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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Digital Theft

SAG Advocates For Actors Against Digital Theft

Combating the destructive practice of online theft of copyrighted motion pictures and TV shows is a top priority for Screen Actors Guild.

Illegally downloading or streaming stolen content and/or purchasing illegally made or copied CDs and DVDs poses a considerable threat to the livelihoods and futures of the tens of thousands of actors and others employed by the entertainment industry.

SAG has worked with labor allies and industry partners to engage in intense activity designed to combat this destructive practice. Among the activity SAG has undertaken over the last 12 months:

•       SAG President and AFL-CIO Executive Council member Ken Howard, along with other labor allies, urged passage of an Executive Council statement in support of industry efforts to fight digital content theft. Howard’s remarks addressed the impact of digital theft on entertainment union jobs and workers. The measure was unanimously approved by the AFL-CIO Executive Council. See the full Statement of Support here .

•       SAG Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino, National Executive Director David White and other labor leaders participated in a roundtable discussion with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Under Secretary for the Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos. The event was hosted by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

•       Former SAG President, National Board Member and National Legislative Chair Richard Masur, and SAG National Director of Government Affairs Nancy Fox joined with the DGA, IATSE, the MPAA and several studios to have an in-depth meeting with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and key staffers to discuss how DHS, Justice and the rest of the U.S. Government can work with us to interdict theft of film and TV work.

•       SAG NED David White and other labor leaders met with Vice President Joe Biden. In a joint press statement, White said, “We greatly appreciate the opportunity presented by Vice President Biden, Attorney General Holder, Secretary Locke, Secretary Napolitano, Director Mueller, I.P. Coordinator Victoria Espinel and other Administration officials to participate in the discussion of how to prevent the theft of intellectual property.”

•       SAG NED David White and other labor leaders met with White House officials Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Larry Summers, director of the President’s National Economic Council, to discuss the need to address digital theft in upcoming Network Neutrality discussions.

•       SAG President Ken Howard along with White and other SAG staff attended a congress of the International Federation of Actors and, along with SAG's sister unions, gave support for a presentation by the Motion Picture Association of America's Robert Pisano and Fritz Attaway regarding TV and film theft.

•       SAG Secretary-Treasurer Amy Aquino, NED David White, National Board members, committee chairs and staff received presentations from Paramount Pictures regarding digital content theft.

•       SAG NED David White and other labor representatives met with the Office of the United States Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk and other personnel from that office. USTR is the lead U.S. Government agency on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, Free Trade Agreements and Special 301, and is a key player in the development and implementation of U.S. international intellectual property policy. The event was hosted by the MPAA.

•       SAG NED David White, along with other labor leaders, met with Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Deputy Under Secretary of Labor for International Affairs Sandra Polaski to discuss labor issues and prepare for the upcoming G20 meeting and international meeting of labor ministers.

•       SAG, DGA, IATSE and AFTRA jointly filed comments with the FCC on the issue of Network Neutrality. You can read the statement here <> .

•       SAG has partnered with other entertainment unions and the MPAA to create a broad-based educational campaign to de-romanticize so-called "piracy" and name it for what it is—the theft of our work.

More work is ahead. SAG representatives are to meet with other labor leaders in a roundtable luncheon with Under Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Robert Hormats to discuss the U.S. motion picture industry’s priorities for intellectual property protection overseas.

Our concern is not simply for actors working today, but for the actors, directors, writers and craftspeople of the future. We will continue to publicly and visibly engage in a sustained effort to protect members’ livelihoods. Those new developments will be posted on <> and on our Facebook page <> .

Who runs your life, who tells you what to believe, and why?

Why do we believe the things we do?

Why do we ignore entire issues or the views of others?

Why do we choose to fight instead of listen, reason and compromise?

Why do we so willingly give up our own democracy?

A few large lobbing firms?

A few large corporations?

A few industries willing to do all it takes to retain their profits?

Those who control the message?

It's not CNN or Fox News or the media.  They are just the conduate, fed by advertising dollars as much as any political ideology. It's far deeper and more dangerous then that. It's lobbying firms and the false non-profit patriotic sounding fronts they finance and use to look and sound grass roots.  And of course it is the individuals, corporation and industries that fund these efforts, all hidden behind a veil that makes their message seem like it comes from your neighbor or some neutral expert, or some trusted celebrity or, if there are any left, politician high and safe in the polls.

