Wednesday, March 12, 2014
VICE: A Revolution In Journalism
VICE's founder Shane Smith is a journalist and and CEO of the Canadian magazine VICE as well. VICE's first season was extremely well-received and is now regarded as a legitimate news program. In an interview with The New York Times, Smith was described as "a cross between a punk rocker and Fortune 500 Executive". When asked whether he thought VICE would ever lose their pulse on youth culture, Smith recognized that his age will prevent him from remaining relevant and hopes someone else will pick up his job: "Will we eventually be old and shitty? Yes. [But] there is a changing of guard in every generation of media."
Last year, VICE organized Dennis Rodman's highly publicized trip to North Korea. With extremely strained relations, setting up a friendly U.S.-North Korea meeting was completely unexpected. It's incredible that a virtually no-name news organization like VICE could accomplish such a daunting task in their first year, and also ridiculous that Dennis Rodman was how they accomplished it. This is so creative. Who would think Dennis Rodman could be a pathway to communication with North Korea?
I think VICE's story and process are unbelievably creative. As the CEO of an alternative youth culture magazine, Smith emphasizes the absurdness of his situation. He is not from a typical news outlet like CNN or BBC. His magazine originally focused on offbeat alternative culture and slowly transitioned into social criticism. As the CEO of an alternative youth culture magazine, Smith emphasizes the absurdness of his situation. VICE's mastery over serious, high-profile news coverage came almost out of nowhere. This is creativity. Accomplishing something unheard of and unconventional ways is the peak of creativity.
VICE is creatively revolutionizing our news outlets which have become overrun by fluff stories and dictated by audience size. Through honesty, bravery and immersion, they are changing the depth and exposure of our news and an incredibly important time, and I think they are doing it incredibly well.
The show has already covered child suicide bombers in Afghanistan, Kashmir's line of control, post-war Iraq, defectors in North Korea, gang violence in Chicago and oil piracy in Nigeria. The second season will feature stories on Iran, Saudi Arabia and more.