Taliban in Pakistan

FJP: Thanks so much for the submission. Definitely appreciated.

For those with 15-20 minutes, here’s an overview via Vice

In a recent trip to Pakistan to report on the recent spike in the region’s violence and bloodshed, Suroosh Alvi heard over and over the same sentiment from people on the ground: America’s war on terror is falling flat on its face. The military conflict in neighboring Afghanistan, repeatedly cited by locals, sends a constant flood of guns, refugees, militants, and heroin flowing into Pakistan. Heroin is now actually cheaper than hashish in cities like Lahore, and the Kalashnikov culture, the foundation of which was laid 30 years ago when the CIA financed the mujahideen, is all-consuming. According to the Pakistanis he spoke to, it’s all taken a devastating toll on the country and is creating the next generation of militants.

Bonus: Journalism.co.uk has a good article on Vice’s experiments with video. Especially how they go about funding it.

In particular, Dan’l Hewitt, general manager of AdVice, explains how and why Vice thinks less about traditional advertising (pre/post/mid roll) and more about overall brand marketing (but not “branded content”.)

Via Journalism.co.uk:

"The commercial models around the creation of unique, original video content still don’t work. If you think about our ability to be able to go to somewhere like Liberia and film a documentary on child genocide and warlords, if we were able to produce that at a cost of less than $50,000, which is incredibly cheap for a 40-minute, hard-hitting documentary, to realise any kind of return on that we would need to be able to deliver more than three million video streams based on current video ad models.

"Three million video streams is a lot and not only that but you’d have to run ads on every single one of those videos streams, intrusive ads, big 30-second online TV ads effectively in front of this content. That doesn’t work for us and we couldn’t go down that route ourselves."

Vice has found its road to success lies elsewhere. “We work with brands to create legitimate content that talks to their consumers and their audience in the most appropriate way,” Hewitt explained. “We don’t think about branded content, we think about telling stories and making content that relates to brand messages or products.”

Read through if interested in potential business models for online news video. There’s also interesting thoughts about how to pull off long form narratives (think: segments and serials). 

Journalism.co.uk: From fanzine to HBO: How Vice became a video success story.

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