Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities for Independent Women Filmmakers (PDF)
Source: Sundance Institute
In our digital age, ideas and culture are increasingly shaped by the stories told with moving images. This context elevates film artists to an enormously influential role in determining how we see ourselves, one another, and the world around us. Yet the vast majority of films made and seen in the United States are written, directed and produced by male filmmakers whose stories tend to reflect dominant themes and reinforce the status quo. What might the future look like for both men and women given the full inclusion of a generation or two of truly empowered female perspectives in our media ecology?
There is a growing body of empirical research that documents how having a woman at the helm can affect the types of stories being told. First, female directors are more likely to feature girls and women on screen than male directors. This is true in both top-grossing films 1 and crit – ically acclaimed projects nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards over a 30-year period. 2 It is often as true for women producers as it is for women directors. Second, female producers and directors affect not only the prevalence of girls and women on screen, they also impact the very nature of a story, or the way in which a story is told. Examining more than 900 motion pictures, one study found that violence, guns/weapons, and blood/gore were less likely to be depicted when women were directing or producing, and thought-provoking topics were more likely to appear.
These patterns are not restricted to cinema. A recent content analysis 4 of war stories filed for news outlets during the first 100 days of three different international conflicts (Bosnia, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan) showed that female correspondents were more likely than their male counterparts to focus news stories on the victims of war, abuses to human rights and soldier profiles. Women put a human face on conflict reporting, just as they do in film.Together, the evidence is quite clear: gender of the storyteller matters.
Currently, the presence of women behind the camera in popular film is infrequent at best. Assessing 250 of the top-grossing U.S. movies of 2011, 5 one study found that only 5% of directors, 14% of writers, and 25% of producers were female. These statistics have fluctuated very little since 1998. This picture would seem to suggest that the traditional Hollywood economic model or power-structure is a leading impediment to access for women filmmakers.
Source: National Research Council
Over the course of several decades, copyright protection has been expanded and extended through legislative changes occasioned by national and international developments. The content and technology industries affected by copyright and its exceptions, and in some cases balancing the two, have become increasingly important as sources of economic growth, relatively high-paying jobs, and exports. Since the expansion of digital technology in the mid-1990s, they have undergone a technological revolution that has disrupted long-established modes of creating, distributing, and using works ranging from literature and news to film and music to scientific publications and computer software.
In the United States and internationally, these disruptive changes have given rise to a strident debate over copyright’s proper scope and terms and means of its enforcement–a debate between those who believe the digital revolution is progressively undermining the copyright protection essential to encourage the funding, creation, and distribution of new works and those who believe that enhancements to copyright are inhibiting technological innovation and free expression.
Copyright in the Digital Era: Building Evidence for Policy examines a range of questions regarding copyright policy by using a variety of methods, such as case studies, international and sectoral comparisons, and experiments and surveys. This report is especially critical in light of digital age developments that may, for example, change the incentive calculus for various actors in the copyright system, impact the costs of voluntary copyright transactions, pose new enforcement challenges, and change the optimal balance between copyright protection and exceptions.
Source: American Sociological Review
Contemporary scholarship has conceptualized modern fame as an open system in which people continually move in and out of celebrity status. This model stands in stark contrast to the traditional notion in the sociology of stratification that depicts stable hierarchies sustained through classic forces such as social structure and cumulative advantage. We investigate the mobility of fame using a unique data source containing daily records of references to person names in a large corpus of English-language media sources. These data reveal that only at the bottom of the public attention hierarchy do names exhibit fast turnover; at upper tiers, stable coverage persists around a fixed level and rank for decades. Fame exhibits strong continuity even in entertainment, on television, and on blogs, where it has been thought to be most ephemeral. We conclude that once a person’s name is decoupled from the initial event that lent it momentary attention, self-reinforcing processes, career structures, and commemorative practices perpetuate fame.
Combat Camera Multi-service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures For Combat Camera (COMCAM) Operations
Source: U.S. Department of Defense (via Federation of American Scientists)
This multi-Service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (MTTP) publication for combat camera (COMCAM) establishes TTP for commanders, planners, and staffs at all levels with a single source document and addresses essential information to plan, employ and integrate COMCAM capabilities.
Chapter I provides an overview of COMCAM operations and how COMCAM assets provide commanders a unique, firsthand visual account of tactical actions. It describes how COMCAM supports commanders by acquiring, processing, and disseminating classified and unclassified imagery and multi-media products collected during all phases of military operations or campaigns.
