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  • Variety’s Best Film Schools 2018, Brazil’s Agency France-Presse, & Shanghai: 1937 With the New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism School

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    For those of you who live outside the United States, you may have never heard of Variety. It is the Hollywood-based, leading entertainment industry newspaper/magazine in America. And last week it named the New York Film Academy one of the best film schools in the world. When I read the review, I was amazed to see that Broadcast Journalism was one of the departments they singled out for mention. They’ve done the impossible — they’ve rendered me speechless…

    One thing I am never speechless about is the work of our graduates. Yesterday I saw, via LinkedIn, a fabulous story done by NYFA Broadcast Journalism grad Suzane de Oliveira. Suzane works for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Brazil. Here are the credits for the story:

    Entrevista exclusiva da Anitta pra AFP.
    Reportagem: Daniele Belmiro e Cecília Sorgine
    Imagens: Marie Hospital
    Edição de texto e vídeo e narração: Suzane de Oliveira
    We can’t take credit for Suzane’s wonderful writing and narration skills, but she learned how to edit video at NYFA. And this is a very well-cut story. So good, in fact, that AFP posted it online and on social media!
    Now, contrary to what some of you may believe, NYFA grad Gillian Kemmerer does not pay for the frequent mentions she gets in this newsletter — she just keeps accomplishing things! The latest is a scholarship to travel to Moscow for intense Russian language studies, then work there as a correspondent with an international news agency. That means good-bye to Asset-TV and mornings on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. However, if you need help with Russian grammar, Gillian, NYFA instructor Evgenia Vlasova will be happy to help you. (Because “once you are our student, you always are our student.”)
    On a personal note, I’d like to thank all of the current and former students and NYFA colleagues who wished me a happy birthday. (If you are adept at investigative reporting, you can figure out just how many birthdays it has been.) One of the nicest “gifts” I got was a lovely preview of my documentary Shanghai: 1937  by the China Global Television Network (CGTN). A special screening of the program is being arranged to take place in conjunction with the Shanghai International Film Festival in June. Negotiations are also underway for American and international broadcast distribution, along with home video and VOD.

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  • New York Film Academy Broadcast Journalism Alums at WTNH in New Haven, Channel 9 in Melbourne, & Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Rio de Janeiro

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    Once again, I am returning to a subject I’ve discussed before — how “newspapers” are no longer just “newspapers.” Last week I visited Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, and I spoke with several faculty members about the transformation of so-called “legacy media.” You can’t get more “legacy” than newspapers.

    Today The New York Times has far more digital subscribers than folks who buy the physical version of the publication. They often “break” stories in the evening, hours before their print edition “hits the street.” The Times has a TV studio set up right off of its newsroom, so that it can go “live” online whenever it makes sense. In fact, last time I visited, they had 75 video journalists. Video has become a central component of the Times ecosystem, with 20 channels and shows. As current and former students know, the Op-Docs channel is a continuing source of outstanding visual journalism.

    DMN posted a fascinating story last week about the Times use of AR (Augmented Reality), the cousin of VR (Virtual Reality). When combined with 360-degree video, it will (I am told) allow “viewers” to actually “walk into” a story.

    Of course, central to the use of AR and 360-video is developing a business model that will sustain them. Technology is great, but you simply can’t give your product away. Perhaps by combining these new technologies with more standard features, and a pay wall, the Times will do just that. We’ll see…

    A big “Thank You” to the folks at Endicott College for welcoming me, along with NYFA Photography Department Chair David Mager and Musical Theater Creative Director Kristy Cates, to their campus last week. We had an opportunity to meet with students considering a three-month “New York City internship,” as well as members of the faculty and administration. They even put our names on a poster!
    More good news via Facebook and email this week. First I heard from Alyssa Taglia, who is working at WTNH in New Haven, Connecticut:
    Hi Bill! Hope you’re well, I wanted to share with you that I was hired here at WTNH News 8 full time as their traffic anchor for Good Morning Connecticut 4:30-7 a.m, and as an MMJ. Early mornings (wake up at 2, or on snow days when we go on early I wake up at 1 a.m) aren’t always the easiest, but I truly truly truly love this business and this career I’m so thankful to have. It’s still amazing to me that just two weeks after graduating I landed a job here in my home state, which was always my goal! Thanks again for everything you and NYFA gave me!

    NYFA alum Alyssa Taglia at WTNH in New Haven, Connecticut.

    Then I found out Bryanna Reynolds is now working at Channel 9 in Melbourne, Australia. (That’s Bryanna on the far right in the picture below.) If there is one quality Bryanna has in abundance, it’s enthusiasm!

    Suzane de Oliveira works for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Last week she re-posted her NYFA graduation picture, and I was deeply honored by her kind words. She wrote, in part:

    The moment so expected, dreamed and destined! NYFA! How many lessons I learned here in the most intense month of my life! … I’m very happy! Dream come true!

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