The ftm 2012 Greatest Hits
Freedom of the press has endured, as a legal concept, for nearly five hundred years when kings were stopped from seizing printing presses. Much has changed since then. The press is sophisticated and a big business, though both diminishing under the digital roar. Perhaps the legal language needs attention.
Tipping past the growth phase of the business cycle to the mature phase brings on new challenges for an organization, media, technology or otherwise. As it happens when a company matures the profit growth rate levels out, the cost of doing business rises. Smart organizations don’t panic, embrace the change, keep focused and avoid all the jumping up and down.
Being number one means never having to explain the small things. Reaching into page view, audience and circulation figures for that competitive edge is risky. Like everybody else in this 140 character new media world, media people want just the headline. Details are so messy.
Every tabloid editor knows what moves eyeballs. It’s a skill passed on generation after generation, unbound by geography. Dirt on celebrities and politicians is fine but nothing beats that grainy photo of a well-known somebody starkers. Brilliance is causing talk on the street, any street, and maybe a lawsuit. Leveraging a better business deal is genius.
Street protests in several cities over recent days generated more than headlines anti-piracy advocates never expected. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a multi-lateral treaty to protect “copyright protected works” through a new global enforcement mechanism, is just short of ratification. Activists mounted a campaign to derail, at most, or disrupt, at least and it may have succeeded.
The online currency of the realm is traffic, the gross count of visitors. Ad-servers pay on some dividend of traffic. Web-masters constantly sort through traffic figures looking for keys to the coffers. But, as that physics lesson taught, there’s change in all that looking.
As new media shortens the attention span of viewers and readers to 140 characters, reporters and editors are even quicker to move from one event, crisis or revelation to the next. Context is lost, some say post-modernly irrelevant. Those intent on controlling images are ever more pleased.
Where public broadcasters are ubiquitous and well-funded, private channels have a tough fight. But fight they will for audience and advertising. Some are turning in some quite good numbers by emphasizing local content, good marketing sense and a boost from digital platforms.
Digital radio development is, as it has been, up and down. Launches precede re-launches. Promotion has the appearance of trial and error. Supporters see one set of problems, detractors yet another. It’s a tough nut to crack.
A giant outdoor ad campaign for the coming new season of the hot and trendy Mad Men TV drama shows, simply, an image of the lead character falling through the air. It’s controversial in New York City, evoking gristly images, though the producers call it a metaphor for “a man whose life is in turmoil.” Mad Men portrays the highly charged, brutally competitive and enormously creative world of Madison Avenue of the early 1960’s. The advertising world is still the same…but not.
ftm Greatest Hits 2011
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Media in Spain - Diverse and Challenged – new
Media in Spain is steeped in tradition. yet challenged by diversity. Publishers hold great influence, broadcasters competing. New media has been slow to rise and business models for all are under stress. Rich in language and culture, Spain's media is reaching into the future and finding more than expected. 123 pages, PDF. January 2018
The Campaign Is On - Elections and Media
Elections campaigns are big media events. Candidates and issues are presented, analyzed and criticized in broadcast and print. Media is now more of a participant in elections than ever. This ftm Knowledge file reports on news coverage, advertising, endorsements and their effect on democracy at work. 84 pages. PDF (September 2017)
Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda
The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)
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