How to Stay Composed During Contentious TV Interviews

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NOTE: Brad Phillips was a Producer for CNN’s The Capital Gang from 2000-2001.

Robert Novak’s meltdown on CNN’s Inside Politics was predictable, perhaps. After all, he’s spent the past two years fending off growing public criticism for his role in the Valerie Plame leak investigation and has watched helplessly from the sidelines as his media brethren have turned an increasingly scornful eye at his silence. If there’s one thing “old school” reporters like Mr. Novak can’t stand, it’s being part of a story they’re supposed to be covering.

But when he swore after James Carville’s mild provocations and stormed off the set, it was a complete surprise. I ought to know. I used to be Robert Novak’s producer.

Within hours of his outburst, more than 300 news stories – from as far away as Russia, India and South Africa – had already appeared about the incident. With each story, you could faintly hear the echo of liberal commentators uncorking bottles of champagne. Media darling Jon Stewart went so far as to rub his nipples with delight on The Daily Show.

It’s an unsurprising case of schadenfreude, perhaps, since Novak has spent years mocking politicians who self destruct on camera. In early 2004, for example, he wrote about Howard Dean that, “Being overworked is a poor excuse for Dean’s gaffes.”

Robert Novak just had his Dean scream moment.

He’s not alone.

Today, as a full-time media trainer, I see spokespeople from across the nation embarrassing themselves unnecessarily. One recent client, a high-ranking city official, also ripped off his lapel microphone and stormed out of an interview only to see the clip used for seven straight days on the local news.

But the job of a journalist – particularly a television journalist – is to elicit drama. By pairing conservative vs. liberal, the entire construct of the show is intended to create a fiery debate, excluding most of the nuanced views that could lead to a thoughtful conversation. Although CNN’s “Crossfire” may officially be canceled, the left-right debate format is here to stay. I often advise clients to avoid appearing on those programs altogether and to seek a more substantive venue instead.

In many other cases, like that of the city official, viewers will never see the questions posed by a reporter. These “bites” interviews allow a reporter to ask leading, obnoxious, and downright insulting questions, but if the spokesperson loses control and gets angry, that’s all viewers will ever see.

So how can a high-profile spokesperson stay in control during an interview? First, remember the “Seven Second Stray.” Being on message most of the time isn’t good enough. Those seven seconds during an hour-long interview when you respond angrily or say something flip or sarcastic is guaranteed to be included in the segment, and will likely be played over and over again. Novak’s entire incident lasted just 11 seconds.

Second, think out what your response will be to an unexpected antagonistic comment in advance. Practice with someone who knows you well – your spouse, perhaps – and ask them to criticize you in a way they just know will get under your skin. Stay calm during your response, and choose your words carefully. It may make for an awkward dinner with one another, but the practice will help prevent self immolation when you’re on live television.

Third, monitor your non-verbals. Studies show that more than half of the way people perceive you is based not on what you say (or don’t say), but on how you look. If you successfully restrain yourself from making a sarcastic remark but your eyes, face, or body betray your true feelings, viewers will notice.

Mr. Novak’s fate is still uncertain. But just like Janet’s Super Bowl flash, President Clinton’s finger wag and the Dean Scream, Mr. Novak’s walk-off is destined to become a remembered pop culture moment.

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Common Reasons Why a Customer Needs Cable TV

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Every person in the world loves to watch cable TV as much as they want. Cable television is one of the reasons why an individual loves to stay at home instead of going to the malls and spend lots of money to buy items. Cable television was purely designed for home entertainment, which the viewers can watch their own favorite shows in many channels compared to a local TV. In the US, there are lots of cable TV providers for you to choose which of them are best in rendering services and packages to their customers. You can compare them if you want to, but there are specific reasons why a customer like you needs cable TV. These reasons are very common to all of us, and here they are:

1. Free from boredom. When they stick to local TV, they can only watch limited channels in their area by the use of antenna. Sometimes, you need to adjust your antenna if your TV’s reception is too ugly. It is either you will adjust the antenna of your TV, or you adjust the main antenna outside which transmits the signal of the local channels. It makes you feel bored by just sticking to this. But if you are subscribing with a cable TV package with lots of local and international channels, there is no chance that you will be bored in watching TV.

