Among the questions we’ve asked our panel of experts was this one: How do you expect the writers’ strike to play out?
Selections from their responses are below. We’d love to hear your take on the question or on our panelists’ predictions in the comments. For more information on the NewTeeVee 2008 outsourced predictions, see this post.
“Settlement after the Oscars without major changes — March 2008.”
“The writers will get what they want — a fair share of advertising revenue garnered by their work in any medium. This strike is a big ego play, and a waste of money and time for studios.”
“There will be more attention paid to online media as a whole. But
eventually writers will go back to work because TV will still be more
glamorous and provide more stable income in 2008. Some will write for
both TV and the web. And some will really shine on the web —
partnering with online producers to get their name planted in new,
fertile and promising ground.”
Henry Jenkins, director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities (media and popular culture academic):
“The writers’ strike is a struggle over transmedia content and as a consumer, I certainly hope that the writers gain significant ground in their current efforts. As long as the media companies see online content purely in terms of promotion, they will not fully integrate it into the storytelling system. As long as creatives see generating “extensions” as extra unpaid work, they will not put their best effort into this content….
“The other interesting thing about the writers’ strike as it intersects online video is the fact that the writers have been so much more effective than the producers at using YouTube and other online platforms to get their messages out to the public. Most mainstream media coverage of the strike has focused on how it inconveniences consumers — after all, it is being produced by the same companies the writers are striking against. But the writers have been inventive at generating compelling online video which does get spread by their consumer base and helps to explain the underlying issues of the conflict. If nothing else, this shows how much better they understand the new media ecology than the people they are working for.”