China, as it turns out. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, Africa’s media future is coming from Beijing, not from New York or Los Angeles.
Over at AMA, I talk about how being foolish can help you with those tough creative projects.
In an unprecedented move, Google changed its search algorithm to favor websites that feature non-pirated copies of feature films, no matter what general search terms the user enters into the search bar.
by Billy Gray
In April, Netflix announced a $4.6 million first quarter loss, sending its stock down 14%. That earnings report coincided with the latest in a string of buoyant weekend box office results that, for the first time in a month, weren’t led by “The Hunger Games.” It was supposed to be the other way around, with Netflix and lesser digital foes decimating studios and theater associations. Hollywood executives must be elated, even if they had nothing to do with “The Hunger Games,” or other surprise box-office winners like, “Think Like a Man.”
Those who think like a betting man may be confused. Last year’s total box office ($10.2 billion) was down about 4% from 2010 and 2009 despite inflation (although maybe thanks to pricy 3-D fatigue). Box Office Mojo’s year-to-date numbers show 2012 surging 16% ahead of 2011. Contrary to what cynical studio chiefs might believe, audiences won’t throw money away on anything—grosses depend on quality offerings, if only because of the trickle down effect a well-liked blockbuster with legs has on alternatives that aren’t sold out. But there’s more buoying the box office than the rising tide that is “The Hunger Games.”
This article, about Dr. Baker’s adventures in the polar regions, appeared in CHRONOS Magazine.
“Out on the ice, I often imagined that if I veered off the path just a few hundred feet, I would probably be the first person in all of history to stand in a particular spot.” As Bill Baker talks about his expeditions to the North and South Poles, he stares out into an echoing room decorated with hundreds of model ships. It is the ballroom of the New York Yacht Club, a splendid gilded-age building near Grand Central Station in Manhattan. An antique nautical clock by Tiffany & Co. keeps time in the lobby, and century-old photos of the Club’s library and dining room show them looking much as they do today. It is the perfect place to sit and listen to explorer’s tales.
Pulling startling conclusions out of the Web’s wealth of raw information is a growing new genre of reporting, collectively called “data journalism.” It is refreshing to see how the Web can be a boon to individual reporters, even as it has been accused of eroding the profits of the news companies they work for.
Reporters’ access to vast amounts of raw data gives them an edge they’ve never had before. Google CEO Eric Schmidt estimates the Internet to contain about 5 million terabytes of data; a number that increases daily. A journalist with the right know-how can mine this data for a wealth of information that would otherwise be unavailable – even to eyewitness reporters on the ground.
A recent data journalism panel at the Columbia Journalism School explored how technology has become a wonderful tool for investigative reporters in particular. Here are the takeaways from the panel. Read More …
by permission from AMA Shift
by William F. Baker and Evan Leatherwood
The American not-for-profit performing arts scene is as cut-throat as any commercial market in the world. Rich patrons and demanding audiences have long rewarded talent, but tough times are defining another prerequisite for artistic success: entrepreneurship.
Faced with a sharp decline in government grants and private philanthropy, dancers, singers, actors, and musicians have been forced to fight hard and innovate just to stay in the profession they love. Here are three concepts from the performing arts world that would play well in any industry.
Robert Levine, author of Free Ride, says that anybody who cares about keeping the culture business (news, books, music, and movies) afloat in the 21st century needs to rethink some of our basic assumptions about how the Internet should work. Watch the full interview below.
He is also a consultant with specialist media consultancy Rightscom and has recently been working with the European Publishers Council on the establishment of a project called the Linked Content Coalition.
He has worked in the publishing industry for over 40 years and he writes here in a purely personal capacity.
I am not sure I would want to identify a single “biggest” challenge. It is facile to say “the Internet” – since evidently (see my answer to the next question) the existence of an increasingly ubiquitous global communication network creates both challenges and opportunities for traditional media companies. The challenges and the opportunities are the opposite sides of the same coin.
Instant, inexpensive and increasingly ubiquitous digital communication opens up many new business opportunities; but these are often easier for new entrants to exploit than for incumbents, simply because they are by their nature predatory on existing business models. An obvious example is classified advertising, which has disappeared as sites like Craig’s List have taken over. It is hardly surprising that it is difficult for incumbent businesses to accept that a new business model may be successful but at much lower margins than have traditionally been enjoyed. Read More …
by Brian Bruegge
Every day, stories of war, political unrest, and oppression reach us from places across the globe. We are able to hear news about the uprising in Syria, the violence of Mexican drug cartels, or protests in Egypt just by picking up the newspaper or going online. Yet we often have little knowledge of the dangerous and even lethal conditions that many journalists face to bring us this information.
In recent weeks, several journalists have been murdered or killed in the crossfire of conflict in countries such as Syria and Somalia. Already this year, thirteen journalists have been killed as a result of their work. Yet journalists do not need to face these challenges alone, thanks to the help of organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which works to expose and prevent these dangers to members of the press.