It is no secret that viewership of legacy media — like network TV — is down, while audiences for digital services — like Mic — are skyrocketing. The problem is that digital program producers are still searching for a way to actually make money. At the end of the day, a business has to be just that — a business.
According to Digiday, Mic attracted a huge number of viewers with fast, short-form non-fiction videos. But they didn’t attract enough sponsorship dollars. So Mic is shifting to “long-form” (around 15 minutes) programs that incorporate both studio and field elements. (Their premiere series is called Mic Dispatch.) Sound familiar? It’s a case of “everything old is new again,” as I produced program segments like this for 20 years. Of course, the content here is a lot edgier. Now digital outlets are looking to license content produced by others (why not you?) and many of the deals they are making are for a full year.
Mic publisher Cory Haik says a greater percentage of people are choosing to watch Mic Dispatch beyond the three-second view mark than for the type of short-form news-feed videos his platform used to crank out.
People say that things slow down for the summer. But that doesn’t seem to be true for some NYFA Broadcast Journalism grads, or myself for that matter…
The biggest news of the week is the graduation on Friday of the Summer 8-week workshop. An outstanding class, with people from everywhere. They are inventive, hardworking, collaborative, and talented. We will be hearing more from them…
Friday evening saw NYFA alum Elizabeth Wilson hard at work at NBC Sports, where she works in the marketing department. And she got to spend Sunday there too! It’s a reminder that our profession isn’t a typical 9-5 job…
But, whatever the sacrifices, there are times in which we actually influence history. As regular readers of this Update know, Broadcast Journalism grad Antia Efraim works at Radio Globo in Brazil. The network is doing a series of interviews with presidential candidates, and Anita is right in the middle of it. And she’s not just behind the scenes, but on air as well. And in cyberspace too, as the program is digitally streamed. Which is how I know about it. (And yes, it isn’t summer in Brazil…)
Myself, I am back to Beijing next week. I’m the host of the international version of a CCTV cultural documentary series called Century Masters. Each program tells the story of a 20th century composer, performer, writer, or musician who transformed their field, and in doing so changed China. (This is my second season with the program, which means the first season must have been successful. They don’t bring you back if a series is a flop!)
While I am in Beijing, I will be making two presentations for NYFA. The first will be at the Beijing Film Academy, where NYFA has its China office. (NYFA is the only international school invited to locate on the BFA campus.) I will be speaking to potential students about NYFA, and its various programs. Including, of course, Broadcast Journalism.
I will also be speaking at the China Film Group. It is the largest film distribution company in China, and a major player on the entertainment scene. Part of what I will be discussing is my soon-to-be-broadcast documentary Shanghai 1937: Where World War II Began, which in part mirrors the story told in the Chinese feature film The Flowers of War. (I’ll have some big news for you about my doc in the next Broadcast Journalism Update.) Also on the agenda will be a discussion of post-production in New York. or “every dream has its budget.”