Chapter II describes each Services’ COMCAM capabilities, team make-up, and highlights specific attributes to assist the commander and planner during the force development process. This helps to facilitate the matching of mission specific requirements with the correct COMCAM capability.
Chapter III highlights COMCAM roles and responsibilities of Service components, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Joint Combat Camera Program Manager, Imagery Operations and Coordination Center (IOCC) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). COMCAM units have specific roles and responsibilities assigned to them to ensure combatant commanders are provided with the joint COMCAM forces and assets.
Chapter IV describes how COMCAM forces are tasked, deployed, and employed as an integral part of operations to ensure visual information documentation of US military activities during wartime, worldwide crises, contingencies, joint exercises, and other events of significant national interest involving the Department of Defense.
Chapter V provides an overview of the Services’ COMCAM training. Integrating COMCAM assets into joint exercises is also addressed.
Appendix A provides key contact information and overviews the COMCAM tasking process. It notes that COMCAM requirements for joint operations must be vetted through the Global Force Management (GFM) process to the Service providers. Once the requirement is sourced to the respective Services, the details (personnel and logistics) will be loaded in the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) for assignment of unit line numbers (ULNs).
Appendix B provides operational examples of COMCAM imagery used to support Commanders objectives. The photos and vignettes provide the Commander with explicit examples of how COMCAM can support mission objectives.
Source: Annals of General Psychiatry
During the last decade, there was a debate concerning the true efficacy of anti-depressants. Several papers were published in scientific journals, but many articles were also published in the lay press and the internet both by medical scientists and academics from other disciplines or representatives of societies or initiatives. The current paper analyzes the articles authored by three representative opinion makers: one academic in medicine, one academic in philosophical studies, and a representative of an activists’ group against the use of anti-depressants. All three articles share similar gaps in knowledge and understanding of the scientific data and also are driven by an ‘existential-like’ ideology. In our opinion, these articles have misinterpreted the scientific data, and they as such may misinform or mislead the general public and policy makers, which could have a potential impact upon public health. It seems that this line of thought represents another aspect of the stigma attached to people suffering from mental illness.
The Effects of Music Therapy on Vital Signs, Feeding, and Sleep in Premature Infants (PDF)
OBJECTIVES: Recorded music risks overstimulation in NICUs. The live elements of music such as rhythm, breath, and parent-preferred lullabies may affect physiologic function (eg, heart and respiratory rates, O2 saturation levels, and activity levels) and developmental function (eg, sleep, feeding behavior, and weight gain) in premature infants.
METHODS: A randomized clinical multisite trial of 272 premature infants aged ≥32 weeks with respiratory distress syndrome, clinical sepsis, and/or SGA (small for gestational age) served as their own controls in 11 NICUs. Infants received 3 interventions per week within a 2-week period, when data of physiologic and developmental domains were collected before, during, and after the interventions or no interventions and daily during a 2-week period.
RESULTS: Three live music interventions showed changes in heart rate interactive with time. Lower heart rates occurred during the lullaby (P < .001) and rhythm intervention (P = .04). Sucking behavior showed differences with rhythm sound interventions (P = .03). Entrained breath sounds rendered lower heart rates after the intervention (P = .04) and differences in sleep patterns (P < .001). Caloric intake (P = .01) and sucking behavior (P = .02) were higher with parent-preferred lullabies. Music decreased parental stress perception (P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: The informed, intentional therapeutic use of live sound and parent-preferred lullabies applied by a certified music therapist can influence cardiac and respiratory function. Entrained with a premature infant’s observed vital signs, sound and lullaby may improve feeding behaviors and sucking patterns and may increase prolonged periods of quiet–alert states. Parent-preferred lullabies, sung live, can enhance bonding, thus decreasing the stress parents associate with premature infant care.
The State of the News Media 2013
Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism
In 2012, a continued erosion of news reporting resources converged with growing opportunities for those in politics, government agencies, companies and others to take their messages directly to the public.
