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CBC’s Starowicz: ‘iPad will save documentaries’

Apple's iPad tablet is going to be "the salvation of the long-form documentary," CBC's exec director of documentary programming Mark Starowicz told delegates at the Realscreen Summit in Washington DC today.
February 1, 2011

Apple’s iPad tablet is going to be “the salvation of the long-form documentary,” CBC’s exec director of documentary programming Mark Starowicz told delegates at the Realscreen Summit in Washington DC today.

Talking at the Public Service Television: A Global Perspective session at the Renaissance Hotel, Starowicz said tablet devices “are going to revolutionize the documentary industry,” adding: “If I was an independent producer, I’d start producing for the iPad – this is the convergent instrument that we have been waiting for.

“The ability to consume high value material at leisure is going to be the salvation of the long-form documentary,” he added. Starowicz pointed out, however, that his network hadn’t yet found a way to deal with program-makers developing for such devices. “Do we have a business strategy for that? No,” he said, to laughter from the crowd.

His comments came as panelists discussed the importance of social media for factual producers. For John F. Wilson, PBS’ senior VP and chief television programming exec, the most important thing was still the video. “It’s less about a pitch coming in with fully thought out iPad apps and extensions,” he said.

Sayumi Horie, NHK’s senior producer for international coproduction, added that the Japanese pubcaster’s move in producing an iPhone app had been well received. Social media had proven vital “to get younger audiences and get more attention from global audiences,” she said.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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