The ftm 2014 Greatest Hits
Journalists do have a way with words. It is their claim to fame, at least for those fortunate enough to find a bit. They are, understandably, sensitive to public perception of the Fourth Estate role and their position in it. Paper and ink journalism isn’t what the used to be. Today we might say “never pick a fight with someone who buys bandwidth by the terabyte.”
The television environment is changing so fast only the fans, it seems, can keep up with it all. First, they wanted to control the schedule. Now they’ve given up the entire idea of schedule. The digital dividend has given more than new channels and new shows. There’s a new kid in town.
Anticipation is a powerful marketing motivator. Put a little wait-time ahead of a new product or service launch – even a service upgrade – and interest builds, chatter swells and customers ready their cash. Chatter, though, is unpredictable; critics and competitors have hashtags too. Clever marketing people know this and plan carefully.
Opportunity and cash are charting the ebb and flow of recent media transactions. With most developed markets, strategic investors are buyers and financial investors are sellers as valuations continue to rise. In developing markets, media asset values have plummeted to historic low levels, changing the equation. Speculators are having a field day.
The media world attracts the most interesting people, often quite colorful, sometimes rather dark. Where that dark-side takes hold, cleansing is a long process accomplished by repeated hand-washing, hampered by hand-wringing. There is merit in feeling clean, more, perhaps than being clean.
Language holds people together and tears them apart. In this post-modern media environment language crosses boundaries easily, conveying aspiration, nostalgia and every image in between. People are drawn to television, radio, newspapers and websites in the languages with which they feel most comfortable. This pluralism is widely admired, a freedom to sustain. Diversity, linguistic and cultural, can also be exploited.
The audience chooses favorites. Sometimes new favorites get the nod, if they’re easy to find. Otherwise, people keep coming back to the best known brands though they hate being bored. You can’t outsmart them.
Sour economics of the last decade, digital transitions and political shifting have put the media sphere on the back foot. Uncertainty and insecurity are, in many places, part of the landscape. Change for the better seems illusive as strategic investment is just postponed, short-term benefit all that matters. Meanwhile the carousel keeps spinning.
Online advertising is certainly soaring. If the ad people are masters at getting their messages in front of people creatively, the media-tech companies are reaping rich reward by getting ads to pop-up everywhere in digital life. Big data – collecting, crunching and selling it on - is propelling it all. It’s more than a little creepy.
Ten years ago the European Union expanded exponentially, adding ten new Member States at one moment. For the media sectors in those countries the decade of EU membership has been brilliant for some, batty for others and baffling for the rest. General media health benefited almost immediately from cross border influence and investment. But euphoria turned, as it often does, to the daily grind of economics, politics and the digital dividend.
ftm Greatest Hits 2013
ftm Greatest Hits 2012
ftm Greatest Hits 2011
ftm Greatest Hits 2010
ftm Greatest Hits 2009
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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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