Table Of Recent M.E. Content

The inner workings of www distributed reader generated content (WDRGC) demand that everything is published in reverse chronological order and kept thus with standardly day based archive calender accesss (DBACA) added by the blogging or group software used.
While this is somewhat contrary to the hypertext structure assumed it caters pretty well to the generally alleged loss of attention span duration. Nevertheless, with linear logic only half but not yet quite obsolete in the field of debate in a somehow "scientific" paradigm, it can still be of benefit to forwardly read or watch serial stuff.
So for the benefit of the old-fashioned forward-progress oriented readership (OFFPOR) the tiny staff has prepared this little overview of the recent tiny implements for the incidental little recent topic here.

Media, Hot & Cool - The Origins
Media, Hot & Cool - Application of Hot and Cool
Media, Hot & Cool - Provisional Definitions
Media, Hot & Cool - Outline of Term Media
Media, Hot & Cool - Terms High and Low Definition

Why Is The Media Industry so Confused?

plink, nix,    praise or blame!

Lobbies als Medien

Seit seiner Novellierung im Jahr 2010 heißt der zentrale öffentliche Auftrag des österreichischen Rundfunks nicht mehr "Programmauftrag" wie früher, sondern "öffentlich-rechtlicher Kernauftrag". So viel nur zur Einleitung.

Independence of Broadcasting, Global Effort

Besonders lustig am "Ö-R Kernauftrag" ist, dass seinAbsatz (6), der eine Definition der dem ORF bereits im existenzbegründenden §1. Absatz (3) eingeschriebenen und später in §32.(1) nochmals ausgeführten Unabhängigkeit*) durch eine syntaktische Implikation politische und wirtschaftliche Lobbies zu Medien macht. Und das geht so:

§4. (6) ... Unabhängigkeit bedeutet Unabhängigkeit von Staats- und Parteieinfluss, aber auch Unabhängigkeit von anderen Medien, seien es elektronische oder Printmedien, oder seien es politische oder wirtschaftliche Lobbys.

Dass Medien Lobbies sind, wussten wir, aber dass Lobbies auch Medien sind, das muss man nun echt als guten Beitrag des BKA zur medienökologischen Wissenschaft loben. Das ist nicht die einzige Stelle des ORF-G-2010, an der die Tücken von Syntax und Semantik den Juristen des Bundeskanzleramtes nur scheinbar einen Streich gespielt, aber eigentlich zur Wahrheitsfindung beigetragen haben.

Und so muss diese Redaktion hier auch einmal klar und deutlich sagen, dass im Sinne von uns befürworteten, ja geforderten Entwicklung einer ordentlichen, wissenschaftlich begründeten Medienökologie, oft zu wenig beachtete Institutionen wie das BKA mehr als einmal wertvolle Beiträge leisten, und wir dankbar dafür sind. Überhaupt sind die besser als viele glauben, diese Juristen nämlich. Und das ist nicht ironisch gemeint!

A Simple Model of Lobbying

Die Wege des Universums sind unergründlich und seine Mühlen mahlen langsam.

* Nur damit da kein Missverständnis entsteht:

Das Bundesverfassungsgesetz über die Sicherung des unabhängigen Rundfunks besteht aus 2 Artikeln. Der erste davon aus 3 Absätzen und der zweite aus einem Satz, welcher die Bundesregierung mit der Vollziehung beauftragt. Absatz 1 sagt, was Rundfunk ist, Absatz 2 definiert, dass er durch ein Bundesgesetz zur regeln ist und dass dieses u.a. Bestimmungen zur Gewährleistung der Unabhängigkeit der Personen, die mit den Aufgaben des Rundfunks betraut sind, enthalten muss.

Das ist die berühmte verfassungsrechtliche Absicherung der Unabhängigkeit des Rundfunks, seiner Personen und Organe. Absatz 3 legt dann noch fest, dass Rundfunk eine öffentliche Aufgabe ist.

Ebenso klar sollte sein, dass dieses Verfassungsgesetz nicht vom berühmten Volksbegehren und seinem Helden Hugo Portisch, auch nicht von der Regierung Josef Klaus, der wir wohl den Besuch des Gymnasiums verdanken, herrührt, auch nicht vom Stachel im Fleisch dieser Regierung, Gerd Bacher. Nein dieses Verfassungsgesetz verdanken wir dem von der Regierung Bruno Kreisky beherrschten Parlament.

plink, ,    

Why Is The Media Industry so Confused?

