Communication Leadership Blog
Public media junior staff question ability of senior managers to manage digital and social media platforms
WASHINGTON - Senior managers in U.S. public media and millennial junior staff members share almost identical visions of the transition from broadcasting to digital platforms over the next ten years, according to a new survey presented at today's CCLP forum here. But the same survey shows more than 40% of the younger staff members are not confident that senior managers know what they are doing in digital media.
The senior managers and junior staff were very close in their projections of the shift from broadcasting in 20132 to digital in 2023, "within a few percentage points" according to Mark Fuerst, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Current, which will publish the complete survey. (And you can see many of the results in the slide show here: Fuerst ppt FINAL.pdf.
But while senior managers judged themselves competent to manage digital media platforms by a marhgin of 69% to 9%, millennials were more skeptical: Asked whether their senior management was competent to manage digital media, millennials split evenly, 41% to 41% (see slide 43 of Fuerst's presentation).
Fuerst said some millennials were even uncomfortable taking the survey in their stations, preferring to participate from outside the office.
But PBS can already build on success, according to Tom Davidson, Senior Director of PBS Digital, who said more people visited PBS.org in April than any other broadcast web site. He also said PBSKids.org has been the most popular children's video web site for over a year. View the full PBS power point presentation by clicking through to following link: Davidson PBS ppt.pdf
Mark Stencel, Managing Editor for NPR Digital News, said the future of public media would increasingly value connecting with the people formerly called the audience. And he showed a picture of a typewriter used by longtime Washington Post political columnist David Broder, for two reasons: Stencel's first job at the Post was to change Broder's typewriter ribbon. But more important, said Stencel, was that Broder insisted on using that typewriter to reply, personally and individually, to each reader who sent him a letter. That is the spirit, according to Stencel, that must be embraced by public media. For the full presentation click through to the following link: Stencel NPR ppt.pdf
The forum was webcast live, and viewers sent numerous questions and comments. One asked for examples of stations that are examples of successful future-oriented management; forum participants around the table quickly named a dozen, including WNYC in New York, St. Louis public radio, Nashville public television, KPCC-FM in Los Angeles and WBEZ in Chicago
One of those stations was represented at the forum: Daniel Ash, Vice President of Strategic Communications at WBEZ Chicago Public Media described one innovation his station has launched to connect with the communities it serves. Dubbed Curious City, the initiative asks listeners to suggest stories the station should investigate - and then pairs them with the reporter assigned to pursue the investigation.
But public media looking for the key to better management may be ignoring one enormous asset they have had for decades. Vincent Curren, Executive Vice President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, noted that a majority of public radio stations and a quarter of public TV stations are owned by universities, many of which have business schools that teach... management.
At the invitation of Beijng's National Centre for the Performing Arts and sponsored in part by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Department of State, L.A. Theatre Works (LATW) returns to China in June, 2013 with CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan's riveting historical drama, Top Secret: The Battle for The Pentagon Papers. LATW toured China with Top Secret in 2011, playing to sold out houses of Chinese professionals and students.
CCLP has produced a series of educational conversations around these performances which can be found online at topsecretplay.org.
L.A. Theatre Works will be the first American theater company to perform at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China's leading performing arts center ("The Egg"). Additional tour venues include the Tianjin Grand Theater as well as major venues in Hangzhou, Suzhou, Chongqing and Fuling.
Due to its historic debut on June 4, 2013 the play is receiving national press reviews noting the significance of the content in juxtaposition with the location.
According to the Atlantic:
The play is scheduled for a three-night run at Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts in June, the first time any American play has appeared inside the grande dame of Chinese music and theater. It's also set for performances in Tianjin, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Fuling, and Chongqing.
Even more surprising is the fact that the play is back again in China, and this time it is being performed in Beijing at the National Center for the Performing Arts, which, just west of Tiananmen Square, is the most prestigious venue of its kind in China.
AMERICAN THEATER HITS BEIJING - CCTV News
Notably, the play is receiving positive reviews from audiences attending the performances via China's social media site Weibo. The following excerpts are translations from the site following the performances in the provinces of Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Tianjin.
"I watched the play Top Secret from Los Angeles Theater Works. There were only 13 actors and the stage property could not be simpler. However, it contains profound messages that are worth thinking."