A Pew Trust study found that the rhetoric of opposition to health reform, as voiced on the floors of the house and senate and in committee, has certain blatant roots. The exact word patters and slogans used by both Republicans and "blue dog" Democrats repeat word for word statements in "talking point" memos and press material from three specific large Washington lobbying groups. Two have major clients in the corporate insurance and drug industries and the third is a wholly owned subsidiary of a conservative "think tank". All three are well financed. Against the words in their speeches, statements and in the media are word for word from these lobbying firms, with little or no academic research or backing. Pew Trust is a neutral research organization.

Knowing the motives and financing behind what you hear summarized, boiled down or simply distored in the media is more important than ever before. That means understanding the bias, prejudice, stereotypes, demographics, motives, filters an mission of all sources and understanding your own as the receiver.

Then too, know who pays the media. This includes advertising (heavy in drug and insurance industry interests) and actual ownership.

Over the past thirty years small family owned media has been eaten up, and even large media companies have become part of even larger corporations. This is called "free enterprise" by Republicans and conservatives. The rules they passed to encourage competition have, as they have in retail with Walmart and Microsoft, worked in reverse and decreased competition. In the case of media, that means decreasing opinions, views and the eyes and ears that in theory are out there for the people as the fourth estate.

This free enterprise reduced the number of independent and local voices in media and centralized policy and content in very specific, money controlled centers. We have evolved into a corporate democracy, or a representational shareholders government by default.

Where there were ten radio stations or more with their own staff, ownership and bias, we now have three (two or one) media groups, part of larger corporations who tell them what to program, believe and what agenda to push or sell.

Where we had two to six television newsrooms, we now have coops and in many markets no local news staff (the news you watch may be produced somewhere in right to work Virginia and presented a if it is local).

Where we had several or many local newspapers in many markets we have one, or increasingly none.

And each remaining station is reducing staff, letting higher paid experienced people go to be replaced by inexperienced staff new to the city or market.

Now slogans from professional PR companies, passed on as "grass roots" or given to the speechwriters for politicians and other leaders, are setting policy, believed by millions who never questions the source or the motive behind it.

Will the health care plan cost us billions? Not according to the Congressional Budget office. Not according to unaffiliated auditing firms. And even it did the billions and trillions pale to the cost of war, to the bailouts of corporate America and other expenses begun and committed to under the Bush, and not the Obama administration.

But the lobby firms have placed the words into the mouths of others, and those words have become bible, truth and not even contested by those pre-desposed to beleve what is said.

An we have made this possible with media mergers, Wall Street merging with K Street, decreasing attention spans, decreasing quality of education. increased apathy and taking the lazy way out of believing slogans, platitudes and what the great marketing machine has sold us.

From a fellow communication scholar:

"Stanley Baran, author of Mass Communication, (2009) writes "while political paranoids accuse each other of vast conspiracies, the truth is that the media mergers have narrowed the range of information and entertainment available to all ideologies" (p. 41, quoted in Platte, 2003, p B4).

"Without a diverse, independent media, citizen access to information crumbles, along with political and social participation. For the sake of democracy, we should encourage the widest possible dissemination of free expression' through our media" (p.41, quoted in Kennedy, 2004, p1).

"GE owns NBC television and CNBC cable networks. GE is a major defense contractor that did $450 million in business in Iraq in 2003 and had commitments for $3 billion more for the following few years. Additionally, more than half of Iraq's power grid is composed of GE technology" (p. 44). GE has profited off of our wars for years. (Who exactly owns GE and how many other companies are owned by GE?)

Baran continues, "The press has been subsumed into a marketplace psychology, because they are now owned by large conglomerates, of which they are simply a piece…you don't have people controlling the press anymore with a fervent sense of responsibility to the First Amendment" (p. 44, quoted in Konner, 1999, p.6).

Baran quotes Clear Channel (1,200 radio stations) founder Lowry Mays saying, "We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're simply in the business of selling our customers' products" (p. 45, quoted in Hightower, 2004, p1). Hypercommercialism has also produced marketing that controls the programming products are carried on.

From a media standpoint alone, if these conglomerates are successful in controlling the citizens with diversionary sensationalism, we could be handing our First Amendment rights over on a silver platter. I don't like the word conspiracy either, but the truth is that our "neighborhood" is getting surrounded by separate groups of bullies, and we the people better be willing to stand together."

