Broadcasting to an Audience of... None?
Yesterday, I was invited to speak about Something to Be Desired (the web series I produce) at Point Park University. One of their broadcasting classes likes to invite local media creators to chat with the students during an informal luncheon, and help them understand what "working in the field" is really like. Since they thought STBD was a good example of a web success story, I was happy to share what I know (and admit what I don't).
The students were friendly and inquisitive, and lobbed several tough questions (beyond the obligatory "how do you make money" and "why are you still in Pittsburgh?"). I and STBD actor Will Guffey (Leo) gave them all the information we could, bored them with endless anecdotes about our "process," and did our best to demonstrate that our six year-old web media series is just as viable a communications option as... well, as a paying job...
Interestingly, when I asked the students what web TV shows they currently watch, or what podcasts they listen to, they told us they watch very little -- mostly existing TV shows that they didn't have time to watch during the week. None of them subscribed to any shows, and they didn't download them to watch on a mobile device, either -- even though several of them had video-enabled iPods.
Then one of the students asked if either of us blog, and then she asked why ANYONE would blog, or why anyone would take bloggers seriously. Admittedly, this is not an easily-answered question, especially in light of chicanery like the (false) CNN iReports of Steve Jobs's heart attack. But, more importantly, even asking this question proves that journalism and broadcast students (or their professors) are highly suspicious of "new" media -- and why shouldn't they be?
So... if the future broadcasters of America aren't watching web media... who is?
And... if web media is not being taught as a viable option in most broadcasting classes... why?
(I think I know, and it has to do with "credibility," "economy" and "job security." What are YOUR thoughts?)
Photo by digitalvisions.