Johanna Blakley

Media | Entertainment | Fashion

Archive for March, 2011

Women, TV & Social Media . . . Down Under


On stage with David Speers, the chief political reporter for Sky News.

I had the great fortune to be invited to the ASTRA conference in Sydney, Australia, this week. ASTRA is the organization that represents the subscription TV industry there and it was fascinating  to not only discover Sydney (it’s absolutely gorgeous) but to get a fresh look at an industry I understand pretty well in another petrie dish over 7000 miles away. (You can find tweets about the conference using #astra2011.)

The subscription industry in Australia is quite young – it’s only been around for 16 years or so, and several people told me it is much more progressive and modern (and friendly to women) than the Free TV industry in Australia, which parallels our broadcast industry here in the states. 

I got a good long look at the changing demographic in the Australian TV industry when I climbed on stage to give a talk about social media and women at the popular Women in Television Breakfast. When I heard the title, it never occurred to me that there’d be a room filled with almost 600 women.

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Free Culture Forum

I was very excited to attend the Free Culture Forum in Barcelona last October: the event was quite unique in its effort to bring together a broad range of scholars and activists from all around the world to work together to develop guidelines for sustainable models for creativity in the digital age. There were some pretty noisy fights, let me tell you, but at long last, we’ve produced a great brief which, so far, has been endorsed by 69 organizations and key players in the field. Please take a look at the document and be sure to watch this fun video about the Forum and its annual entertainment showcase called the oXcars.

Themes & Refrains at TED 2011

I had the great pleasure of attending TED last week — not in Long Beach but in Palm Springs, where a very international crew of 600 fired-up TEDsters watched a simulcast of TED on monitors so large and numerous that I kept thinking I was going to bump into the TED speakers during the breaks.

It was a very intense week (attendees tend to talk about being exhausTED and having TEDaches), filled with a tremendous range of topics and resurging themes. TED is an excellent opportunity — an unprecedented one, actually — to take the temperature of the academy and Silicon Valley and every imaginable media and design industry and that cross-cutting world of energetic do-gooders who are trying to improve one thing or another in the universe.

I was a little surprised by the theme that emerged most profoundly for me this year. If I had to give it a title, I might call it this:

Personal Perspective: A Blessing & A Curse

There were several moving talks that addressed the necessity of, on the one hand, recognizing and celebrating your own unique and often imperfect perspective on the world, and accepting the fact that not only are other perspectives out there, but they are probably more valid than you would care to think. Now this may sound like just another postmodern plea for moral relativity, but that was certainly not the spirit with which these ideas were offered.

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