2. Lots of channels to choose from. As what we have mentioned on the first reason, cable television has lots of channels for their subscribers. But not all channels in the world are included in any cable service provider, at least the viewers will be happy on watching their favorite shows all day and night. If we compare a local TV with limited channels to cable TV, we can say that it is better to subscribe with any cable television package offered by your cable service provider.

3. No antenna needed for reception problems. If local TV’s has problems with their reception, the users need to adjust the antenna either on their TV or at the roof where the signal is transmitted. This is very difficult for users if they stick to local television. But if they subscribe with their cable TV provider, there is no need for them to use the antenna. The cable TV is now plugged with a cable cord that was installed by their cable service provider, which connects them from their TV to their provider. The provider has their own huge antenna that transmits all cable channels to all subscribers who are connected with their cable cord. If there are problems with the reception, they can easily complain to their provider through phone call or direct approach for them to fix the reception.

Through the reasons mentioned above, the customer has shown interests on subscribing with their cable television provider. They need cable TV badly, because there are lots of entertainment that awaits them to watch with their own eyes. Cable TV is a true entertainment to all of us, and it is one of your TV’s missing piece of the puzzle.

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Live TV – Watch it Over the Internet

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We all love watching live TV broadcasts. But have you ever thought of enjoying TV through other forms? What are the choices? Number one: you can watch your favorite TV shows over the television, be it a flat-screen TV, or LCD. Number two: you can watch TV over the Internet. Yes, today it’s possible.

TV on PC – Imagine watching TV shows on your personal computer, or better yet, watching TV shows on your laptop. That’s portable TV! Now, you don’t have to grumble and complain about missing the morning news on your way to work. You can actually take it with you!

Just imagine the possibilities. And, that’s not even the best part yet. By watching live TV through your computer, you can take advantage of the many benefits of satellite TV for PC. This article will give you some of the benefits of Internet TV that will surely interest you.

No subscription fees!

Yes, no more monthly subscription fees. Getting a satellite or cable TV service would usually mean an installation fee and a subscription fee that you have to pay for every month. With Internet TV, you only pay for a one-time, small setup fee and then you can enjoy full service. You wouldn’t pay for recurring fees or any form of monthly subscription fees anymore. Just imagine how much you could save over the years from those monthly cable and satellite subscription bills?

Assortment of Channels

With Internet TV, you get lots of channels. In fact, you can get up to 3,000 plus TV stations from over 70 countries worldwide. With that large number, you have a wide selection of what to watch – sports, movies, shopping, music, news, weather, politics, religion, education, kid’s stations, and even premium channels that would usually cost you a lot money just to watch. You also get to watch local, regional, and national broadcast so you can really get in tune with the rest of the world. If you’re originally from Japan and migrated to the US, then you can cure your homesickness by tuning in to your favorite Japanese TV station.

Why You Should Try It

It’s really easy. If you want to be one of the several who are now enjoying TV on their computers, then all you have to do is download an Internet TV software. Once you pay for it and the payment is received, you are then directed to a downloading Web site where you can get the software. Download it, follow instructions, and enjoy full service within a matter of seconds. The software is compatible with all Windows versions and is very easy to use.

Basically, that’s all you need. You wouldn’t have to get additional hardware or a TV card. There’s even no need for a satellite dish or receiver. All you need to have is a computer, an Internet connection, and the software! And then, you get to enjoy TV on your computer.

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Connecting Television to Internet Videos

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YouTube videos have created a revolution on the Internet. The only disadvantage is perhaps the lack of public viewer ship of the Internet in comparison with Television and the lack of censored videos. TV still remains the most popular medium. Internet is far from being used by a majority of the population. An average house hold has a television, but does not have access to the Internet.

