Technology & Media

(WB 12)

In our day and age, technology almost seems to be synonymous with media. The media that we previously experienced in its original “true” form, like print newspapers, magazines and books, movies and TV shows shot on film, music listened to on an actual radio or on a disk like LP’s or CD’s – everything can now be accessed digitally online! The technology today is quite overwhelming, and it’s hard for “old” media to catch on and not loose money in the process. Why buy a magazine/newspaper when you can read the articles online for free? Why go to the movies when you can stream/download the same movie online for free? Why buy a CD when you can listen to the album online for free?

The biggest kind of media online though has to be social media. While sites like Facebook (and it’s predecessors Friendster, MySpace etc) originally started out as sites used for finding and keeping contact with friends, it’s sooooo much bigger now. I sometimes use Facebook to talk to friends, but mostly I use it for other purposes; getting news from newspapers – updated instantly, getting news from my favorite artists, restaurants, stores, TV shows etc! The same goes for Twitter, I think I follow about 3 friends, and the rest of my 100+ follow list consists of people and organizations I’ve never met.

Social media has it’s good and bad sides though, because while it enables us to be instantly updated with what goes on around the world and with our friends, we also seem to spend less time IRL with them. I can talk to my friends on Facebook messenger instead of actually SPEAKING to them or even meeting them. I hope that parents of today’s kids are aware of this and don’t let them stay too long in front of the computer, chatting with friends instead of playing outside together. But then again, who am I to judge? Just because I grew up thinking a childhood should be relieved playing outside with your friends (just like my parents, and their parent, and so on…) are used to it being this way does not mean it’s the RIGHT way. We’re in for quite the paradigm shift, who know what’s going to happen in the future?

http://www.seochat.com/c/a/social/social-media-and-society-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

This video became viral about a year ago and now it’s probably forgotten… I still love it though, and it has some very valid points!

Ethics in Reality TV

(WB 11)

My favorite kind of TV shows used to be reality TV. I followed shows like the Swedish versions of Survivor and (American) Idol every year as if my life depended on in, and later on when shows like “Real Housewifes of ….” became the new thing, I watched them too with great interest. I loved it, because they contained lots of drama and suspense, and they featured real people!! When I was about 10, my biggest goal in life was to be on a show like Survivor, I’m serious… Luckily for me, I’ve learned a lot since then and now I wouldn’t even do it if I was offered money for it. Reality TV is the worst kind of entertainment because it uses and exploits real people for ratings = money. Of course, the people all (hopefully) know what they have gotten themselves into, but still, now I just find it painful to watch.

Reality shows aren’t as unscripted and natural as they might seem, there’s a whole orchestra behind the scenes, all there to create the most entertaining aka outrageous drama behind the people as possible, because who’d watch a show where the people all just got a long and played nice? The ethics and moral behind these shows are very questionable; starving contestants, egging them on to fight, purposely revealing things about them for no other reason than to generate higher ratings… But still we keep watching these shows.. Is it really because we care so little about other people, or do everyone know what’s actually happening behind the show – that it’s all FAKE – or do we watch them just because the network keeps producing them and we’ve gotten so used to it by now?

I don’t know, but I am very excited to watch Lifetimes’ new show UnReal, premiering later this spring, because it’s a scripted show about an unscripted reality show! The trailer looks promising, I don’t know how much of what’s shown actually happens in real reality shows, but it’s quite dark nonetheless, and I think it paints a good portrait of what goes in to making a reality show.

http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/phil/blphil_eth_realitytv.htm

http://www.today.com/id/27917852/ns/today-today_entertainment/t/reality-tv-presents-plenty-moral-dilemmas/

Looks quite interesting right?

FCC Regulations

(WB 10)

I think is very funny the way FCC regulates what is allowed to be aired and what it not. It’s funny because they are more worried about a offensive or indecent word here and there than what the actual content is about. Not that they should have a say it what content should be aired, that would be even worse of course, but I don’t think that by omitting some words or blurring a body part will do the society any good in the end.