"It's my first time to watch a play in English. I was able to skip the script screen and catch with the pace of the performance (since the script didn't follow the performance). The plot was compact and full of humor. The actors from those familiar TV series were terrific. It surprised me that I could watch it on the first floor even though my ticket was on the second."
"Yesterday, the artists from Los Angeles Theater Works gave us an amazing play, Top Secret: The Battle for The Pentagon Papers. It allowed the audience of Tianjin to have an opportunity to closely experience the American politics, media, law and culture. After the performance, the director, producing director and the actors answered the questions from the audience. The interaction was friendly and of high standard. It was impressive that the beautiful lady from the theater spoke perfect Chinese."
The play concludes it's run on June 10, 2013 at the Fuling Grand Theatre in Chongqing.
Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers in China is produced by L.A. Theatre Works and Ping Pong Productions (www.pingpongarts.org), whose mission is to promote cultural diplomacy through the performing arts.
Sponsors include the United States Embassy Beijing, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs-US Department of State including the Arts Envoy Program, Ford Foundation, China Southern Airlines Los Angeles Office and Marriott Hotels and Resorts, including the Imperial Mansion, Beijing-Marriott Executive Apartments; Renaissance Tianjin Lakeview Hotel; and JW Marriott Hotel Chongqing.
This blog and accompanying podcast first appeared on MPRnews.
This morning Minnesota public radio featured senior fellow Cinny Kennard expounding upon the relationship between newsroom cutbacks and journalistic errors. Listen to the full podcast here:
At a graduation speech at Quinnipiac University earlier this month, CBS anchor Scott Pelley said that journalists are "getting the big stories wrong, over and over again."
"In a world where everyone is a publisher, no one is an editor," Pelley charged. "And that is the danger that we face today. We have entered a time when a writer's first idea is his best idea. When the first thing a reporter hears is the first thing that she reports."
HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR CONVERSATION ON MEDIA MISTAKES:
On the relationship between newsroom cutbacks and errors:
Cynthia Kennard, USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy:
"Reporters and journalists have a whole new digital tool kit, so to speak, with two-way recorders, Skype, iPhones, cameras, etc. But the cutbacks, I think, in the resources needed to edit, to produce, to have assistance in checking the accuracy of facts in a very fast-moving situation -- they have declined immeasurably. And study after study has shown that's the case. It's no excuse for carelessness, it's no excuse for jumping the gun. But we have to put it in context, that this is not the same kind of newsroom, in a lot of ways, that we had even five years ago."
On the scoop mentality:
Jay Rosen, NYU and PressThink: "It's not only getting it right vs. getting it first, an age-old tension about which we cannot really say anything new or interesting. I think it's time journalists realized that their competition to be first -- the scoop -- fails to distinguish among types of scoops. We need news organizations to be competing to be first about news we don't know, news we wouldn't find out if they didn't dig it up. Whether someone has been arrested in the Boston Marathon is in fact a discovery that's going to come out. It's going to come out very easily, when someone announces it. And being first with news that is about to be announced is an ego scoop. What we need is journalists making more enterprise scoops, scoops we wouldn't have without their digging. The press hasn't quite realized that the ego scoop, being first with something that everybody was eventually going to know anyway, is essentially meaningless except for the inter-press rivalry, the fraternal rivalry among professional peers. And that attitude is costing them."
WASHINGTON - Successful deployment of soft power in the 21st century requires rethinking not only methods but also goals.
That was the message this week from Nicholas Cull, who spoke at a CCLP forum here this week. Cull, who directs the Masters Program in Public Diplomacy at USC, urged policy makers to shift from "winning hearts and minds" to a new framing, enabled and driven by social media.
"It is post-statecraft," said Cull. "It's not about 'hearts and minds.' It's about relationships."
And building relationships, Cull continued, does not mean winning or losing. People who are focused on winning in a relationship, he said, are usually people to be avoided.
Cull was in Washington to discuss his new book, "The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency: American Public Diplomacy, 1989-2001."
Under USIA, Cull argued, there were extremely creative uses of technology in diplomacy; after USIA was absorbed into the Department of State, he said, that creativity was stifled.
One example from the USIA era that he cited involved connecting the warring factions on the island of Cyprus. Eventually they could communicate using American digital technology, he said, but the communications had to be routed all the way to the U.S. for relay via a computer at the University of Maryland.
