Monday, March 17, 2008

4IP: A Shot in the Arm (the good inoculation kind) for British media

Last week two instances proved beyond reasonable doubt that I have spent too much time reading celebrity nonsense:

1. For a split second I believed that leading lutist, tantric sex (find your own link) fan and lead singer of The Police, Sting, had become some sort of moral vigilante. I am an idiot.

2. When trying to come up with a decent analogy for the state of the British TV broadcasting industry, my first port of call was Amy Winehouse. Again.

I'm still an idiot, but there's something there. A dependency on decreasing TV ad revenues may mean that quality and creativity will be departing the ludicrously talented world of British broadcasting whilst all the exciting stuff happens online.

Which is why I was more than pleased to hear about my employer - Channel 4 - 's commitment to new platforms (details in chapter 4) outlined in last Thursday's Next on 4 announcements especially in the shape of the £50m 4IP fund.

It's great to think that this cash will ensure that the UK population has a voice on this global stage, that our talent and ideas are nurtured, that our voices are heard, and that our lives benefit from the kind of mobilisation and amplification that online platforms specialize in.

Most of all I hope it will ensure that Channel 4 continues to appeal to the audiences we work best for, and that our creativity is pushed and increased with this whole raft of new tools to play with.

In the Guardian podcast, Emily Bell said something like "how you feel about this depends entirely on how you feel about Channel 4". My understanding of the findings of our research was that overwhelmingly, people do believe that Channel 4 is a good thing, and that it does have a role to play on platforms other than traditional broadcast TV.

Do read the report, watch the videos (last Q&A clip quite entertaining) , and let me know what you think.

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