I understand that the FCC is concerned about protecting the children, making sure they don’t see anything “inappropriate”, but then again, what is considered inappropriate to one parent might be different from another parent. Just like the MPPA is trying to make sure children watch movies suitable for their age, it should be up to the parents to decide what their children are allowed to watch, not the government or an organization like the MPPA.

As with the Janet Jackson incident for example, showing a nipple for barely a second had the price tag of $550,000 dollars?! Come on, it’s okay for men to show their nipples but when a woman does it it’s considered indecent? No, I think that the kids who say that weren’t chocked at all, they have seen nipples before. It’s not the kids the FCC are protecting, its our culture and the standards in our society that we’ve had for generations – but it’s time to change that now I think. Just because our parents and grandparents and their parents grew up in a world where such things where considered indecent or wrong, does not mean it has to stay that way forever. The times are changing, it’s just taking some time for society to catch up, stuck in old traditions and old values.

http://media.about.com/od/televisionandradio/a/Fcc-Rules-For-Television.htm

http://radio.about.com/od/sternindecency/a/blobscenityplus.htm

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Promotion & Marketing

(WB 9)

If I couldn’t work with creating content for TV, working with marketing and promotion for TV shows would be my plan B! I think it seems like a lot of fun coming up with all of these campaigns and strategies for so many different platforms!! Compared to Sweden, marketing and promotion for TV shows is huge here (or maybe it’s just here in LA, I don’t know?) and I was so surprised – but happy – to see so much marketing material for all my favorite TV shows!

One of my favorite marketing/promotional campaigns for a TV show from recent years happened back in 2013 when Netflix was relaunching Arrested Development after 10 years off the air. They already had a fanbase for the show obviously, now all they had to do was to get them to become Netflix subscribers! So instead of trying to gain a new audience for the show (well, of course they wanted that too..) but most of their marketing contained so many things connected to the previous seasons that I think people who hadn’t watched the show before would not get the point behind them. All of the posters featured inside jokes from the show and when the props (such as the bananastand and Bluth family car) went on a promotional tour, while I stood in line to get a photo with the famous stair car, I don’t think people who hadn’t watched the show would’ve been interested in that. New shows that don’t have an audience has to be more open and inclusive with their promotional/marketing campaigns to reach to to as big as audience as possible, but I really enjoyed this campaign by Netflix just because it was so narrow.

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/arrested-development-marketing-campaign-launch

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This was one poster, do you get the joke? Nah, only if you’ve seen the show..

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Yep, that’s me by the stair car!!!

TV Commercials

(WB 8)

Commercials is what makes TV go around; with low ratings, advertisers pull out and the network gets no money = show gets cancelled. Commercials are essential to the way the television industry works today, and it’s not like it’s going away anytime soon. It’s like they’ve always been there and will always be there. Yes, commercials can be annoying sometimes, they can so terribly bad and offensive, not to mention stereotypical, sexist, hetero-normative and all kinds of boring… Yet we are so used to them, and our complaints about them are mostly about the above mentioned problems, not questioning why they are still on TV.

With DVR’s and online streaming sites it’s easier than ever for the TV audience to skip through commercials while still catching the show. Personally, I don’t mind watching commercials, I’m very materialistic and I always go for the “limited edition” or “new” products released, I’m not shamed to admit that! But I am also educated and I know what goes on behind the scenes, I know that commercials don’t represent reality – just like TV – it’s all just a business ploy, and so I can watch it and be critical, and buy the products for the products themselves, not because of the persuasive commercial. In Sweden there’s one supermarket chain (ICA) who has become super famous for their commercials, because they are almost like mini-TV shows! Every other week, a new “episode” aka commercial gets released and the advertised products are used more as props, set decoration, product placement and product integration for the cast to use. It’s hugely popular – it’s the world longest running TV commercial – and in Sweden we still talk about each new episode as if it were a TV-show. Commercials are trying to re-invent themselves so that people will actually watch them, and this is one very successful way.

