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Is Next Media Animation the News of the Future?

With the numerous 24/7 news feed, current events rapidly appear, capture every single second of the news, and quickly vanish when the next hot topic comes around. For example, can you believe that it’s almost been a year since the whole Tiger Woods debacle? It held the news hostage for what felt like an eternity. Just when we thought that we had heard the last of Woods and that infamous November night, we were sucked back in. This time it came from a CGI video clip from Taiwan.

The clip was created by Next Media Animation, the brainchild of Jimmy Lai, a Hong Kong media tycoon. Lai had the idea back in 2007, when he became concerned about the future of print. The idea was simple. Just re-create the most outrageous current events out there, whether celebrity news, politics, or murder trials, in a format that younger audiences would respond to. Lai was insistent on using computer-generated 3-D animation, which is costly and time consuming. To quickly turn out news stories that were still hot topics, Lai hired a two-hundred person staff to work on the animation. After years of trial and error, Next Media seems to be doing what Lai envisioned.

Despite having 15 million viewers in Hong Kong a week, the millions watching the clips on YouTube worldwide, and a recent plug by Conan O’Brien, that’s still not enough to cover costs. However, that hasn’t prevented Next Media from completing twenty clips a day, which mainly focuses on scandels in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but there are some that cover U.S. events, like the Tiger Woods incident. Lai insists that once you watch a Next Media clip, you’ll never want to go back to the regular news. Despite what may appear as crude animation, he’s kinda right. These clips are entertaining, amusing, disturbing and hysterical in one shot, but give you something that the typical news outlets don’t, an actual re-enactment. While many of us may consider this goofy, Lai could be onto something. Don’t be surprised if this could be what the news is like in the not-so-distant-future.

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