Once USIA was folded into the State Department - and had to use its computers - there was what Cull described as "a terrible struggle" to update the computer system.
"Why do we need to send video?" was one of the core questions asked by people in State. The answer, said Cull, was not only that video was crucial to public diplomacy: video also needed to be used every day.
Cull's remarks were at the monthly CCLP Washington DC lunch forum, presented in partnership with the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and the Public Diplomacy Council.
The next forum, on June 3rd, will be "All about eDiplomacy: from Tech Camps to the Virtual Foreign Service."
Zachary Katz, Chief of Staff of the Federal Communications Commission, has been appointed a Senior Fellow of the Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The appointment begins in July 2013 following his planned departure from the FCC after Chairman Julius Genachowski leaves the agency later this month.
As a senior fellow, Katz will help develop, lead and advise on programs and research projects related to broadband, mobile and media initiatives. He joins a distinguished group of CCLP senior fellows that include journalists and media executives such as Cinny Kennard, Adam Clayton Powell III and Narda Zacchino, authors and policymakers such as Dan Glickman, Richard Reeves and Morley Winograd and pioneering leadership scholar Warren Bennis, among others.
"I am excited to be joining USC Annenberg and contributing to the important work of its Center on Communication Leadership & Policy," Katz said. "I look forward to working with this outstanding community of leaders and scholars to help advance the power of communications technologies and media to serve the public interest."
"Zac Katz is a brilliant legal mind who has been engaged in many of the major communication policy debates of recent years," said Geoffrey Cowan, CCLP director, USC University Professor and president of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. "He brings a wealth of experience to our work in this area. I am delighted that he has agreed to serve as a senior fellow."
As FCC Chief of Staff, Katz manages the agency's policymaking and operations. He previously served as Chairman Julius Genachowski's Chief Counsel and led a number of high-priority initiatives, including protecting Internet openness and creating the Connect America Fund, the largest broadband infrastructure program ever established.
Katz joined the FCC in 2009 from the White House Counsel's Office and previously practiced law at Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles. Mr. Katz served as a law clerk for Judge Kim M. Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after receiving his law degree from Yale, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal and a leader of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. Before law school he worked with technology companies at a strategy consulting and investment firm in Silicon Valley.
"Technologies are being used by malicious actors to create illicit networks," CCLP research director Mark Latonero said at a first-of-its-kind symposium on addressing the needs of victims of child sex trafficking. "However," he continued, "the use of such tools leaves digital fingerprints which law enforcement can use to combat criminal activity such as domestic child sex trafficking."
Latonero presented research from the CCLP's groundbreaking initiative on Technology & Trafficking at the forum held on May 1-2, 2013 at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The symposium is part of a White House initiative and was hosted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Advisory Council on Child Trafficking (ACCT), and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program.
On May 1-2, 2013, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Advisory Council on Child Trafficking (ACCT) and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women will host a symposium to address the needs of victims of child sex trafficking. Research director Mark Latonero will highlight USC Annenberg's Center on Communication Leadership & Policies spearheading research initiative on Technology & Trafficking starting at 2:25 pm Eastern Time/11:15 am Pacific Time.
Watch the live webcast on the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health website by clicking here.
BEIJING -- Chinese online commerce is setting a new standard in convenience: tap your order on your mobile phone, and your merchandise is delivered to you within 60 minutes.
WASHINGTON - Chinese state television has embraced social media as a tool to expand its influence, according to its top consultant in the U.S.
Speaking at a CCLP forum here, Jim Laurie described CCTV's expansion into social networks. Laurie said 300 CCTV reporters worldwide will soon carry a unique app that, as soon as they file a report, simultaneously transmits versions to China's Weibo, which has 369 million users, and to its English-language Facebook and Twitter sites here in the U.S.
In 2011 and 2012 CCLP research director Mark Latonero published two pioneering reports on the role of technology in both facilitating and combatting human trafficking. The issue has been rising steadily on the agenda of policymakers and stakeholders in recent years. Most notably, President Obama and The White House have identified human trafficking as a high-priority human rights imperative, and have advocated specifically for the development of technologies to stop it. In order to facilitate the development of effective technological interventions that are responsive to the realities and complexities of human trafficking, CCLP has worked with partners including Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit and a number of leading academic institutions on a framing document for technologists.