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Televisionation: Screen Culture: Media Scholar and Producer, David Craig

September 20, 2021

In this episode, Lisa is joined by David Craig, a media scholar, producer, and former network executive. He is Clinical Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and Visiting Professor in the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. With Stuart Cunningham, he is the co-author or co-editor of multiple books, journal articles, and chapters about the social media entertainment and wanghong industries, including Creator Culture, Wanghong as Social Media Entertainment in China, and Social Media Entertainment. Prior to academia, in addition to LGBTQ media activism, David was a Hollywood producer and network programming executive responsible for over 30 projects that garnered over 70 Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody nominations.

David and Lisa discuss the goal of his first career in Hollywood—to become a “teacher” and create social impact through filmed content. He outlines cultural activism applied through the TV movie format over decades. He notes the responsibility taken up by many producers, network executives, and talent (including Ava DuVernay, Tom Hanks, and Brad Pitt through their respective producing work) to advocate for social change and representation.

They expand on David’s published works with collaborator Stuart Cunningham, particularly the recent anthology Creator Culture and their first book, Social Media Entertainment, a comprehensive history and analysis of social media creators and their role in culture and media.

Finally, David and Lisa cover his inclination to be positive about the impact of social media entertainment and:

  • The similarities, differences, and “tension” between the approaches of social media platforms and traditional media companies
  • The rise of wanghong (“Internet famous”) or the social media entertainment industry in China, the technological advancement and growing global presence of China-based platforms
  • The cultural impact of creators in amplifying social and political issues, including the experience of underrepresented groups
  • The politics of platforms

ITVT is pleased to present the latest episode of Televisionation: Screen Culture, our new video series exploring the symbiotic relationship between culture and filmed content—television, streaming, and cinema. Hosted by fandom expert Lisa Crawford, Screen Culture was created for thoughtful discussions about the impact of premium filmed content on today’s society.

TMRW Corp.

Tracy Swedlow & Richard Washbourne

Tracy Swedlow and Richard Washbourne own TMRW Corp., the parent corporation, which produces the InteractiveTV Today (ITVT) Web site and The TV of Tomorrow Show (TVOT) executive conferences. We are headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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