The time has come to connect these two mediums. There has been some technology that has been developed to connect the medium of television to the medium of Internet. Since this has been done we can see the commercialization of services that play videos without copyright violations on Television.

The advantages are enormous. The cable operators can choose from a high volume collection of videos, snippets and movies. Caution must be exercised to choose censored material that is without adult content and other provocative material.

However it may be possible for a team of Internet technicians to search the Internet for high quality videos. These can be uploaded on to a few servers. These servers can be made accessible to the Cable TV operators. Technology can be developed to receive TV specific Internet pages on Television.

There can be a show that hosts the best of you tube and the Internet to the world of TV audience. Also there can be an on demand service of you tube requests that can be streamed continuously to TV audiences. So what are we waiting for, let us catch the next Best of you tube on TV!

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TV Psychics And Mediums

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There are innate difficulties in proving the existence of the ‘after life’ or the spirit world; some people ardently believe that there is life after death and that they are a channel or link from earthly life to this strange, unproven world.

But, at the opposite end of the scale are those people who believe that it is all fake; the soul departs a dead body, they cannot explain where it goes or why, believing that psychics are preying on vulnerable people.

There is nowhere that this debate is more hotly pursued than in the realm of TV psychics – are they true? Is it all camera trickery? Ear pieces and information about people must surely be sourced and passed to the ‘entertainer’? Is it as simple as this?

TV psychics – entertainers or real psychics?

Let’s be honest; those people who are self-employed, whether that is as medium, fortune teller or local plumber, you need a certain sense of the commercial world you operate in. It is no different for a celebrity psychic, looking to spread their talent and keep the bank balance healthy.

However, let us not take a mercenary turn, where we label all TV psychics are people seeking their fortune at the expense of others; for many genuine mediums and spiritualists operating in this way, this is not the case. There is a very real need and concern to spread the message from the other side to the people who need to receive them.

Fake?

There is a process called cold reading, and involves a subtle trickery that many people are not wise too until the moment has passed. It is the power of suggestion and, with practice, anyone can do it. A client or member of the audience may be asked what their worry is; “my job”, they may reply. From this, the medium can create a whole set of scenarios or situations and the audience member could agree, or give off other signals, cleverly read and used to form the twists and turns of the conversation.

Do all TV psychics operate this way?

No, for genuine mediums will receive a bundle of information, if you like, within their mind, none of which will make instant sense. Those people seeking arguments to debunk mediums as genuine tend to focus on this lack of clarity as a way of proving it is all entertainment. Surely, they say, if a loved one was coming through they would say a password or give their name, or some other titbit of information that would make them instantly recognisable?

But earthly life is not simple is it? Full of misunderstanding and conflicting information, we do not live in a world that is simple, expecting the afterlife to be ordered and sensible seems at odds when you consider the perpetual confusion of earthly existence.

And so…

TV psychics, along with others who ‘perform’ to mass audiences are complex characters, some using their ability and skill in a positive way to enhance the understanding of the afterlife but others, take advantage, with one eye on the monetary prize… you decide – fake or real?

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New Media Innovations Worth Checking Into

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You have no doubt heard of blu ray and know that it was was designed to supersede the standard DVD. Blu ray media is advancing by leaps and bounds and the name itself comes from the blue-violet laser that is used to read the disc. Blu ray employs a shorter wavelength laser than what is used on the DVD format, and it allows for almost six times more storage capacity than a DVD. Blank bluray discs are available in single, 25GB and dual layer 50GB formats. If you have paid hundreds of dollars for a big LCD, plasma or widescreen HDTV, then you should get all you can out of that purchase. Unfortunately, the standard DVD player cannot do these sets justice, but blu ray media does. The main advantage of blu ray media is the playback quality. Blu ray plays video in HD at a much higher resolution than a standard DVD. With blu ray you get enhanced special features and more intense movie experiences.

