one person to shoot and maneuver without attracting much attention in situations normally requiring a crew and a lot of equipment.

The RED One camera was a game changer for the film industry for somewhat different reasons — it makes an astonishing amount of firepower and a gorgeous image available for less than what it would otherwise cost (still very expensive by most standards).   Production types like us have been salivating over the idea of these two trends overlapping to create a lightweight, inexpensive prosumer RED camera.    It seems that day has finally arrived with the advent of the RED Scarlet.   TechCrunch has a review here.

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American Internet Use Catches Up With Television

Well, yeah, of course.  From a recent NYT article, the data is unsurprisingly showing a consumer preference for online media consumption over television services.   Media delivery technologies that require consumers to accommodate the technology will inevitably fall out of favor.

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