Call for Papers on the Hidden Professions of Television

Television Transmitter Van 1954

Picture shows a transmitter van on a remote site in the heart of the West Country. Publisher / Broadcaster: BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Broadcast date: 01/01/1954.

VIEW, the Journal of European Television History and Culture,  is the first peer-reviewed multimedia e-journal in the field of television studies. The theme of the fourth issue is Hidden Professions of Television, which can be interpreted broadly within the European television context. The issue seeks to shine a light on the ‘behind the scenes’ activities of television and their hidden, often unrecognised and uncelebrated personnel and processes.

Call for Papers: Hidden Professions of Television

VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture, Vol. 2, Issue 4
Deadline for abstracts: May 1st, 2013

Offering an international platform for outstanding academic research on television, VIEW has an interdisciplinary profile and acts both as a platform for critical reflection on the cultural, social and political role of television in Europe’s past & present and as a multimedia platform for the circulation and use of digitized audiovisual material. The journal’s main aim is to function as a showcase for the creative and innovative use of digitised television materials in scholarly work and to inspire a fruitful discussion between audiovisual heritage institutions (especially television archives) and a broader community of television experts and amateurs. In offering a unique technical infrastructure for a multimedia presentation of critical reflections on European television, the journal aims at stimulating innovative narrative forms of online storytelling, making use of the digitized audiovisual collections of television archives around Europe.

For the issue on Hidden Professions or Television, we welcome contributions that may engage across a wide range of selected organisational, administrative or technical activities that have played their understated, invisible parts in the historical formation of television: from aspects of TV continuity for instance, to television outside broadcast management, TV retailing or manufacture, television music or the TV weather forecast. These indicate some of the gaps that this issue seeks both to fill and to explore.

Topics

Proposals are invited on (but not limited to):

  • Personnel involved in all aspects of television, from technicians, production staff, editors to preservationists, administrative staff or media managers
  • ‘Behind the scenes’ activities across the whole spectrum of television broadcasting, including organizational, administrative and technical activities
  • ‘The making of’ understudied TV programmes like the weather forecast
  • Services associated to television consumption, such as TV retailing, manufacturing or repair services
  • Practices that focus on preserving the content (film, video or audio) and making it available for reuse
  • Material artifacts used in television production or post-production

Submission info

  • Contributions are encouraged from authors with different kinds of expertise and interests in television broadcasting, from researchers to television professionals, to archivists and preservationists.
  • Contributions can be in the form of conventional articles, illustrated commentaries or photo-essays.
  • Paper proposals (max. 500 words) are due on May 1st, 2013. Submissions should be sent to the managing editor of the journal, Dana Mustata.
  • Articles (2-4,000 words) will be due on September 1st, 2013.
  • For further information or questions about the issue, please contact Tim O’Sullivan and Andy O’Dwyer, guest editors on this issue.

Hidden professions on EUscreen

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Citing Films, Television and Audio in your Content – Could it be Easier?

In the era of YouTube, podcasts and vidcasts new pioneering guidelines, launched today, will be crucial for students, researchers and academics when they cite moving image and sound sources, or provide advice on referencing them.

The British Universities Film & Video Council’s (BUFVC) guidelines respond to the 2011 Jisc report, Film and Sound in Higher and Further Education: A Progress Report with Ten Strategic Recommendations. The report found that despite the exponential increase in the use of audiovisual material in teaching, learning and research in higher and further education, existing guidelines for the referencing of moving image and sound are often insufficient as they are based on standards developed for the written word. This has the effect of discouraging the citing of moving image and sound, as well as creating barriers in its discovery, use and re-use.

Best Practice

Professor John Ellis, professor of media arts, University of London, says: Citation exists so that you can find the source of any quotation. The rules have long since been worked out for print sources. However, for moving image and sound, no-one quite knows what to do, so references are usually imprecise and sometimes left out completely. This guide now makes it possible for any writer (even a student) to lead their readers to the exact audiovisual source they are discussing. It might seem a simple problem to solve, until you realise that there are a multitude of different types of audiovisual source!

The guidelines are practical, accessible and applicable to a wide range of different users across all disciplines. They encourage best practice in citing any kind of audiovisual item. They cover film; television programmes; radio programmes; audio recordings; DVD extras; clips; trailers; adverts; idents; non-broadcast, amateur and archive material; podcasts; vodcasts and games.

Professor Miles Taylor, director, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, says: The difficulty of referencing such important sources has only been compounded by the increasing availability of much of this material online. The wonderful new guide produced by the BUFVC cuts through the uncertainty and complexity and will undoubtedly encourage historians and researchers in other disciplines to make greater use of audiovisual source materials – whether a computer game, a television channel ident, a previously unaired radio programme or a Hollywood film. I strongly encourage journal editors in particular to add it to the guidance that they provide for authors.

Academic Working Group

To produce these guidelines, BUFVC established a working group of academics, researchers, journal editors and archivists, formed as part of the HEFCE-funded Shared Services project. Richard Ranft, head of sound and vision at The British Library, says: From the beginning of the 20th century, sound and moving image media in all their various formats have captured the most significant moments in human creativity and endeavour. Yet even in the present century, there remains doubt over the validity of referencing sound and moving images, whether in academic publishing or the popular media, due in part to the absence of accepted citation guidelines. By establishing clear instructions that are on a par with traditional bibliographic citation styles, this new publication will help unlock the vast resource that is preserved in sound and moving image archives.

