Posts Tagged 'television'

The Evolving Landscape of Media Production

By Maya Held

In the vast world of digital technology and media, where does television stand?

As someone with a background in film production (I actually SPLICED film!), broadcast engineering and production (before HD) and video production, it sometimes feels overwhelming to try and keep up in the ever-changing landscape of media production.

First, there was film, then broadcast television, then cable and fiber optics and video recording on VHS and Beta. Now, there is satellite and high definition, giving us television that looks more and more like film has traditionally. Panavision recently stopped production of film cameras, which, for purists like me who feel the richness of the picture film creates can never be matched by even the highest resolution high definition video image, brings sadness.

In terms of distribution, people watch television on mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets, and the DVR has made the VCR obsolete. I hear a lot of discussion about multimedia and making video accessible for people to watch on any device. But I also hear people discuss how this new mobile push affects the content and more importantly, the aesthetics of the product.

While many projects I and my students create end up on client websites or on YouTube or Vimeo, for people like me, I will always choose a movie theater first, and my nice, big high definition television screen second. Watching a film or television show with my 13-inch laptop screen practically pressed to my forehead never seems appealing to me. Television (and film) is meant to be watched on a larger screen for the audience to appreciate aesthetic factors like shot composition, lighting, use of color and to fully appreciate a good performance by an actor. When I hear people say television is a dying medium, I strongly disagree.

Maybe this resistance to change is a generational issue, and I am simply becoming my parents. My father wouldn’t use his cell phone outside of his vehicle until he was forced by the nature of his job as an attorney. He types with two fingers and it takes him ten minutes to write an e-mail. His younger colleagues, of course, often write their own correspondence instead of dictating and passing off the work on legal secretaries, and are glued to their smartphones, updating Facebook statuses from the courthouse. Maybe with age we become less open to new things, and will only change when the “sink or swim” ultimatum rears its head. Or  maybe I simply want things to look pretty and sound awesome. Either way, I learn new technology because I owe it to my students, and ultimately the quality of my creative work, and in the long run, tape-less technology trumps crinkled videotape and film splicing, even considering the occasional system crash that plagues our second floor editors.

However, when push comes to shove, give me a DVD to watch, not a YouTube link for a compressed, pixelated video. Quality does matter, and while the technological landscape is evolving for digital media,  I will choose to watch shows on my TV, as it was intended to be seen by the director and the crew, every time.

Then again, I am not above pulling up Elmo videos on YouTube on my phone to entertain my toddler…

Maya Held is an instructor in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication department at Marquette University.

Fun for News Junkies: 200 Moments that Transformed Journalism and State of the News Media 2010

By Kathlin Sickel

What interesting times these are for journalists and media professionals:  from the flowering of such Internet-based communication systems as Craigslist and Wikipedia early in the last decade, to the 2009 introduction of Foursquare and the Nook—and in between the emergence of the Blackberry, Second Life, Google News, MySpace, YouTube, iPhone, and, well . . . just so much more. There’s no missing the fact that we’re living through an era that is transformative for much of the world as we know it, and in particular, for the spheres of news and information.

The wonderful, always-educational Poynter Institute has just introduced a new interactive graphic that tells the story of this transformation, by focusing on 200 key moments that occurred in technology and news through the last decade. In addition to new developments in technology, these are moments that witnessed the growth of some new business models and the failure of old ones, the adoption of new tools for journalism, and the creation of social media as a news provider.

Poynter’s “200 Moments that Transformed Journalism, 2000-2009,” is an interactive display that is easy to navigate and understand. It very clearly shows the steady growth throughout the decade of  Internet use, blogging, social bookmarking, mobile phone use, texting, and—at the end of the decade—the beginning of entrepreneurial, digital journalism. Of course, it shows too, the corresponding losses the decade delivered to newspapers, and the newspaper industry’s struggles to survive, even if in altered form. Continue reading ‘Fun for News Junkies: 200 Moments that Transformed Journalism and State of the News Media 2010’

The News That’s Not Reported

By Steve Byers

The New York Times’ Frank Rich used the White House Correspondent’s Dinner over the weekend as his example in a discussion of how television has given up covering the news, noting the 24/7 cable “news” stations covered the dinner but not a bomb threat in Times Square.

It reminded me of a friend who is woefully ignorant of what’s going on in the world despite listening to talk radio and watching television “news.” He also regularly reads online news. Recently he asked another friend “Was there some controversy” about the 2000 presidential election. When the constitutional crisis was explained, he said, “Oh, yes. I guess I did hear something about it.” Despite listening and watching talk and “news” programs, he doesn’t have a clue about what’s really going on.

Rich decried television, especially the cable version, for its willingness to ignore facts that don’t fit its political slant. That’s a deep concern of mine. Presenting facts is at the core of journalism, and something we insure is instilled in our students. Is that going to work against them in finding jobs?

Steve Byers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism at Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication.


The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or the Diederich College of Communication.

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