And to move on to the past, and a story worth revisiting:

Years ago a professor taught me that journalism, as a profession was limited to the central part and latter days of the 20th century. His reasons lie in the fact that while calling themselves a profession there were not standards or checks and balances found in other professions. Freedom also leads to the ability to manipulate, change and even practice without any repercussion. His predictions in the mid 1970's were a decline in the pay, number and outlets for balanced professional journalism while a geometric or even faster increase in outlets for those who have an ax to grind, feel they are the keepers of the truth, or who have a vested financial interests in manipulation. He predicted that ratings, popularity, entertainment and the ability to make people mad or get them fired up would win over reporting the truth through any sort of professional filter.

Where are the test, accreditation, minimum education requirements, apprenticeships or other methods on a supervised honing of the craft given today's economy and the public's greed for scandal, ammunition to hate or mistrust others and to be mushrooms living in a cocoon where events on the other side of the world are of no importance unless they impact our pocketbooks where we live and work?

Can any form of trust in the media and in journalist be restored as long as we have a profit, ratings or subscription, hits or direct response capitalistic system for determining what is news?

What will happen to our free society if the fourth estate disappears or is trusted far less than the society and government they are expected to report on and watch in our interests?

And, who will pay for it all, for what motive and to what impact?

I just watched The American President tonight, and there was a line of dialogue that stuck with me.

Sydney Ellen Wade, a lobbyist for BigEnergy, was saying to someone "people care about what I tell them to care about"
This is a very important issue. But lobbying can be placed right next to think tanks as well as media that is becoming increasingly insulated and void of any journalist value. Fox News is a great example of that.
You rock, Mr. Lynch. Rated.
we need public financing of elections
and more people better wake up before it's too late

First Posted 11-17-2009

Behind the Box Office

Behind Motion Picture BO Records

From SAGWATCH (use links to SAGWATCH and other sources referened):

MPAA: 2009 Box Office Smashes Records

The Motion Picture Association of America says the global take at the box office in 2009 was an all time record, up 7.6% from 2008. Domestic box office was up primarily because of higher 3D ticket prices – but attendance overall was up 5.5 percent as well, though still below the record, which was set in 2002.

The Wrap has analysis, as does the Los Angeles Times, which offered this interesting point:

But the report was more notable for what it omitted: key financial data on the average cost of making and marketing movies, what used to be the only authoritative sources of such information.

For years, the Motion Picture Assn. of America released a statistical analysis showing the average movie costs of its members, made up of the major studios and their specialty labels. Then the trade group stunned many in Hollywood last year when it didn’t release the closely watched data, citing the difficulty of obtaining accurate information.

The MPAA followed the same script again this year. In 2007, the last year for which data was released, the average cost of producing and marketing a studio movie was $106.6 million, up 6.3% from the year before.

From previous SAG Actor and Art Lynch blogs:

Motion Picture Record Box Office Does not tell whole truth.

 Box Office breaks 10 Billion.

Who is going to the movies?

What if we do nothing on health care reform

“So how much higher do premiums have to rise until we do something about it? 
How many more Americans have to lose their health insurance? 
How many more businesses will have to drop coverage? 
How many more years can the federal budget handle the crushing costs of Medicare and Medicaid? 
When is the right time for health insurance reform?”
             –President Barack Obama

T H E  C O S T  O F  I N A C T I O N


Up to 17 million more people will be uninsured by 2019 than today. 1

The average family's health care costs will nearly double by 2020, from $13,000 to $24,000
— meaning they'll be paying a quarter of their income toward health care costs. 2

Insurers can continue the massive and arbitrary premium rate increases we've heard about
recently — such as Anthem Blue Cross raising rates for customers in California by nearly
40%, and rates in Illinois going up by as much as 60%.

As many as 275,000 people could die prematurely over the next 10 years because they
don't have health insurance. 3

Health care costs will take up a staggering amount of our national budget. In 1960, it was 5
percent of gross domestic product (GDP), last year it was 17 percent. Costs will reach 21
percent of our economy by 2020 if we fail to act. 4

Rapidly rising costs will make it harder for employers — particularly small businesses — to
provide quality health insurance to employees, leading many to drop coverage or shift to
plans that cover less. 5

Even those who have insurance today will be less secure, and more likely to lose coverage if
they switch jobs or lose their job due to rising costs on the individual market or being
denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. 6

The preceding is from a press release in favor of health care reform provided with the following concluding statement and signature:

Today, it's time to show the insurance lobbyists that no smear campaign cooked up at a posh hotel can match the power of millions of regular citizens who are ready for change and committed to the truth.

Please join our truth squad -- and start spreading the facts today:

Thanks for making it possible,

David Plouffe

2. Commonwealth Fund, via NYT:,
3. Families USA, via NYT:

University of Nevada is UCNevada?