Signs of the shrinking reporting power are documented throughout this year’s report. Estimates for newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978. In local TV, our special content report reveals, sports, weather and traffic now account for 40% of the content produced on an average newscast while story lengths shrink. On CNN, the cable channel that has branded itself around deep reporting, produced story packages were cut nearly in half from 2007 to 2012. Across the three cable channels, coverage of live events during the day, which often require a crew and correspondent, fell 30% from 2007 to 2012 while interview segments, which tend to take fewer resources and can be scheduled in advance, were up 31%. Time magazine, the only major print news weekly left standing, cut roughly 5% of its staff in early 2013 as a part of broader company layoffs. And in African-American news media, the Chicago Defender has winnowed its editorial staff to just four while The Afro cut back the number of pages in its papers from 28-32 in 2008 to 16-20 in 2012. A growing list of media outlets, such as Forbes magazine, use technology by a company called Narrative Science to produce content by way of algorithm, no human reporting necessary. And some of the newer nonprofit entrants into the industry, such as the Chicago News Cooperative, have, after launching with much fanfare, shut their doors.
This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands. And findings from our new public opinion survey released in this report reveal that the public is taking notice. Nearly one-third of the respondents (31%) have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to.
At the same time, newsmakers and others with information they want to put into the public arena have become more adept at using digital technology and social media to do so on their own, without any filter by the traditional media. They are also seeing more success in getting their message into the traditional media narrative.
Source: Institute of Medicine
The childhood obesity epidemic is an urgent public health problem. The most recent data available show that nearly 19 percent of boys and about 15 percent of girls aged 2-19 are obese, and almost a third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese (Ogden et al., 2012). The obesity epidemic will continue to take a substantial toll on the health of Americans. In the midst of this epidemic, children are exposed to an enormous amount of commercial advertising and marketing for food. In 2009, children aged 2-11 saw an average of more than 10 television food ads per day (Powell et al., 2011). Children see and hear advertising and marketing messages for food through many other channels as well, including radio, movies, billboards, and print media. Most notably, many new digital media venues and vehicles for food marketing have emerged in recent years, including Internet-based advergames, couponing on cell phones, and marketing on social networks, and much of this advertising is invisible to parents.
The marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages is linked to overweight and obesity. A major 2006 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) documents evidence that television advertising influences the food and beverage preferences, requests, and short-term consumption of children aged 2-11 (IOM, 2006). Challenges and Opportunities for Change in Food Marketing to Children and Youth also documents a body of evidence showing an association of television advertising with the adiposity of children and adolescents aged 2-18. The report notes the prevailing pattern that food and beverage products marketed to children and youth are often high in calories, fat, sugar, and sodium; are of low nutritional value; and tend to be from food groups Americans are already overconsuming. Furthermore, marketing messages that promote nutrition, healthful foods, or physical activity are scarce (IOM, 2006). To review progress and explore opportunities for action on food and beverage marketing that targets children and youth, the IOM’s Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention held a workshop in Washington, DC, on November 5, 2012, titled "New Challenges and Opportunities in Food Marketing to Children and Youth."
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
Broadcast and Cable Television
Requirements for Identifying Sponsored Programming Should Be Clarified
GAO-13-237, Jan 31, 2013
A Completed Comprehensive Strategy is Needed to Guide DOD’s In-Transit Visibility Efforts
GAO-13-201, Feb 28, 2013
Department Of Justice
Executives’ Use of Aircraft for Nonmission Purposes
GAO-13-235, Feb 26, 2013
DOD’s Aerospace Control Alert Basing Decision Was Informed by Various Analyses
GAO-13-230R, Feb 28, 2013
The Number, Role, and Ownership of Pharmacy Services Administrative Organizations
GAO-13-176, Jan 29, 2013
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Workforce Participation Requirement Waivers
GAO-13-423T, Feb 28, 2013
Source: Book Industry Study Group
In the fast moving world of digital content, one hot-button issue is the creation of static, fixed e-book "pages" called fixed layout. The popularity of fixed-layout e-books is growing, but many people are still unsure why and when fixed layout is a good idea. To make matters worse, there is no single standard for creating fixed-layout products and information on creating them is rapidly changing and sometimes hard to find.
To help address these challenges, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), through its Content Structure Committee’s Fixed Layout for E-Books Working Group, has created a Field Guide to Fixed Layout for E-Books.
The Field Guide is intended to be a brief introduction to fixed layout, including when it’s the most appropriate format to use–and when it’s not. In addition, the Field Guide offers practical guidance on the basics of creating fixed-layout formats, current retailer standards for supporting fixed layout, and issues of accessibility to consider before creating content in fixed-layout format.