On February 24, 2010, more than 200 members from the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE)—along with various non-member writers—filed into the Paley Center for Media in midtown Manhattan for the inaugural “Economics of Digital Media” seminar. The event was the first in the WGAE’s new Writers Guild 2.0 initiative, a revolutionary digital media education program that includes classes, job training and discussions for both current and potential members. The curriculum is divided into two categories: Digital business issues and digital media skills.
During the Q&A portion of the seminar, attendees contributed to the discussion in-person, as well as through real-time conversation on Twitter.
“Our members do more and more work in digital media in both the entertainment and news businesses. We believe it’s our responsibility to help them adapt to the changing environment by presenting informed analysis of the digital world and offering skills training necessary to do their jobs more effectively,” says Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “The turnout at our inaugural seminar proved our members are engaged in the digital arena and want to help shape the digital future. We are excited by the turnout at the event and the feedback we’ve received so far.”
Presenters for the evening included Anita Ondine (CEO of transmedia storytelling company Seize the Media), Moshe “Mo” Koyfman (principal at entertainment-centric venture capital firm Spark Capital) and Mark Lukasiewicz (vice president of NBC News specials and digital media). Since the announcement of Writers Guild 2.0, the WGAE has signed over 30 digital signatories as part of the effort and has created a digital caucus to serve as a forum for both members and non-members alike.
For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit www.wgaeast.org.