Signs of the Times - September 2013 - (Page 12)

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE Darek Johnson is ST’s Senior Technology Editor/Analyst. Email him at By Darek Johnson YouTube Splash High-tech news sources may not be good news I wrote this column after having viewed a popular company’s YouTube video where a person of knowledge explained the workings of his firm’s products. The video was terrible. The images were shaky and blurred; the sound was garbled, and the speaker, although knowledgeable, was unrehearsed. Further, the screen image was dark, and the speaker wore dark clothes against a dark background. The video, lauded on the corporate website, was impossible to watch. I wouldn’tYouTube –offend Hurley, want to the founders of Chad Steve Chen and Jawed Karim – but, one night, should I drive by the three of them during, say, a darkening rainstorm, and find them cold and huddled alongside their 7-Series Bimmer that, say, is down with a flat tire, I might just speed up and splash frigid road water across their already sodden bodies. Why? In part, those guys and their technical counterparts – smartphones that record videos – starting in 2005, inadvertently began razing the products of news agencies, professional journalists, moviemakers and videographers by significantly lowering that industry’s standards to an almost amateur level. Over time, they have reduced (and will continue to) the public’s quality demands. In turn, they’ve weakened the media profession even more – and, consequently, the public’s awareness of the world around them. When audiences and buyers freely accept poor-quality work, the products and professions decline. As trivial as this may presently seem, we’ve already seen (but may not have noticed) the weakening of professional standards in television and other news-reporting sources, plus videography, commercial advertising videos and filmmaking. How? Unprofessional websites that provide avenues for bypassing or eliminating professional media standards cause America’s news and media-agency products to diminish to less than what we should expect. YouTube has launched a “reporters center” webpage which, it says, will educate existing and aspiring citizen journalists on how to report news in the digital age. prominently displays its online iReport tag for amateur news reporting, so the news corporation can gather news from places If you make videos, buy this book Bruce Block’s The Visual Story instructs you on digital media, television and film creation and structure. It gives you ready-to-use information for the preparation, production and editing of videos in a sequence that will immediately improve your work. Block says you face the same visual problems that have confronted all picture makers. His chapters cover visual components, contrast, affinity, space, subcomponents, frame, line, space, tone, color, movement, rhythm, story and visual structure. Find it at or other bookselling websites. 12 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / SEPTEMBER 2013 / or events where it may not have a news agent. Good news? Yes and no. On first examination, it seems like a cool idea. Nice name, too: Citizen Journalists. However, such a system lacks professional, trained researchers and investigators. Further, “citizen news writers” have no editors, no professional fact checkers, no ethics code, no copy editors, no analysis sources – and their text can include heavy opinion and unsubstantiated “facts”. CNN’s iReport site says, “The stories here are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post.” More worrisome are the younger generations, those which have grown up with less-than-professional, news-gathering services and aren’t aware of the changes. They often accept non-professional sources – YouTube presentations and latenight comedians, for example – as reliable information providers. Time Warner owns CNN. It also owns American Online, HBO, Cinemax, Warner Home Video, Turner Network Television, Cartoon Network and 33 magazines (Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune, Entertainment weekly and DC and Mad comics). Google owns YouTube. Such Internet-based sites have certainly affected print agencies. Since 2008, for various and traceable reasons (mainly the web and related sources), most news agencies have severely cut their professional news staffs. Here’s a few recent headlines: - More Than 35 Newsroom Staff Laid Off at The Oregonian. - Daily News Lays Off 12 Opinion Writers and Reporters - Layoffs Loom as The New York Times Shrinks Its Newsroom Again

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - September 2013

Signs of the Times - September 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Who Uses the Phone Book?
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review - DGS 3D POP store system
Technology Review - KIP C7800 poster printer
Design Matters
New Products
When the Cheering Starts
Enter the ST Intl. Sign Contest!
Starting at the Bottom
LED Lamps for Box/Cabinet Signs
The Aria’s 260-ft. Pylon Sign
Industry News
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - September 2013