Our main hypotheses are

Why and how did the Media Industry live so well if their Business Model is Flawed

From the invention of the mass newspaper in the 19th century to the rise of film, comic strip and radio in the 1920s and 1930s and to the long rise and global dominance of television the media industries have been a glamorous, attractive and rich branch of business. Most everybody wanted to be friends with them, many dreamed of being a part. Writers, photographers and camera operators seemed to be able to make and unmake presidents. Without an image in the media no significance seemed possible anymore in our world. Philosophers already speculated if the real world were not already more of a reflection of the media than the other way round.

And though the media industries’ turf - in terms of manpower and gross revenue - might always have been an order or two of magnitude smaller than say that of telecommunications or energy this restriction only seemed to further contribute to its glory. How could all of this be?

All of this growth, money and glory became possible because certain aspects of human culture and a set of intrinsic attributes in analog electronics reliably prevented a normal level of competition for media. The media industry could exist and thrive with an uncommonly low level of competition and critical comparison for more than one hundred years.

Do not get us wrong. There was a lot of fierce competition inside the media industry. People competed with other people. News shows, soaps, dramas and news papers in one market might compete really hard and every morning or night for their audiences. This might even give executives, producers and their teams the feeling that they had to compete harder than most anybody else. But still, it was not a league of 20 competing teams with leagues of hundreds below them. On a systemic level competition was very much limited to a few players and even the loser got a huge prize. Everybody in the industry was in finals all the time.

Cost Structures

The dual leverage of overall cost (in news gathering mainly) combined with the curiosity set of average audiences (always slightly more local than global) helped the print-media to rule and maintain geographically segmented markets to this very day. From the beginning print media were closely associated with the nation states and their political elites. Every modern state has forced postal and telecommunications monopolies (regardless of their being state or market monopolies) to subsidize the transport of physical and electronic media by not charging full market prices for their transport. Biology and education led to the fact that even during the climax of nationalism nationwide print media commanded only a part of the possible audience even at their apex from 1920 to 1960. But contrary to nearly all other commodities regional and local market niches remained intact and profitable for a long time for at regional newspapers and radio programs.

Film and television production costs forced somewhat larger market segmentations. But language and culture provided new “natural” boundaries. And while government institutions and agencies all over the western world strived hard to keep junks of this business at the regional and local levels, for the longest time the most important market demarcations of electronic media coincided with the boundaries of nation states.

Even in the USA which span half a continent and where both radio and television by legal design and market structure started as a local business, national networks formed faster than you could look. The scarcity of usable analog spectrum bands contributed very much to this stable trend of segmented markets and oligopolies. As far as we can see, until a short while ago the media industry has remained successful in instituting stable geographical and material market segmentations and the corresponding political protectionism like only few other professions and businesses have.

Branding and Advertisement

The second factor that made media shine for so long is based on yet another innovation of capitalism. Since the American economy brought forth the idea of the branded mass consumer good, demand for advertisement did nothing but steadily rise. The long lead the United States of America had in this strain of human development allowed their federation to abstain from collecting a fee for the passive and some active usages of the invisible electronic spectrum. It also allowed smart business people to create the illusion that a “free as in free beer” product was a feasible economic reality. While the UK introduced a dual television market in the late fifties audiences on the western half of the continent had to wait longer. When the television advertisement and consumer brand markets of old Europe had matured enough, which seems to have been the case in about 1980, “free to air” was was broadly introduced in the larger nations here. It took the small and the soviet dominated countries at least ten years to become able to support their own privately held TV companies.

Digitization perforates old boundaries

In the mean time digital technology had advanced enough to begin with the computerization of nearly all aspects of media production and distribution.

Digitization has begun and continued to tear down all “natural” boundaries that kept the segmentations intact and helped to hold the systemic levels of competition low. Suddenly spectrum is not scarce anymore and cheap satellite and cable channels abound. Suddenly businesses that once where firmly separated by distribution form (print/text and electronic/audiovisual) find themselves competing with similar products for the same audiences. Suddenly all sorts of players without national licenses and approbation from national political and economical elites can enter the field through the internet. And the first glimpse of bandwidth abundance shines its ugly spotlight on a future where universal competition will rule and niches will become what they are in other fields of activity, small and tight.

Media companies and their employees are not used to competition from non and new professionals and amateurs. They never knew that the sum of other peoples' faces and speeches always commanded more attention than theirs. But now that fact becomes visible.

A few segments aside competition for them takes place when they try to enter the business and then against a few well known colleagues. Once you had landed a job in the racket you was an artist or a humanist. Competition was down to haggling with colleagues for the next higher post tonights rightings. You never once thought you had to work that hard again in your life. Even less did you do so when you had inherited that entrance in one or the other way, all further life was to be mostly fun and importance and a few hard and quick runs.

Dazed and Confused

But now it all changes. The threshold costs to entering media markets are almost down to zero and myriad players at all levels arrive. All bets are off and old rules do not apply universally any more. Most people have high definition video cameras in their cellphones. Everybody can publish their observations and opinions on many platforms to many "friends".

