SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release

SF State faculty available to comment on Writers' Guild strike

Faculty from award-winning Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts program are available for interviews

SAN FRANCISCO, November 7, 2007 -- Faculty experts from SF State's department of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) are available to speak to the media about the ongoing screenwriters strike. They can provide fresh insights into the issues behind the strike; its effects on new media, television and film; and what changes could be in store for the entertainment industry.

Miriam Smith, associate professor, is an expert on business, management and ethical aspects of media, as well as Internet and intellectual property law. Before joining SF State, Smith practiced entertainment and business law in Los Angeles. Smith earned her masters' degree in communications management from the University of Southern California and her doctor of jurisprudence from Brigham Young University.

"The strike is just another sign of the disruptive force new technology is having on our traditional media industries," said Smith. "The old business models no longer apply, and the race is on to find business models that will work. Unfortunately, the pressure to make money, and to make as much as possible, is very real."

Contact Miriam Smith at (415) 666-3010 and miriam@sfsu.edu

Marie Drennan, assistant professor, specializes in writing for electronic media. She teaches two courses at SF State on writing for short-format and new/interactive media. Drennan can comment on the strike as it relates to the world of new media and online video.

"The focus of the strike highlights the growing demand for quality online entertainment," Drennan said. "Increasingly, the difference between viral video dreck and a successful online show is good writing. One so-so episode of an established network show won't sink the ship, but in the online-video world every second of every minute tests whether the content is genuinely worth the viewer's time. Without writers who can deliver ideas and scripts that respond to this evolution in media culture, audiences won't stick around."

Contact Marie Drennan at (415) 338-1626 (office) and mdrennan@sfsu.edu

Melissa Camacho, associate professor, is an expert on feminist issues and cultural studies related to television. Camacho, whose dissertation focused on feminist narratives in the popular television drama "Law and Order," earned a doctorate in communication arts and sciences from Michigan State University.

"The immediate impact of the strike will be felt on those who enjoy watching late-night shows or serial soap operas -- shows that require quick turn-around from writers," Camacho said. "The longer the strike, other kinds of programming will be impacted. Viewers should expect to see a lot of reruns if the strike lasts for any considerable length of time."

Contact Melissa Camacho at (415) 338-6526 (office) or mcamacho@sfsu.edu. She is available for interviews in Spanish in addition to English.

About BECA

The largest and most influential program of its kind in the West, SF State's department of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts has graduated some of the top names in broadcast journalism, entertainment television and new media, including Bay Area news anchors Ken Bastida and Frank Somerville, "Frasier" producer Peter Casey and CNN Headline News anchor Mike Galanos.

BECA faculty members are authors of the most widely used textbooks on radio and television performance, broadcast news writing, television production, electronic field production and media aesthetics. They have created respected dramatic works and documentaries, edited national academic journals and contributed to scholarly publications.

About SF State

One of the largest campuses in the California State University system, SF State was founded in 1899 and today is a highly diverse, comprehensive, public urban university. SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls about 29,000 students each year and graduates about 7,000 annually. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, and ethnic studies -- the University's more than 150,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond. For more information, please visit www.sfsu.edu.


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