Another great development is lightscribe media. This is an optical disc recording technology that uses recordable CD and DVD media to produce labels that are etched with a laser to produce text and graphics. This makes stick-on labels and printable discs obsolete. The advantage to lightscribe is that it allows you to create direct labels to your discs using an optical disc writer. It does require that you use special discs designed for this purpose as well as a disc writer. Once you have burned your data to the read-side of the disc, you need to just flip it over and insert it. The laser will etch into the label side so that it produces an image. You must take some special storage precautions so that the lightscribe discs do not fade. This includes using polypropylene disc sleeves and you must store the discs in a cool and dark place.

A thermal CD printer is another great innovation that is ideal for the home or the office. A thermal CD printer is an affordable CD printer that uses heat to transfer the print to the surface of the disc. This is done by putting a thin ribbon of film between the disc and the print head. This type of CD printer is faster than other CD printing technologies and the print is long lasting and it does cost much to operate.

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All Media Is Fiction

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All media is fiction. Every thing you see, hear and read, in print and on any screen anywhere is a fabrication that has been altered, edited, censored, and pointed towards a preconceived agenda. It is not true, it is not real, it is not the whole story by any stretch of the imagination-which it is, but it’s not really anyone’s imagination either.

It is a corporate product; a mind game conceived of by faceless committees meant to dupe anyone within view or earshot into complacent consumerism. It is calculated manipulation with no genuine content that can remotely be thought of as the truth. It only appears real after it has been focus grouped and cut to fit commercial standards, no matter how amateurish or incompetent the final results appear. It has been approved-and that alone determines it as fake.

From cartoons to pornography, from news to soap operas, to game shows and antacid commercials, it is all contrivance. You will never see anything truthful or even factual in the media. Even the weather is approximate. The weather is taped. File footage is not news. The latest trend is ‘reality’ TV not ‘truthful’ TV. There is no one in the media or Hollywood interested in the truth, regardless of being ‘breaking news’ or ‘based on a true story’. Truth is simply one buzzword among many used to conceal and distort reality.

By its very definition media cannot depict reality because media is not real. At its best it resembles the most pedestrian dinner theater; at its worst, it simply is what it is, a transmitter and signal. It is not a mirror, though it uses mirrors, lenses, cameras, tape, film, lights, overrated actors, make up, under appreciated writers, whatever. The fact is so obvious that making the very point becomes painfully tedious-and moot, since for all of the interactive, real time, ripped from the headlines, video game chat rooms, no one seems to care one bit. The entire investment is in making the delusions of others tangible in one’s own life. One must believe what one is fed through the media, or else…or else what?

Let me give an example. War. War is not real for you and me but it is for the people in a war zone. When we turn off the set or change the channel, all of that suddenly disappears. Reality does not suddenly disappear. If you’re of a certain age you remember what TV looked like before black people existed. If you’re of another age you remember what MTV looked like before black people existed. I suppose if you’re even older you remember what war looked like before black people existed. That was a long time ago, but my point is this; war looks like whatever the media tells you it looks like and that is war. Nowadays war looks like a video game, except, of course, to the people in the war.

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The World On-Demand Service

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World-On-Demand (the leading platform of the The New Media Group) is a network neutral “power-play” IPTV service based in Japan and available across the Asia-Pacific region. Bringing together the best of international television and film to users on demand, it provides a full range of channels and networks for viewing on television sets, PC’s and soon Japanese based mobile phones.

World-On-Demand was launched to bring greater diversity to the Japanese media marketplace by specializing in handling internet television from a diverse and international perspective. Initial reaction by the industry was positive and since its launch the service has added many of the world’s major television networks to its service, along with expanded distribution in Australia, Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere. Although there was some criticism that The New Media Group was entering a competitive market, its unique positioning allowed the company to target a greater diversity of interest groups and communities.

A single subscription allows users to view their chosen channels and video content through their TV’s, PC’s and Mobile phones whenever they choose. Functionality includes browsing for favourite channels across an easy-to-use web or screen interface, swift access to hundreds of the most current and popular television shows in the world and regular updates as to when new shows and viewing options are available.

World-On-Demand also offers online social networking features known as My world communities, allowing users to discuss, share and post comments on tv shows while building online communities based on their shared interests.