Again, I don’t really mind commercials, I even enjoy it sometimes. The problem I have is that they are mostly only broadcasted on TV and I rarely watch TV that way. When I say I “watch TV” I really mean I watch a TV show on my computer, on streaming sites like Netflix or Hulu. The benefit for me is not that I get rid of the commercials by watching my shows online, but that I can watch them when I want: timeshifting. I never have time to watch the shows when they actually air, and so watching online, on my computer or tablet is perfect for me. By all means, put in more commercials on streaming sites, I won’t mind, as long as I can watch my shows whenever I want, but I also think it’s time to re-invent the whole idea about commercials in the first place…

http://adage.com/article/media/nielsen-struggles-media-change/296054/

It’s in Swedish, but you’ll get the story anyway through the visuals…

Programming in TV

(WB 7)

Back to my favorite topic again; women in television! Obviously, if there was anything I could change with today’s television programming it would be to include more diverse, lead roles for women of all ages, races, sexualities, social class/status etc!! These are the shows I like to watch, and while there are some pretty awesome shows out there already, I want to see more – women are half the population but not half of the TV shows are about/lead by women.

I just did some quick research on the upcoming fall schedule; according to TV.com and their list of new shows picked up by broadcast networks, I calculated that out of a total 42 new shows, only 8 of them have clear female leads compared to 23 clear male leads (the rest I counted as equally lead by a man/woman or ensemble shows). It’s hard to tell of course since the shows haven’t aired yet, all that’s available right now are some trailers and short descriptions, who knows, maybe all of those ensemble shows will turn out to feature amazing, strong, female characters as perceived leads? Maybe, but I doubt it..

Ratings are still the most important thing to broadcast shows, and networks still think that the target audience of males 18-49 are less inclined to watch shows lead by women. So women are “forced” to watch a bunch of shows centered around men instead? No, I think the problem lies in the target audience; males 18-49. Recent studies shows that women watch TV more than men, and its not a secret that a lot of the household shopping is done by women and that women are just as great at shopping as men! So why targeting shows to men when women are the ones watching..?

No, more shows about women is my suggestion, and shows that are diverse. Women are just as complicated as men, so don’t sideline us to being just a wife, mother, young woman looking for Mr. Right – women aren’t perfect, we have flaws, we don’t all look alike, act alike, think alike – and I want to see more women on TV who represent the women we see in real life today: complex human beings.

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Yes, more shows like How To Get Away With Murder please!

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/10/how-to-get-away-with-murder-and-the-rise-of-the-new-network-tv-heroine/381021/

Electronic Media Career

(WB 6)

As mentioned on this blog probably about 100 times already, the media that interests me the most, and the one I would most definitely want to have my career in, is television. I know the great impact TV can have on its audience, I learned that myself growing up watching a lot of TV, and I now what to have a say in the kind of content produced. I still watch a lot of TV, I probably follow about 30 different shows at the moment, and the content is a lot better than what it was when I grew up, but there’s still room for improvement.

According to a report made about prime-time TV for the 2013-2014 season, “women comprised 27% of all individuals working as creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography”. Only 27% of the content creators in broadcast TV are women!! No wonder why women are underrepresented and misrepresented on TV when they barely have a say on what goes on air! Cable, satellite and online sources like Netflix aren’t doing any better, the same report says that only 25% of the key behind-the-scenes roles were held by women for the 2013-2014 season..

These numbers don’t scare me, they excite me! This shows that the TV industry needs to change, and I want to be that change. There’s room for more women behind the scenes in the TV industry, because now people are finally realizing that shows centered around women, shows with female leads, can be just as good, funny, critically acclaimed, interesting as shows about men, just look at Orange Is The New Black, The Good Wife, Jane the Virgin, Girls – awesome shows about women with at least one woman creator.

It’s a tough business, I know that too, but if I get to make a difference at least one tiny bit, then I’ll be happy.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 11.43.10Comparison of women vs men working behind the scenes in broadcast TV

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 11.42.52Percentages of females employed behind-the-scenes in broadcast TV