This is the first edition of the guidelines and it will be reviewed periodically to respond to advances in technology, the development of new media platforms and the needs of the user. The BUFVC welcomes comments and feedback via avcitation@bufvc.ac.uk, or join the discussion by tweeting @bufvc #AVcitation

An interactive version of the guidelines is available to download from the BUFVC website: http://bufvc.ac.uk/avcitation/guidelines.

Related

The Value of Audiovisual Archives

Try imagining all the world’s existing audiovisual material: all the films ever made, plus the television footage ever shot, plus all the sounds once recorded – add the scientific and military observations and home videos, the (super) 8 mm recordings, the YouTube generation’s creations. Then, try to visualise not the kilometers of celluloid or optical disks or hours and lifetimes it would take to see it all, but what the possible value of all those sounds and images would be.

Do they indeed, as the author of the just released report Assessing the Audiovisual Archive Market, Peter B. Kaufman, proposes, form a sort of crude oil – ready to be refined, reassembled and made into a new creative product?

In the same way that oil, pumped from the ground, is refined and then used to fuel transportation and industry, or iron, mined from the ground, is smelted into steel and used in construction, so audiovisual materials mined from the archives form part of the backbone of information, com- munication, and our creative knowledge economy, worldwide.

Assessing the Audiovisual Archive Market

Assessing the Audiovisual Archive Market: Models and Approaches for Audiovisual Content Exploitation was commissioned by PrestoCentre, the international competence centre for digital audiovisual preservation. It explores the ways that a audiovisual archives have been “examining, appreciating, and even embracing business and commercial interactions in the digital age”. The report takes a look back at 124 years of audiovisual archiving and how the challenge of preserving moving images and sounds has reached increasing levels of complexity.

This increased complexity, not in the least caused by the advent of digital production and storage methods, leads to a mirrored exchange between the access and preservation tasks of the contemporary archive: twin missions, as Kaufman calls them, that “twist around each other like the double helix of a modern memory institution’s DNA.” The paper investigates the forms and methods audiovisual archives have been approaching to fund this double mission and how they have shifted some of their attention towards possible cooperation with businesses and even taken advantage of existing commercial opportunities.

new opportunities for cultural heritage institutions to develop business models, revenue streams, and business knowledge — and in the process gain an even greater appreciation for the role they play in media, society, and our economies today — abound. This paper, focusing as it does on such opportunities, may provide activists in the field with inspiration and support.

In order to define the value of an audiovisual collection, one needs to get a clear idea about the costs involved – by mouth of one of the interviewees, the report states that “use has begun to define value”. Inversely, an item that is not well preserved, cannot be found and thus not used by anyone, ever again. The paper stresses the importance of access as a form of open access: the value that lies in use, sharing, reuse can only be realised when unrestricted online access allows participant from different online realms can use web tools to popularise and contextualise the assets. The paper intends to suggest that in the double helix between preservation and access, “support for one is support for both”.

It also underlines the need for the audiovisual archiving field that in dealing with the multi-billion dollar business partners who are currently so important for finding, exploring, discovering and buying media on the web, the field of archives and museums needs to be well aware of its value and importance, as well al the sensitivities we share and the experiences we’ve had.

No agent has been retained to represent the interests of libraries, archives, and museums, in the way an author or musician might retain one. No lawyers have been hired to pore over the body of agreements to date and highlight best practices for the community. No working group focused exclusively on improving public-private partnerships has been assembled and charged with a mission and a deadline. If the commercial sector is investing hundreds of millions of Euros, and a hundred billion are needed, we had better get started.

7 Recommendations

The report offers 7 Recommendations and proposes the development of four new tools for a smarter (re-)use of audiovisual archival content. The recommendations are:

  • Audiovisual archives should consider themselves part and parcel of the knowledge economy.
  • Audiovisual archives should recognize that multibillion-dollar businesses are growing based on materials they curate; and as a result their institutions deserve to participate in the revenue these materials are generating, in the knowhow that they are contributing, and in other direct and indirect benefits these materials are making to the world.
  • Audiovisual archives more than anything need something approximat ing an old-fashioned guild, where collective knowledge can come to rest, and where business savvy from attorneys, dealmakers, and others might be fielded and centralized.
  • The field needs to hire, in effect, an advocate — perhaps a sanhedrin of wise men and women who can look after its collective interest and help it argue on its own behalf and on behalf of the public sector.
  • When approaching business relationships, audiovisual archives should consider the arrangements from the perspective of their commercial partners, recognizing that the strongest players in the audiovisual marketplace are in the business now for the long term, making strategic rather than tactical investments in the sector.
  • Archives should recognize in particular the value of their building comprehensive metadata resources and optimizing their audiovisual resources for search and discovery.
  • In the audiovisual archive world, archives have been dealt a strong hand. They need to recognize that audiovisual material now and over time will be the most sought- after assets to monetize.

The reasoning behind these recommendations and the well-recommended, 30-page report, are available for download as a PDF in the PrestoCentre library.

Related reading

  • Economies of the Commons 3: Sustainable Futures for Digital Archives – http://ecommons.eu – Conference outcomes, November, 2012
  • EUscreen Publishes its Second Online Access to Audiovisual Heritage Status Report – http://blog.euscreen.eu/?p=3235 – July, 2012
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