Tag Archives: Media

Some Thoughts on the Change in Publishing

Publishing is changing and the folks in media are screaming bloody murder (not that I blame them for doing so).  Spurred on by the success of Amazon’s Kindle and the iPad, things are moving a lot faster than they ever dreamed I suppose.  Just last month it was reported that Kindle Books sales over took the sales of hardcover books.  It sounds amazing at first glance until you think about how bulky and brick-like hard cover books are compared to the sleekness of the Kindle or the iPad, both in form and bookshelf space (or lack there of…).  Other than the changing form in which we consume printed media, something else is afoot.  There is a challenge to the foundation of traditional publishing itself.  I think we’ve all seen it, but for the most part denied it.  As self publishing becomes easier, the lack of authority rises.  I’ve talked about this before, but I think now I see two stark mirroring realities that can be best summed up as, “Anyone can publish almost anything they want.”  At first I thought “wow” and then this quickly turned into “oh no…”

I guess I’ll focus my thoughts on a subject I’m familiar with: manga.  Leaving aside the current legal controversies of scanlation, I’d rather think about the issues of “authority.”  The truth of the matter is anybody can do scanlation with the right software (or in some cases without).  When I speak of authority in scanlation, I mainly think about the project choices a group makes and whether the translation offered is any good. Continue reading Some Thoughts on the Change in Publishing


The News Agencies Are Digging Their Own Graves

I’m beyond irritated with the quality of news we get in the US.  It seems their latest thing is trying to scare the crap out of everyone about the “Swine Flu.”  This morning I even saw rumblings about the Swine Flu thwarting the economic recovery.  If I’m not mistaken, the news agencies are funded by advertising and the amount companies spend on advertising is linked to how well the economy is doing.  So … isn’t it best for the news agencies to have a good economy?  It seems to me their deliberate drive to scare the crap out of everyone is very short-sighted.  Sure panic and sensational headlines may grab eyeballs, but those eyeballs aren’t the ones paying media producers to deliver the news.  I’m not saying that the news should only report good things — but what I’m suggesting is perhaps the news should get back into the business of delivering the news instead of opinion and tabloid sensationalism.  A balance of good and bad news would be nice.  Clearly separating the news from opinion and taking a serious look into what is news worthy and what is not would be nice.   Seriously, does 40 confirmed cases of the Swine Flu, which so far has manifested itself as the normal flu, equal a pandemic and the precursor to global financial meltdown?  And, seriously, do the media producers wish for global financial meltdown, because that would mean they would go extinct too.  So media producers and news people out there, give the news some thought before you start spouting sensational headlines and spinning everyone up with apocalytic prophecies and crazy what-if-a-frog-had-a-glass-ass scenarios.  Be responsible in your reporting and most importantly quit “driving” world events into the ground!  It’s irritating.  So irritating in fact, that I’ve limited my access to news to ~about 1-min/day to make sure the world still exists, while at the same time keeping myself from spiraling into mental depression.

Media Consolidation — Should I Care?

Here’s an interesting article from the Washington Post about a small FCC protest that took place a couple of weeks ago.  Since I watch very little TV, I don’t really think that much about the effect of having huge conglomerates owning big chunks of the media landscape.  At the same time, though, homogenization of American media is probably the biggest reason that I don’t watch TV or listen to broadcast radio.

I wonder, with the proliferation of broadband, how many people actually get all of their news and entertainment from one source.   Granted YouTube and MySpace are owned by huge media companies, however, the user generated content is varied and, in general, filtering is limited to the elimination of copyrighted materials and materials commonly accepted as offensive.  There are also the numerous blogs and special interests sites that on the web now, so I think there’s more than enough choice out there and as this article points out, there is no longer much advantage in monopolizing a media market.  What was unsaid is that this is due to the many niches that viewers have fractioned into.  How does this impact things, though?  It seems that Internet companies are becoming media companies and media companies are being reduced to content suppliers who are competing with every one else in the world — thanks to YouTube, MySpace, and the like — for viewers.  What’s happening now is quite a revolution when you consider that Joe-nobody’s video of whatever is competing with the evening line up from CBS, NBC or the like.  The interesting thought is what could happen in the future, when perhaps today’s big media companies will have to compete with Joe-nobody’s content for bandwidth … Hmm …I’m thinking more about that writer’s strike … and net neutrality … ;p

I’m glad to see at the end of this article that the FCC did get some meaningful work done, like loosening the grips of cable companies on specific cities or areas and making sure phone numbers are portable across all telephony platforms.