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The Miller’s Tale in #140

15th September

 

In September 1463, William of Ilkeston was walking on the road to the yearly fair (or Faire) in Nottingham, England.

Trade fairs were a fairly new invention of the Middle Ages (or as it was then called, Modern Times), and like many burgeoning tradesmen, William of Ilkeston was keen to sell his new wares.

For nearly 1,000 years, since the fall of the Roman Empire, the whole notion of trade and markets had pretty much ceased to exist.  Endless wars, the breakdown of law and order, robber bandits and marauding bands of Vikings, Goths, Visigoths and anyone else with a sword and an appetite for trouble made trade and traffic all but impossible.

But now, in the second half of the 15th Century, the notion of trade and markets and buying and selling had begun to re-emerge in England.  It was a new … Read More »


Is It Too Late for Yahoo?

4th September

 

My friend Mark Bittman just sent me a fascinating profile of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s new CEO.

She certainly is impressive and clearly very smart.

The real question is, can she save Yahoo.

The very fact that you have to ask that question says a lot about the world of media today.

Mayer’s quest to ‘save Yahoo’ comes on the heels of another ‘giant’ in need of salvation.

Not too ironically, yesterday, Yahoo (of all people) ran a piece entitled “Can Bill Gates Save Microsoft?”

So many former Giants in need of ‘saving’.  What is happening?

We are living in an increasingly attenuating world.

The famous Lincoln/Douglass debates for the US Senate ran for about 7 hours.  Each candidate spoke for more than an hour, followed by responses, cross questions and so on.  The amazing thing is that audiences sat in rapt interest.  We had a longer attention span … Read More »


Where Did All The Farmers Go?

17th August

 

Sometimes you get a confluence of things you read that make give you a new insight into the way things work.

I am reading Theodore Rex, Edmund Morris’ excellent biography of Teddy Roosevelt.

Then, this morning, I read Mark Bittman’s piece about tomato farming in Iowa, “Not All Industrial Food is Evil”

You might not think they have much to do with each other, let alone the ramifications of The Internet Revolution.

But I think they do.

While Bittman’s piece is all about how large, mechanized farming in America has created both good and plentiful food, in this case, tomatoes, one line in the piece really stuck with me:

I began by touring Bruce Rominger’s farm in Winters. With his brother Rick and as many as 40 employees, Rominger farms around 6,000 acres of tomatoes, wheat, sunflowers, safflower, onions, alfalfa, sheep, rice and more.

6,000 acres

That is really big.

For … Read More »


Better Late Than Never Dept.

12th August

 

is anyone listening?

 

 

Like two punch-drunk fighters in the final rounds of The Thrilla in Manhattan, Newsweek and Time Magazine have been slugging it out for years to determine who as the best news weekly magazine.

Once they were like Foreman and Ali (in the days before the grill), at the very top of their game.

But the years have taken a toll and in the final rounds, both Time and Newsweek staggered across the floor, barely able to land a punch.

A few weeks ago, Newsweek threw in the towel.

Even Tina Brown could not save them and billionaire Barry Diller called it ‘a stupid purchase’.

Which it probably was.

Now, all that is left is Time Magazine, but it’s a pretty pyrrhic victory.  Looking at last week’s issue, the staple was wider than the magazine and you could see why. They forget to put in … Read More »


Why Is Cable News Such A Cesspool of Idiocracy?

8th August

I didn’t write that…

(but I don’d disagree)

It was written by Dave Winer ( who has been blogging since 1994 and say she is the first blogger).

Today, in excoriating Cable News, Dave wrote:

In the last couple of of days this has been confirmed by appearances by two people, Jay Rosen, my former colleague at NYU, and Julia Ioffe of the New Republic.

Rosen was on Up with Chris Hayes, moderated that night by Ezra Klein, talking about the purchase of the Washington Post by Jeff Bezos. I tuned in of course, because Jay had been firing on all cylinders lately on his blog with perspective on what the Snowden revelations have taught us about American journalism. I was looking forward to Jay’s brilliance to shine through, but I was disappointed. Jay explained later that cable news can’t carry complex, interesting ideas. It’s the can’t part that I don’t accept. … Read More »


What Jeff Bezos Could Do With The Washington Post

7th August

 

The journalism world was astonished that Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos had purchased The Washington Post.

Astonished… and worried.

Now, the question loomed: What would Bezos do with the paper?”

Roy Greenslade, writing in The Guardian, thought that there were vast opportunities in ‘the digital world’ to merge the marketing power of Amazon to the failing newspaper’s fortunes.

Others suggestions ran the spectrum from the cynical view that Bezos might be simply buying influence in DC to those who thought this was almost a non-profit act of nobless oblige – social do-gooding.

All of them might be right.

However, allow me to suggest an alternative.

(Jeff Bezos, are y0u listening?)

I think that Bezos now has a unique opportunity to rescue not just a DC newspaper, but, remarkably, television journalism – which has a much deeper and wider viewer base than The Washington Post ever did.

Television news, … Read More »


We Kick Off Guardian Media Academy in London – Day 1

16th July

Until last month most Americans had never heard to The Guardian.

Today, after the Snowden Affair, pretty much everyone in America, and indeed the world, now knows that The Guardian is one of the world’s best newsapers,(if not the very best).

We know because:
a) we spend a lot of time the UK
b) we have had a partnership with The Guardian for nearly 5 years.

And if you want to become a working video journalist, what better place to learn than with The Guardian and in London?
(Particularly as it is 85 degress (fahrenheit) here – more like LA actually… (global warming has a few admittedly short-term benefits!))

Today is the first day of our 4-day bootcamp.
We’ve got a wide range of students, from a London based artist to a freelancer with Sky to writers from Lonely Planet to a former on-air journalist from Paris, and many others.
should … Read More »


NYVS App is Up! And Free! Download it now!

28th June


National Security in 1775

16th June

Wanted…..   As it turns out, (thanks to The Guardian), the NSA and the US Government have been mining our online data and phone calls to ‘protect’ us from whatever they decide at the moment is a threat. It also turns out that, about half of Americans surveyed think it is a fair trade off – privacy for national security.  The other half don’t agree. It’s a tough question, and an even tougher concept – pre-emptively locating and arresting terrorist before they can carry out the deeds that they are planning. I have seen this movie before: Minority Report with Tom Cruise.  It’s based on a Philip K. Dick novel of the same name.  The protagonist, John Anderton (Cruise), is a Captain in the Pre-Crime division.  It doesn’t countenance using the web as the vehicle to find out who … Read More »


With Hillary on Twitter, Can The End Be Far Away?

12th June

Maureen Dowd in The New York Times reported today that Hillary Clinton has started tweeting. If anything screams twitter is no longer hip, this is it. Time to move on and search for the ‘next big thing’. In New York, a new restaurant or club can be hip and trendy and attract all the ‘right people’, but only for so long. Eventually, the word gets out and the place starts to get populated by what we call the B&T crowd – that is, bridge and tunnel – that is, people from New Jersey and Long Island. When that happens, it is time to move on. Now Hillary, the B&T Crowd for online media has arrived. Likewise, time to move on. Her ‘first tweet’ was over produced, over agonized over (if that is a word) and edited and redacted and probably … Read More »





Michael's Blog




Every day Michael Rosenblum blogs about the latest developments in the world of video and the media as well as future trends in technology and equipment.



Michael's Other Blogs
The Guardian
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