Tag Archives: TVam

Social Media Chapter & TVam reunion

Now that the Transforming Audiences 3 conference is finished I’m using this week to finish a book chapter I was asked to write back in the Autumn of 2009. There have been plenty of re-writes since then. The book is entitled The Digital Media Handbook. 

A member of staff from my previous MA, Digital Media course  is overseeing and editing the book and it’s final deadline is approaching. The chapter, titled ʻSocial Media: Sharing and Collaboration Onlineʼ, positions the contrasting views of media and academic commentators against a historical and descriptive background and links them to a pedagogical case study.

The chapter is in two sections. The first part is a historical and academically orientated study of the rise of social media and the second part is a case study that relates to the preamble. I’m collaborating with the course leader at Ravensbourne College as he wrote the course that we are using. The book is produced in association with Department of Applied Social Science at London Metropolitan University and is slated for publication in spring, 2012.

After many changes and iterations the chapter is now finished and currently with the editors for integration with the other chapters. I’m glad it’s done as I need to clear the desk for my last year,  although there will, no doubt , be more changes!

Last night I went to a TVam reunion where I worked in the early 1980s. It was organised via Facebook. TVam was the first commercial breakfast TV channel launched in 1983 and the reunion was to mark the anniversary of the industrial action that lost all 230 of our jobs back in the late 1980s. At least that’s what I thought it was, although on reflection it’s a strange thing to mark.

The event was held at the Elephant Arms in Camden Town just across the road from the old TVam building in Hawley Crescent, now the studios of MTV. There was a fairly average turn out and still the factionalised department cliques of the past, the graphics team (left) included. The event was a bit limp, uninspiring and slightly banal. There again, that’s what most reunions are, (sad) reflections of the past.

Greg Dyke at the London Television Society

Greg Dyke’s view of broadcasting and the media has always been of interest to me. I have been one of his humble employees twice now, at TVam and Pearson Television. In both these jobs I have held him in high regard. So it was with curiosity that I went to this talk. Although most of my attention has moved from broadcasting to digital media I still take an interest in the effect the web is having on this traditional media.

Dyke is a very engaging and knowledgeable speaker with views from every corner of the broadcasting world. He spoke poignantly about the bad management decisions at ITV, which has led to it becoming a ‘poison chalice’ but believes Archie Norman, the in-coming Chairman, is a good appointment. On this point I’m not sure I agree. He later considers himself too old and set-in-his-ways to take on the challenges that TV channels face today with the use and greater reliance on cross-platform technology, convergence and the increased competition for advertising from the web. Surely these are exactly the problems that Norman, from a traditional business background, will face in the future.

We must not forget Dyke’s legacy too. He put in place a strategy for the development of the iPlayer, while Director General at the BBC, and introduced the world of free-to-air digital broadcasting to the UK through the launch of Freeview. In his talk he gave some great anecdotal stories surrounding these subjects proving he will be remembered for his contribution to some of the most important historical moments in UK media history. But probably not Roland Rat!