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Showing posts from October, 2014

4 lessons in managing creativity in media enterprises

Most media companies claim they are creative, believing that merely producing
 content makes them inventive and artistic. Most media firms are not particularly creative, however, and we recognize it daily as we are confronted with formulaic and derivative content of limited quality.

But some companies are consistently notable for unique and ground-breaking content that meet higher standards. What makes them successful is their ability to manage creativity.

The concept of managing creativity may at first seem like an oxymoron. Anyone who has worked with talented writers, designers, directors, actors, or musicians knows that the muse of creativity is capricious and does not present itself on a predictable schedule.

This does not mean it is impossible for an enterprise to manage creativity, however. Organizations that consistently produce highly creative content spend a great deal of effort managing the environment and processes in which creativity takes place. They do so to make certain tha…

Ownership transparency is not enough to solve media performance gaps

Media ownership transparency has become a goal of media reform advocates on both sides of the Atlantic, but is often simplistically presented as a solution to problems in media performance.

As I have shown in my research over time, it is not the form of ownership that matters, but the owners themselves. There are good and bad corporate owners, good and bad private owners, good and bad family owners, and good and bad foundation owners. And many owners whose media perform badly on issues of social service and public interest don’t care if the public knows who they are. This is not to oppose making it easier for the public to know who the owners are—in some cases (especially in southeast Europe) owners sometimes hide behind shell companies, investment firms holding their shares, and even individuals fronting for them. Gaining transparency may help identify consolidation and concentration for antitrust and pluralism analyses, but lifting those veils alone is not going to solve the issue tha…