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The median ages of the broadcast networks keep rising, as traditional television is no longer necessarily the first screen for the younger set. According to a study released by Magna Global’s Steve Sternberg, the five broadcast nets’ average live median age (in other words, not including delayed DVR viewing) was 50 last season. That’s the oldest ever since Sternberg started analyzing median age more than a decade ago — and the first time the nets’ median age was outside of the vaunted 18-49 demographic. This is bad news for network advertising revenues, while it is great news for new media companies that can better reach this desirable demographic.

Read more at http://www.variety.com/VR1117988273.html

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There is a very interesting article by novelist and screenwriter Andrew Klavan in The City Journal (http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_2_diarist.html).

Klavan had visited an inner city school and was shocked by the students response to who he is, a true, head-of-household male, father and husband. It seems this was a alien object to this group of impoverished kids. The students had even questioned their teacher at one point as to why she had the same last name as her father. Here is a summary of Klavan’s main point:

Beating poverty in America nowadays is largely a matter of personal behavior. Get a high school diploma, don’t have kids until you’re married, don’t get married until you’re 21, and you probably won’t be poor. It also helps if you work hard, show up on time, act courteously, and avoid anything felonious. But where are these kids going to learn such things? It’s the stuff you just sort of absorb in a healthy, traditional, two-parent home, & that’s exactly what they’re missing. . .

It seems to me that leaves these kids only one recourse: the culture. Where the institution of family is broken, only the surrounding culture can teach people the inner structures required for a life of liberty.

Many conservatives often seem to have given up on culture or not to care. There’s a strong strain of philistinism on the right. When we talk about “culture wars,” we usually mean preventing the courts from redefining marriage or promoting abstinence instead of birth control: culture, in other words, as the behavioral branch of politics.

Culture, in the true sense, is more than that. It’s the whole engulfing narrative of our values. It’s the stories we tell. Leftists know this. These kids get an earful from the Left every day. Their schools serve up black history in a way guaranteed to alienate them from the American enterprise. Their sanctioned reading list denies boys the natural fantasies of battling villains and protecting women from harm. Any instinct the girls might have that their bodies and their self-respect are interrelated is negated by the ubiquitous parable of celebrity lives. And I hardly need mention the movies and TV shows that endlessly undermine notions of manly self-discipline, feminine modesty, patriotism, and all the rest.

…creativity has to be answered with creativity. We need stories, histories, movies of our own. That requires a structure of support—publishing houses, movie studios, review space, awards, almost all of which we’ve ceded to the Left. There may be more profitable businesses in the short run. The long run, as always, depends on the young. If you want to win their hearts, you have to tell them stories.

So often, a morally grounded, patriotic, God fearing young person is more apt to head down the road of earning the highest degree possible, starting a business, buying a house and creating a stable and economically sound foundation for their family. One does not often hear accounts of these conservative minded types moving to Los Angeles or New York, living in near poverty, taking a job as a busboy or waiter for years, all so they can pursue their lifelong dream of becoming an actor, a screenwriter, a director, a fill in the creative job-type blank. It is a completely different mind-set.

And when the morally strong, family oriented person has become successful and economically stable, why would they ever consider supporting, either financially or any other way, an art form that is more often than not completely opposed to their values. But acting in this manner concedes defeat to the enemy and allow him to prosper.

The arts were not always the bastion of the immoral. For hundreds of years popular art was submerged with great works praising and honoring God, his saints and Our Lady. These artist knew where their talent came from and were more than willing to publicly admit this truth. At JP Catholic we must create a new group of artist who will rekindle this truth of ages past so that when the realization that the defining of culture can no longer be abandoned to the left, there will be a strong and viable option for the re-support of the modern arts.

