Tuesday, March 26, 2013

18 Months of FilmSwaggin'

I'm always amazed at how fast time moves. 18 months has come out of nowhere just like that. Through it all, I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who reads/tweets/comments/recommends this site.

FilmSwag has continued to grow at an incredible pace and I have YOU the readers to thank for that. Also, big shoutout to those tuning in from Poland, Australia, Latvia, and Germany. I definitely appreciate it. Let's keep getting educated together.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

2012: Difficult Year at Best for Black Media

A new article by the Pew Research Center indicates that 2012 was not exactly the best of times for black media, but not all is doom and gloom.

Covering the realm of black media from newspapers to TV, magazines, and the internet, The State of News Media 2013 highlights some downward trends that are being felt in media beyond that just geared towards African Americans.

State of Newspapers and Circulation

Newspapers around the country have seemingly been threatened by lower circulation, decreasing advertisement revenue, and staff cutbacks for the better part of a decade now. The same holds true for many black newspapers as well. The SNM 2013 chart shows 4 out of 5 major black publications saw circulation declines during a six-month period in 2012.

It should come as no surprise that when your circulation begins to dip, so too does the money from advertisers. This in turn often leads to cutbacks/firings affecting the publication's ability to cover stories in a particular community. The fewer stories that are covered, may mean less people pick up your paper, hence continuing a vicious cycle.

I witnessed firsthand the effects that cutbacks can have on a newsroom. In 2004 and 2006 I had interned at my local newspaper in New Jersey and found out a few years later that they had moved out of the building where they were located because they could no longer afford the costs.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Debbie Allen on Work and Perseverance

"I pounded pavements and went to every audition. That was my spirit. Work at whatever you do, whether you get paid or not."

                                                    - Debbie Allen, Parade, November 17, 1991

Friday, March 15, 2013

Howard University Students Making A Difference in Chicago

Gun violence has been a hot topic here in the United States since the tragic shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last December. As horrible as that was, the violence has been unrelenting in one of America's largest cities -- Chicago.

Through the first two months of 2013, Chicago is on pace to surpass last year's dubious total of more than 500 murders. Regardless of where you fall in the debate on gun control, clearly there is a serious problem at hand. Just this week, a 6-month old baby girl was shot and killed as her father changed her diapers.

That's why it's good to hear students from Howard University going into local Chicago high schools this week and talking with students about the importance of college, education, and being a positive impact in the community. Take a look.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Still Thanking Black Starz 11 Years Later

When the month of March rolls around, I get flashbacks. You see, while this site is just under a year-and-a-half old, media --specifically film-- has intrigued me for the better part of 11 years. It's been this fascination with moving images and the stories behind them, that has left me like a small boy chasing a dream that always seems just beyond the horizon. It all started rather simply.

March of 2002 was an interesting time. I was 6 months into my freshman year of high school, my Oakland Raiders were a winning and respectable organization, and I was witnessing a miracle at the Meadowlands as Jason Kidd was leading the then New Jersey Nets on a path to the NBA Finals. It was also the time when my family upgraded from basic cable to digital cable. I had never seen so many channels before in my life. As great as the sheer volume of channels were, it was the included movie packages that caught my attention.