Note that the University of Nevada Press is now publishing books about California by Californians. Are we now fully Californicated? Is  Nevada a suburb of Los Angeles?

80's Teen Star Corey Haim Dead of Possible OD

Actor Corey Haim, who had long struggled with drug addiction -- died early Wednesday in Burbank, California of a suspected drug overdose at the age of 38.

Josef Adalian of the on-line trade publication The Wrap reports:

"Haim was forever linked to fellow young actor Corey Feldman after their joint appearance in 1987's "The Lost Boys." They then starred in a number of films, including "License to Drive,""Dream a Little Dream" and “Blown Away.” The pair attempted a joint TV comeback together via the short-lived A&E reality series "The Two Coreys." By himself, Haim starred in the 1986 teen angst semi-classic "Lucas."  More recently, he starred in the indie horror movie "American Sunset," billed as his first on-screen role in three years."

The actor struggled mightily with drug addiction. In an interview with The Sun in 2004, Haim talked about his long history of drug abuse, saying he smoked his first joint on the set of “Lost Boys.”
“I lived in L.A. in the '80s, which was not the best place to be,” Haim told the paper. “I did cocaine for about a year and a half, then it led to crack.”

Haim also said he was sexually abused as a child star. "It's something that will be addressed in my inner soul for the rest of my life, and it's something that truly affects me," he told GQ in 2008. "It's just like, it happened, it's over, and move on. Let's move on to the next subject."

NPR's All Things Considered had this retrospect: click here.

Free International College

Shai Reshef founded the University of the People.

On-line education has been on the rise, but is is worth it? Does it provide what is promised? Can it work or all areas of education? NPR looks at a free on-line university with the goal or education, instead of degrees, the University of the People.

The truely global school offers math, science, computer science and a growing number of programs without charge to the students. According to NPR "The University of the People is only in its second semester. It's the bright idea of Shai Reshef, an Israeli entrepreneur who's been noodling with educational software for some time. He's the chairman of, a site that helps students create study groups, so they can work together online. His goal with the University of the People, Reshef says, was to design a school with minimal overhead."

The story also includes a sidebar on the state of on-line learning:

Online Learning At A Glance

In a 2009 study on online learning released by the Sloan Consortium, researchers collected data from the chief academic officers of 2,500 colleges and universities to asses the state of online education in the U.S. The Sloan Consortium is a non-profit organization supported by member universities and suppliers of online tools, which is, according to its Web site, "dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education," as well as "helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of online education." 

Enrollment: Of the colleges and universities surveyed, enrollment in online courses grew by 17 percent compared to the 1.2 percent growth rate for overall higher education from fall 2007 to fall 2008. Of the 18.2 million students enrolled in higher education classes, more than 4.6 million were taking at least one online course in the fall 2008 term — 82 percent at the undergraduate level.

Demand: Economic downturn led to an increase in the overall demand for college and university courses, but the study reported a greater increase in the demand for online courses than face-to-face classes. Sixty-six percent of institutions surveyed reported an increased demand for new online courses, and 73 percent reported an increase in demand for existing online courses. 

Training: The most common forms of training for instructors, when teaching online classes, were informal mentoring and training courses run by the college or university. Twenty percent of the colleges and universities polled, however, did not provide specific training for online instructors.
Effectiveness: More than 50 percent of the chief academic officers surveyed reported that faculty at their institutions were neutral about the value and legitimacy of online education. About 30 percent of surveyed officers reported faculty members accepted the value and legitimacy of online education.

Sources: "Learning on Demand", and  National Public Radio

Virtual Tribeca Festival March 15 to April 30.

Founded in 2001 by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, the Tribeca Film Festival was launched to help revitalize lower Manhattan in the wake of 9/11, the fest has grown to become a New York fixture. This year, it will present 85 features from 38 different countries, including 45 world premieres, 7 international premieres, 14 North American premieres and 12 New York premieres.

There are ways to enjoy the independent films showcased at the Tribeca Film Festival, held annually in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. Beginning March 15 access to short films from past and select current screenings, conversations with filmmakers and industry professionals, a selection of feature length films simultaneous to their festival premieres in New York. The festival also includes real time streaming access to filmmakers, fans and industry experts, and chance to vote for TFF Virrtual Films.

There is a small fee for participation.

The following is a partial list of the on-site 2010 Tribeca Film Festival screening list, led by the world premier of the next installment of "Shrek":

The fest will kick off with the world premiere of DreamWork's 3D "Shrek Forever After."