Pope Benedict repeated his message, given recently to Catholic University Presidents in Washington DC, to academicians and educators of Catholic Institutions of higher culture, gathered in Rome to reflect, together with members of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, on the “Identity and Mission of a Communications’ Faculty in a Catholic University”. He stated:

identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is above all a question of conviction: it concerns truly believing that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man become clear. The consequence is that the Catholic identity lies, in the first place, in the decision to entrust oneself, intellect and will, mind and heart, to God.

Click the link to read the full text

Whenever a new technology comes along that changes the way we live, there is always the temptation to reject it. We justify the rejection by condemning the new technology as a force of degradation to our society. We have seen this in the past with the TV and now we see it again with the internet and in particular social networking websites such as facebook.com and myspace.com.

Parents across the country right now are limiting and banning their children’s usages of social networking sites. They hear the stories of all the evils that can happen on them and to “protect” them, they try and ban them from using these new technologies.

As with the technologies that came before this, trying to ban children from using these new social tools is futile. Instead, parents need to realize what social networking purpose really is; it connects real life friends in the online world. Instead of banning children from websites such as facebook.com, parents need to use them to teach their children that in order to be successful, they must surround themselves with moral and just people, both online and offline. Further, we must also teach our children that while these technologies can be a force for the proliferation of vices in our society, they can also be used to spread virtue. Encouraging our children to express their faith online, and therefore to their entire network of friends, is one of the most powerful tools available for spreading the faith’s message to the world.

The generation growing up right now is the Facebook generation, whether we like it or not. We must embrace this change and teach our children how to use this new technology as a force of good in this world. If we do this, the new generation won’t have their values eroded but instead strengthened.

One of the main themes you will see over the next few years is the ongoing expert versus amateur debate. This theme is highlighted in the WSJ today by Emily Steel. This particular article discusses a growing trend of people trying to learn ballet from videos distributed on YouTube. In this story you have the experts who, as expected, argue that this is absolutely wrong.

We have already seen this argument come and go in many leading edges of media. Examples include the rise of blogs, videos on YouTube, music produced outside the studio, etc. Almost always you will see these ‘experts’ on the defensive talking about how inadequate this new method is and how it will never work. In most cases they are wrong.

In each of the scenarios the underlying trend is technology democratizing something that used to be controlled by a relative few. The end result of this trend is discussed in books like The Long Tail and Here Comes Everybody. Expert content, whatever that maybe, won’t go away. It will become less important in controlling access to whatever the subject might be (ballet lessons in this example). At the same time a new group of experts will likely emerge. In the long run a larger overall audience will be the end result.

What the experts should do is embrace these changes instead of fighting them. They should go on YouTube and make competing videos. Their ultimate goal should be to get more people interested in ballet, and eventually come to their studio and learn.

Not everyone aspires to be a professional ballet student, why should they have to go to class for 10 years to just have fun with a hobby? Why can’t the experts use the spark of interest that brings someone to YouTube to help grow their business and eventually bring them into the studio?

Scripture says that we will know the truth, and the truth will make us free (Jn 8:32) — not necessarily comfortable or respected; but free in the real sense of the word: able to see and do what’s right.

Archbishop Charles Chaput at the ordination of Bishop James Conley

 

Like Minds

A great article by Mirian Diez i Bosch appeared on Zenit yesterday calling for the training of media producers. My favorite quotes:

“In the multicultural global context in which we live, we should strive to produce communicators who are producers, rather than simply critical analysts of content and consumers,” she told ZENIT.

That’s why “students of communication in Catholic universities are trained to work in the mainstream, not necessarily in secluded religious institutions,” she said. “Catholic communications need not only target clearly religious media. It should not only communicate to the converted, but also to the others, so that the horizon of the Good News is expanded.”

“The religious must permeate the secular realm and must use the format of the mainstream to package religious messages,” Sister Dipio affirmed. “Our values must enter in this public forum to influence the mainstream culture.”

Sister Dipio’s insights reflect one of the founding beliefs at JP Catholic. Our focus is on building world-class companies that are not purely religious, but are founded by students who know and live their faith. We believe this will be pivotal in the realization of the new springtime