The Writer's Strike and New Media

November 3, 2007 By:
The Writer's Strike and New Media

While the Writers' strike is still in effect, the threat of Reruns and Reality TV is imminent now more than ever. One can't help but ask: is this strike more a product of the constantly changing digital
media world we live in, or is it the same old story of big business vs.
little guy? I would say a bit of both.

Being a writer myself and sympathetic to the cause, I have to concede that I'm not completely anti-reality TV. I watch American Idol every season. Nor am I anti-business. I like benefiting from our free market. Whether it's truly free or not is another story altogether.

However I make no illusions that reality TV is cheap, easy to make, turns a quick profit, (most of which goes right back into the pocket of the producers and studios), AND you don't need writers technically.

So it's good for business, and maybe a good thing to have in the back pocket of the studios, while all those numbers crunchers, who sit in the back corner of the Accounting wing try to figure out how to be profitable this quarter, as the strike continues, while at the same time they asset out that new 60 inch Plasma and tricked out Mustang to the CEO's daughter on her sweet 16. Priorities.

But what are the true priorities? No one ever wants to go on strike, but we indeed do live in a constantly changing media environment. Constantly changing means, among other things, more opportunity for profit, right? Who finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow first, and how long will it be before they divvy it up accordingly?

And while all of us hope for a quick and easy solution to this problem, the reality is that with an ever-changing climate and attitude in this digital media world, unfortunately (or fortunately however you want to look at it) the question of ownership and compensation becomes blurrier, to some, when art changes to ones & zeros and is thrown into the infinite nexus of the Internet.

It's unarguable that the writing itself is the heart of every good (and bad) TV show and movie. People want to follow stories. People want their heroes. People want the escape.

Let's hope that whatever solution they do come up with is more than a band-aid. But in the mean time we wait, and thank our lucky stars that The Two Corey's won't be back for another season.