Content

Members of World-On-Demand are offered to be a part of communities called “My” that make their viewing more distinctive. Communities come to the World On-Demand to interact, within an online space that World-On-Demand has created to personalize the way people watch major media, altering the one-size fits all approach of tradition broadcasting means.

World-On-Demand carries channels from well-known networks such as FOX, Star TV, TV5Monde, Deutsche Welle, National Geographic, EuroNews, EuroSport, MTV, FCTV, Al Jazeera, VOA and more. By working with partners from every country in the world the service has greater power at serving more community groups and more interest areas and ensures that it reaches them by running neutral to one particular internet service provider or telephone network.

Sports

World-On-Demand has a diverse portfolio of sports rights covering major events in Football, Cricket and more. World-On-Demand includes a mixture of live events and highlights coverage that is picked up from specialist sports channels based in a number of nations.

In addition to the sports above, World-On-Demand is building a broader collection of alternative interest for adrenaline junkies and fans of extreme sporting events.

World-On-Demand intends to encourage a strong following of customers who aim to see their favorite events in different languages, or want quick and easy access to sporting events that are not usually covered in the local mainstream media. For example somebody living in Japan can gain access to international cricket events through Indian, Australian or British TV coverage without having to wait for late and toned down distribution in the Japanese media.

Education

Specialist education packs are offered to language learners and students studying foreign languages. The packs combine powerful elearning tools with television and video content direct from a country’s most popular channels to act as one combined access point to a new culture.

Other Communities groups served include:

Action

Adventure

Business

Cooking

Dance

Drama

General Interest

National channels

Lifestyle

Nature

News and Documentaries

Religion

Travel

Technology

World-On-Demand requires a minimum broadband connection of 4Mbit and Flash 8 or above on either Internet Explorer 6.0+ or Firefox 2.0+. A set-top-box supplied directly by the company is needed for TV viewing.

History

World-On-Demand is owned and operated by The New Media Group, a company founded by ex-employees of media and media financing firms from the US and Asia-Pacific. The New Media group also owns a variety of other new media products and companies, including Media Pay, Dynamobile CMS, Intelligent Ad Delivery and Factor Moble, K.K., all based in Tokyo, Japan.

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How to Get Local TV to Cover Your Event

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Holding a press event is a tricky thing. It can generate great media coverage and public exposure, but you also run the risk of throwing a party where no one shows up.

If the key to your event is getting press to come, then you need to be able to get their interest and participation. That’s why I’ve jotted down the following tips to help you get the word out to the press in a way that will give you a high percentage shot at having them attend.

Writing Media Alerts

Getting a television crew to your event requires some finesse, and the format of the pitch is different than that of a press release. A media alert is the appropriate tool which gives a TV producer or assignment desk editor all the information they need to decide on whether the event you’re holding is of interest to them. Write the media alert in five sections: Who, What, When, Where and Visuals.

  • Who: Name your company and any key executives or dignitaries who might be in attendance. Include only those who will be available to speak on camera.
  • What: What is the announcement or the reason for the event? Include all material you consider news.
  • When: Make certain to include the date and time of the event, and how long it will run. Also include the schedules of any on-camera spokespeople, and if they will be available before the event.
  • Where: This is key. You need to include an address, directions, and a link for Google Maps or MapQuest if you can. Getting a reporter or a crew to an event can be won or lost in how well you direct them there. If security personnel will be at the event or venue, make sure they know the media might be coming.
  • Visuals: TV is a visual medium, so make sure you have something for the cameras to shoot. Talking heads does not a press event make. Have demos, graphs, lots of people around, so they’ll have something other than an executive in a suit to shoot.

Timing the Delivery of Your Media Alert

To get a television crew at your event, you should follow these instructions precisely, to ensure the highest level of communication possible without annoying the producers and assignment editors.

