Flash and Hood and Media
Scott McCloud, a renowned comic book artist, always has all kinds of goodies at his website and blog, but I wanted to particularly point out the current Morning Improv: Mimi's Last Coffee
. The Morning Improv is whatever Mr. McCloud can draw in an hour each morning, and it usually goes in little series. This one is not so interesting for its content (I rather like the drawing style and rather don't like the plotting and characterization) but for its medium: an interactive Flash window that allows you to navigate different outcomes to the story. McCloud says it's called the Tarquin engine, code invented by D. Merlin Goodbrey
. I think it could be a useful device in nonfictional stories.
My sister Ruchira was hooded for her Ph.D. on Monday, and there was much rejoicing. I got to meet some of her professors, and hang out with her advisor Bernd's charming children. Talking with his daughter reminded me of how bright children often see things without assumptions, forcing you to reexamine yours.
In her new blog, Ruchira proposes that making political ads part of the FCC licenses
granted to TV and radio stations would both greatly reduce campaign spending and be in the interest of most corporations--excepting, of course, broadcast media. It's a good point that needs to be made over and over again--the public owns the airwaves, and the FCC should be acting as the guardian of the public's interest in them.
I quibble slightly with her using the monolithic term "media money" to describe an interest held quite specifically and only
by the broadcast media. Of course, conglomeration has united broadcast special interests with those of many print media companies. But strategic corporate decisions are often still made at the division level, and many great print organizations are still free of significant broadcast affiliation. The fact is that print media, especially magazines, see broadcast ads as eating into their adbase significantly and unfairly--tv ads aren't that effective, and because they're so expensive, they cause corporations to decrease spending on magazine ads. Back in April of 2001, Josh Gerstein, then the author of White House Wag for abcnews.com, wrote a column highlighting the fractured interests of "the media."
If you want to quash astronomical campaign spending by reducing the amount networks charge for campaign ads, you should factor the structure of "the media" into your political strategies.