World Narrative Feature Competition

"Buried Land," directed by Geoffrey Alan Rhodes and Steven Eastwood, written by Rhodes, Eastwood and Dzenan Medanovic. Set in a war-torn town in Bosnia that attracts tourists visiting ancient pyramids.

"Dog Pound," directed by Kim Chapiron, written by Chapiron and Jeremie Delon. A look at three incarcerated teenagers.

"Loose Cannons" ("Mine Vaganti"), directed by Ferzan Ozpetek, written by Ozpetek and Ivan Cotroneo. A family comedy set in the picturesque city of Lecce in the deep south of Italy.

"Lucky Life," directed by Lee Isaac Chung, written by Chung and Samuel Gray Anderson. When one of them falls ill, a group of friends takes one last trip to the beach.

"My Brothers," directed by Paul Fraser, written by William Collins. A quick road trip soon turns into an emotional odyssey.

"Open House," directed and written by Andrew Paquin. A man watches over his sexually predatory partner and her violent urges.

"Paju," directed and written by Chan-ok Park. Two men live in Paju, a gray town where the urban landscape is as bleak as the fate of its residents.

"Gainsbourg: Je t'aime...Moi Non Plus," directed and written by Joann Sfar. A biopic about crooner/poet Serge Gainsbourg.

"Snap," directed and written by Carmel Winters. A psychological drama about three generations of a family poised to repeat the mistakes of the past.

"When We Leave" ("Die Fremde"), directed and written by Feo Aladag. A young Turkish-German woman flees from Istanbul with her five-year-old son into the arms of her family in Berlin.

"The White Meadows" ("Keshtzar haye sepid"), directed and written by Mohammad Rasoulof. The fable-like story of Rahmat, who sails from island to island off the coast of Iran to collect tears.

"William Vincent," directed and written by Jay Anania. James Franco stars in the story of a quiet and peculiar criminal uninterested in the fruits of crime.

World Documentary Feature Competition

"American Mystic," directed by Alex Mar. The stories of three young Americans exploring alternative religion.

"The Arbor, directed by Clio Barnard. The true story of troubled British playwright Andrea Dunbar and her tumultuous relationship with her daughter.

"Budrus," directed by Julia Bacha. A Palestinian family man unites rival parties Fatah and Hamas, Western activists and groups of progressive Israelis in a nonviolent crusade to save his village from being destroyed.

"Earth Made of Glass," directed by Deborah Scranton. An investigative documentary weaving interviews with President Kagame of Rwanda and Jean-Pierre Sagahutu, a survivor of the 1994 genocide.

"Feathered Cocaine," directed by Thorkell Hardarsson and Orn Marino Arnarson. Falcon smuggling.

"Freetime Machos," directed by Mika Ronkainen. Finland's worst amateur rugby team.

"Into Eternity," directed by Michael Madsen. Three miles below the earth, the people of Finland are constructing an enormous tomb to lay to rest their share of humans' 300,000 tons of nuclear waste.

"Monica & David," directed by Alexandra Codina. A couple with Down Syndrome.

"Sons of Perdition," directed by Jennilyn Merten and Tyler Measom. Teenage boys banished from a polygamist community.

"Thieves By Law" ("Ganavim ba Hok"), directed by Alexander Gentelev. The Russian mafia.

"The Two Escobars," directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. Born in the same city in Colombia but not related, Andres Escobar and Pablo Escobar shared a love of soccer.

"The Woodmans," directed by C. Scott Willis. A family united in their belief that art-making is the highest form of expression.


"Blood and Rain" ("La sangre y la lluvia"), directed by Jorge Navas, written by Navas, Carlos Henao and Alize Le Maoult. A taxi driver begins his night shift bent on revenge after his brother's murder.

"A Brand New Life" ("Yeo-haeng-ja"), directed and written by Ounie Lecomte. A young girl is abandoned at an orphanage.

"Heartbreaker" ("L'arnacoeur"), directed by Pascal Chaumeil, written by Laurent Zeitoun, Jeremy Doner and Yoann Gromb. A romantic comedy about one couple who breaks up other couples for a living.

"Lola," directed by Brillante Mendoza, written by Linda Casimiro. Two elderly matriarchs bear the consequences of a crime involving their grandsons.

"Metropia," directed by Tarik Saleh, written by Saleh, Fredrik Edin and Stig Larsson. (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) In the year 2024, all of Europe is united by a vast web of underground railways and populated by an army of downtrodden worker bees.

