It’s A Funny Business: A Case Study In Comedy

For all the passion and skill and talent and blood and sweat and tears and risk that producers bring to the mix the one most often looked over yet is the most important is that of business person. Because when the lights go out, the talent and crew go home the business of film and TV really starts. Like all businesses the goal is to make money. It is something that ‘creatives’ don’t like to talk about because their driving force is the ‘art’ or ‘craft’. In the pilot of ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’, Aaron Sorkin writes ‘…there’s a struggle between art and commerce. Well there’s always been a struggle between art and commerce and now I’m telling you art is getting its ass kicked.’ In the scene the producer of a Saturday Night Live style sketch comedy show angrily laments the way in which the network panders to their conservative, vocal, right-wing, Christian minority audience in an effort to not offend anyone while simultaneously limiting the breadth of creative input the show requires to be appreciated by the masses. Continue reading “It’s A Funny Business: A Case Study In Comedy”

The Fall and Rise of Podcasting


This research looks at podcasting; the practice of creating, producing and distributing, in the most, audio content in the form of programs. Programs include but aren’t limited to news, sport, documentary, education, dramatization, review, preview and comedy. The goal is to show how important podcasting has become in relation to mainstream media and its impact on audiences as an alternative to, or enhancement of, contemporary radio broadcasting. This has been done by examining research from the Pew Research Centre for Journalism, Edison Research and others. Through analysing, interpreting and reviewing existing material this research highlights how podcasting has moved from a perceived threat to radio to the greatest supporter of modern radio medium. Continue reading “The Fall and Rise of Podcasting”

How not to do PR

Recent news from both News Limited and Fairfax media companies about their strategic (code for mass redundancies) was seen by one public relations consultancy as an opportunity.

An employee, with or without permission or even encouragement from management, decided to post a ‘thought leadership’ article about the advantages PR consultants could leverage with ‘less journos’ in place at the above mentioned companies on industry journal Mumbrella.

This was widely received as ‘biting the hands that feed you’ by many in the comments. Some took the poor girl’s side, still some took aim at the publication, the consultancy and each other.

Below is a screen shot of Mango PR client page at the time of publication. Let’s see how it changes over the coming days and weeks as brand, communications and marketing managers from these companies realise that never another release from Mango will ever move from a journos inbox past the trash.

UPDATE (3 Nov 2012): This incident was mentioned by Mark Colvin (@colvinius) in his Andre Olle Media Lecture. Mr Colvin’s address is available in transcript and audio. Mandatory for any media  professional.

Is SOPA the end of the internet…?

If you use the interent any time during the day you may have seen the term SOPA pop up in news sites, social sites and blogs.

But what is it all about? This is the best explanation I’ve seen so far.


To say that SOPA could be the end of the internet is stretching the ideas of rational thinking, but it will be, if it passes the US House of Reps and Senate, and isn’t vetoed by President Obama, the end of the internet as we know it today. Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia could all be nothing but a memory or nothing like they are right now.

We all take the net for granted but it’s important to remember that the controlling organisation, ICANN, is overseen by the US Dept of Commerce and was created by US Dept of Defence’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), also the guys who first invested in Facebook, but that’s another story.

A bleep Victory for bleep Common bleep Sense

Recent bleep decision by the US Appeals Court that states bleep ‘fleeting expletive’ on live TV is NOT an bleep offence is a major slap in the bleep face for the very vocal, highly bleep visible, ultra bleep conservative, increasingly bleep minority, Christian bleep right wing movement of American politics. While this article focuses on the bleep impact upon bleep reality television the major impact is actually in the presentation of bleep live broadcast news. In debate speak, it’s not an bleep offence to broadcast a designated bleep expletive word.

The problem was dealt with extremely bleep well in the drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip when a fictitious TV broadcaster has a bleep massive fine levied against them by the bleep Federal bleep Communications bleep Commission because a bleep soldier swears while being interviewed under bleep fire in bleep Iraq.

The matter deals with the bleep right to free bleepbleep speech and thus the censorship of bleep news. It may seem minor on the bleep surface but has bleep massive implications for broadcast bleep media.

If we had the same bleep laws in bleep Australia, ABC2 wouldn’t have to bleep bleep out a lot of The Daily Show with John Stewart or The Colbert Report when replayed here. I’d bleep actually be bleep able to understand what the bleep they’re talking about instead of having all the gags punctuated by bleep bleep.