  1. First, send the media alert out two weeks prior to the event. Then, one week prior. Then send it to them each of the three days just before the event. The reason for this is that there are different desk editors on different days and different shifts, and they delete all their emails frequently to make room for new alerts.
  2. Two days before the event, call the assignment desks at all the TV stations you want to cover your event. Ask them if they received your alert – they’ll say no. That’s okay. If it doesn’t grab them right away, they’ll toss it. Send it again, and then call him back immediately afterward, and pitch your event. They’ll give you instructions on how to proceed, which will usually include them asking you to call the morning of the event. That’s okay – you’re going to do that anyway.
  3. Call on the morning of your event. By now, they know your event, and they know who you are. If your event is interesting enough for them, they’ll tell you. If your event is on a Saturday or Sunday, please be advised that most TV stations only have one crew on duty on the weekends. They’ll be stretched thin, so you reduce your chances for success with weekend events.

Use the right tools, making sure the producers and assignment desk editors are fully informed, but do it in a professional way so as not to drive them crazy, and you’ll have a much better shot at getting coverage for your event.

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What Is Social TV?

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What is Social TV?

Social TV is the act of using social media apps such as Twitter and Facebook on a ‘second screen’ namely a smart-phone or tablet, to comment on TV programs before, after or during the transmission.

In 2010 Social TV was named as one of the ten most important emerging technologies in the MIT Technology Review, the following year it was followed up by a report on Social TV analytics and how the information gathered can be utilised in marketing campaigns.

Social TV, especially the analytics side of it, is driven mainly by Twitter and the frequency of ‘Tweets’ before, during and after a television programme has finished.

Although other social media channels are incorporated, currently Tweets volumes are the metrics of choice when measuring the popularity and opinion of the programmes.

Second Screen

A ‘Second screen’ or ‘companion device’ refers to the smart-phone, or tablet that most people now usually have close by and ready to use whilst watching a TV programme.

Whilst watching the programme the viewer will check social media channels, mainly Twitter, to see what there friends or the celebrities they are following are saying about that programme, this leads to interaction which gives users a sense of community and common ground.

The transmitted data from all these Tweets is then gathered by a social media analytics company and then sold to marketing companies and television networks and used to gauge public and social opinion.

In 2011 a joint study with NM Incite & Nielson/McKinsey was carried out which showed that a couple of weeks before the airing of a new TV programme a 9% rise in social media activity resulted in a 1% rise in viewing figures for that programme, once the programme was established it took a 14% rise in social media activity to produce the same results.

Analytics

The importance of these metrics are not only related to television programmes, but can be applied to wider social views in relation to political opinion, and social acceptance of programme content and viewpoints.

For example the political views of a news channel and how they sit with that channels demographic could be measured by the social activity related to that particular news story, or the announcement of a new policy by a government, and the reaction to it by that it’s citizens can be measured in real time by the opinions within the social activity it generates.

In fact the uses for the information gathered by social TV analytics are endless, and could potentially become the most important source of real time social viewpoint available.

Demographic

The demographic of TV viewers that would bother to tweet/comment about a programme they are watching tends to be between 18-34, this obviously limits the validity of mass opinion but is wide enough spectrum to make the results valid, especially for most TV channels who’s target audience is probably around this demographic anyway.

The future of Social TV

There is no doubt that the next big player in Social TV interaction and Social TV analytics will be Facebook.

A joint study by Nielsen for the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing in September 2012, found that Facebook out of all social media channels had had the greatest influence when determining whether someone would watch a particular TV programme.

Facebook is rumoured to be planning various ways of getting in on the Social TV market.

The big players

The recent acquisition of Bluefin Labs by Twitter for $70mil, and the acquisition of SocialGuide by Nielson & NM Incite, both Social Media analytics companies proves that Social TV is growing more important by the week, and for good reason.

The ability to serve targeted advertisements during specific proven social interaction ‘hot-spots’ during a TV show or live event, will enable marketing companies and TV Networks to increase their ROI quite significantly, making Social TV Analytic data a valuable commodity.

You can find out more about Social Television and supporting technologies at http://www.social-tv.co.uk

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