Detonation: Being on Camera
I haven’t been employed in the media industry for very long. With only a year and a half under my belt, I am still learning all the ins and outs of the business. Something I noticed in the short time I’ve been trying to make comprehendible messages from information I gather is a noticeable shift in the mindset about what our roles are as “magazine” writers.
A magazine editor used to be a person who writes for printed weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual publications. But with the rapid growth of various communications platforms, gone is the person who can simply communicate through one form of media. Consumers now use a multitude of different media types. Magazines are still present, but being able to provide information only in print form will no longer suffice.
While there are still readers who enjoy being able to hold the printed document in their hands, there is also an ever-increasing number of people who use electronic media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, and TruckTrend.com to get instant doses of the information they crave.
What this is doing to magazine-based media is causing an evolution of sorts. Print is still the priority, but along with it comes the production of digital versions of the same information, videos (both live and recorded), as social media posts to keep people informed of current happenings.
At The Enthusiast Network (the parent company of Diesel Power), the push for media expansion has been pretty steady since I started working here. When an editor is working on an article, the idea is to include pictures and video as well as doing a livestream from the field (when possible) to go along with the words. In some instances, video and/or social take precedence.
The transition from being in an industry where the largest documents I had to write were emails to having to record and scribe about details people might actually be interested in reading or watching has been a bit of a learning curve. Of course, this is to be expected, but getting a grasp on the social media aspect of the job is much more challenging for me. Instead of being on top of things, I am usually saying to myself (after the fact), “I should have been rolling with video or streaming that.”
Something else that has been a new experience for me is being on camera. As a person who feels more at home behind the camera than in front of it, being filmed or having my picture taken makes me a bit apprehensive. Even so, I have now been live on the Internet, on the cover of a magazine, and in a TV commercial. It is kind of weird watching me on video or even seeing myself in pictures, but maybe if I have more opportunities, it will be less concerning. We’ll see.
What brings up the subject of videos and social media is the August 2017 announcement that the controlling interests in TEN have been bought by Discovery Communications (Discovery Channel, Velocity Channel). For us here at Diesel Power, it’s business as usual. But once final approvals are given and all the “I”s are dotted and “T”s are crossed (possibly by the time you read this), we will have a whole new business structure.
The Enthusiast Network will split into two entities. All automotive-based media (Motor Trend, Hot Rod, Roadkill, and such) along with Studio TEN will split off and join a new venture, with Discovery’s Velocity network becoming “TEN: A Discovery Communications Company.” The remaining print media will be part of “TEN Publishing.”
The premise for this venture is to expand Velocity’s reach across different media outlets by combining it with TEN’s already established presence in those areas. This creates an automotive-centric media business that caters to enthusiasts and the in-market and aftermarket segments of the automotive industry.
What does this mean for you? If there actually is a noticeable change, it will probably be nothing more than increased online digital content for you to absorb. In the big picture, I guess that’s a good thing, even if it does mean I’ll have to appear on camera more.