Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Friday, August 6, 2010 at 3:09 PM
Above, featuring Berlusconi in group sex allegations, the latest Next Media animated news video. Below, Q&A with Michael Logan, who is in charge of content and business development for Next Media Animation, publisher of Apple Daily in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
When did Apple Daily / Next start doing news animations?
Do the animations make money? How?
Are other news organizations syndicating the animations?
Can you reveal any numbers? (Views / viewers etc.)
Is it correct that the Tiger Woods animation was the first one to get a lot of international attention? Has the international attention to these videos changed the focus of the subject matter?
However, for an animated story to work, the piece needs to stand on the strength of the visuals alone and a lot of the feedback from the international audience is they prefer the Mandarin version. For a recent satirical piece we did on the problems with the iPhone 4, about 40% of the audience was from the United States.
We are still exploring here. For international stories, we are exploring giving the international audience the option of viewing either a Mandarin or English language version. But I think it remains to be seen whether a news market like the United States wants a “localized” version of animated news content. I think they prefer the Taiwan version.
How would you respond to criticism that these animations are a form of dumbed-down news that may distort the stories they tell?
As for the comment that animation “distorts the story”, I would disagree. We are not changing the rules of journalism with animation. Stories still have to be reported and sourced. These animations rely on sources, eyewitness accounts, documentation, etc. All of the reporting that goes into a written news piece or broadcast news piece – we apply the same principles to animation.
How many people work on these animations? Do they have a connection with the cartoons and other graphics that appear in the print newspapers?
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