Nearly everybody in the media industry complains about these Facebook and Google and at the same time nearly everybody cooperates and submits to them. At conferences and in speeches old media gurus talk about quality and orientation, double check of sources and the like.

At the same time, when it would matter, as events happen, traditional media compete hard and often on one lever with individuals and sacrifice all alleged virtues for speed and emotion. Cool thinking and coherent strategy based on scientific analysis have given way to confused tactical distributed action.

Some of the old players are still very well equipped to succeed in partial games. As the new rules got that talent benefits them but far less the companies they work for. Everything gets muddled up. Well paid jobs do not seem to be secure anymore. People talk about disruptive innovation but the only thing they know is that there seem to be new "digital" recipes for success in terms of money, value and recognition. Hard times for defenders of legacy.

Important Addendum on Competition

It should be stressed once more that some of the employees in the media industry are exposed to utmost competition. For producers of daily programs in direct time slot competion to similar offers of other players in the same market segment hard competition can be a daily experience. They get their ratings every day and every minute. "Playing a final" every day and not every month or year can be very taxing.

We uphold though, that the companies viewed as systems are not used to regular competition from many competitors and also that the mentioned murderous competitive impulses are mostly perceived theorized in a completely wrong way.

plink, nix,    praise or blame!

From Human Gatekeepers To Algorithmic Ones

You might have read that interview with Anthony D. Williams on or you might not have. You might also have watched Eli Pariser's embedded TED Talk "Beware online "filter bubbles".
The interview is rubbish but as that talk is well worth watching in its full length, her it is again for all who missed. We do not agree with all of what Mr. Pariser says in that speech but with the larger parter of it. This is exactly why for all of these 14 years since 1997 we have consistently and adamantly resisted the idea of offering personalized news media. Personalizing is for the person who does it anyway and routinely, but not for the provider to offer.

And the thing is, that the algorithms don't yet have the kind of embedded ethics that the editors did. Well maybe it is slowly becoming true that they did and do not anymore. But then, on the other hand, we wish everybody lots of fun while coding the embedded ethics into the algorithms. Take care though, we won't accept proprietary embedded ethics just open readable source ones.

plink, 4 comments,    praise or blame!

Media, Hot and Cool, Episode IV - Terms High and Low Definition

While we have already determined that "hot & cool" - in this pair and application - stem from talking, writing and argueing about afroamerican jazz music, we still have to look at the terms of high and low definition as well as those of participation and completion.
Obviously our Professor McLuhan, like any academic maverick, would naturally feel the urgent need to back up his "probes" by binding them down to the imaginary worlds of the more respected natural and social sciences by using such terms (definition, participation, completion, ...) to provide the rational reasoning, so coveted by academia since the old Greeks, influenced by writing vowels, getting too much sun and too much spear training, invented it.
First, about definition
Being lazy guys here in Jamaica and most of the time, for easy questions we just ask the n° 1 mainstream public wisdom collection:

819 lignes HDTV

Historically, the term high-definition television was first used to refer to television standards developed in the 1930s to replace early experimental systems with as few as 12 lines. Not long afterwards John Logie Baird, Philo T. Farnsworth, and Vladimir Zworykin had each developed competing TV systems, but resolution was not the issue that separated their substantially different technologies, it was patent interference lawsuits and deployment issues given the tumultuous financial climate of the late '20s and '30s.
The British 405-line system was the first to advertise itself as high definition and see widespread use. Most patents were expiring by the end of World War II leaving the market wide open and no worldwide standard for television agreed upon. The standards introduced in the early 1950s stayed for over half a century.

Rather lower definition

Now, if we believe this jedi archive and compare this to the tight binding and high popularity the concepts of high and low definitions have with television, at least provisionally we can take that description for granted. Taking into account how badly both HD audio and HD radio flopped, still inclines us further towards persuasion that the opposition of HD/LD ought to be applied to TV, mainly. LD of course is called SD in our positive times, unless you like to be a history buff and still want to call 12 lines television LD and think that PAL, NTSC and SECAM provide wholly statisfactory standards.
We would still have to mention that the original French system offered a black and white 819 lines system from 1949 to 1984 which probably gave rise to ideas of HD definition, having 12.5% more vertical resolution than modernday 720p HDTV.
A good 35mm negative has a vertical resolution of up to 3000 lines while NTSC in NA has one of 525 lines - theoretically. We so constate that Mr. McLuhan was entitled to relatively oppose TV and film as low and high def.
We will look at the concept of single channel fill-up and the task of applying this very discrimination to text, audio and other media as well as to comparing different media to each other in a minute - or so.

plink, nix,    praise or blame!

last updated: 25.02.17 16:26

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