"Moloch Tropical," directed by Raoul Peck, written by Peck and Jean-Rene Lemoine. (Haiti, France) Haitian auteur Raoul Peck reflects on absolute power corrupting absolutely.

"Road, Movie," directed and written by Dev Benegal. A young man drives his uncle's beat-up Chevy truck across India to its new owner.

Special events

"Doctor Zhivago," directed by David Lean

"Untitled Eliot Spitzer Film," directed by Alex Gibney

"The Western Front, directed and written by Zachary Iscol. A former U.S. Marine returns to Al Anbar.

Thank you to Charlie DiPinto (a New Yorker at his core) for providing this link to the Virtual Tribeca Festival site, also Variety, Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap.


A Press Release from the Brave New Foundation:

I am very pleased and excited to present to you our latest project Cuéntame and your hosts Axel Caballero and Ofelia Yañez.

Join us as we tackle wide-ranging subjects from latest in Latino culture, music and arts to exposing Tea Party racism and Glenn Beck's dangerous hate speech.

- Robert Greenwald


As hosts of Cuéntame we want to tell you a bit about ourselves, the project and about our latest campaign against Tea Party racism and violence.

Both Ofelia and I have seen with great sadness and frustration how Tea Partiers have unjustly and unfairly targeted the Latino community to further their political agenda. This is why our latest campaign exposing Tea Party racism has hit a nerve, not only within the Latino community but also with many folks across the country who like us are fed-up of all the hatred, the violence and the bigotry peddled by teabaggers.

From calling Mexicans "filthy, stinking animals," to listening the likes of Tom Tancredo and Sarah Palin deliver hateful speech after hateful speech to the increase use of violence in their words and actions, Teabaggers have come out in full force against our community.

We are fed up and are ready to fight back. You can help us not only by watching and spreading our videos, but also by joining our page and recruiting your friends - Latino or not - to do the same.

Tea Partiers boast a presence of hundreds of thousands on social networks and in order to be able to expose their true colors we need as many of you, your family and friends to join Cuéntame and take action.

Cuéntame is a community of Facebook users where Latinos and the general public can connect and interact with fellow Facebook fans, activists, artists, bloggers, public figures, musicians journalists and other community members. In Spanish Cuéntame has a double meaning: "Count me in," and "Tell me your story."

Both Ofelia and I are very proud to be part of this project. As Latinos living in Los Angeles, we are thrilled to be able to inform and engage our community around the most important issues nationwide that are impacting the daily lives of our friends and families.

Ofelia was born in Mexico City. Her parents, wanting to flee the heavy crime and in an effort to provide a better education for their children, decided to migrate to the U.S. about 20 years ago when Ofelia was six years old.

I was born in the northern city of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico three hours from the border with Nogales, Arizona. I am what you would consider a border child, always going back and forth between both countries until finally residing permanently here in the United States eleven years ago.

We are looking forward to seeing and talking with you directly on Facebook and want to thank you in advance for becoming part of this project.

Hasta pronto,

Axel Caballero, Ofelia Yañez
and the Cuéntame team

The future of media ad placement

MediaPost reports that "the most important symbolic milestones in the history of online advertising" has been passed as estimated on-line advertising revenue will be greater than print for the first time. MediaPost quotes a study by research company Outsell concerning planned media expenditures this year, 2010:

"Altogether, U.S. advertisers and marketers plan to spend $368 billion in 2010, Outsell found — up 1.2% from about $364 billion in 2009. Within the 2010 figure, 32.5% ($119.6 billion) will go to digital, versus 30.3% ($111.5 billion) for print."

Two years ago another advertising dependent media fell behind Internet revenue. " 2008 saw Internet ad revenues pass radio for the first time, with $23.4 billion for the Internet versus $19.5 billion for radio."

Media Daily News reports that broadcasters are adjusting by offering increase digital media advertising opportunities linked to on-air media buys.  

"Broadcasters must evolve to participate in more areas of the media ecosystem," stated Rick Ducey, BIA/Kelsey's chief strategy officer and program director, digital strategies for broadcasting. "This means developing the right multiplatform and multiple revenue stream strategies." 

Meanwhile nationally local television and radio stations have had to cut staff, services, combine sales and news staffs with one time rivals and reduce overall service to local markets due to a decline in local advertising revenue. The result in many markets has been a decline in local fourth estate watchdog coverage of governments, corporations and events, and a decline in the budget to produce or purchase quality programming. 

Graphic from MediaPost.