Showbiz Sandbox 33: “Avatar” Is A $100 Hamburger

December 14, 2009

James Rocchi was one of the lucky entertainment journalists invited to the “Avatar” premiere and press junket in London and he joins us this week to tell us all about it. Rocchi also helps us dissect all those year-end “Top 10” critics lists, not to mention one that rates the year’s best unproduced screenplays. Who do you think will be on the red carpet at Oscar time?

And the Best of 2009 lists extend into television and music territory as well. The Los Angeles Times rounded up the TV winners and losers for the season (and we compare them to our own predictions for this year’s television series from Episode 22). Meanwhile, SoundScan released the best selling albums and artists of the decade. Guess how many of them were released before 2002? Listen to the podcast to find out.

We sail through some of the week’s top entertainment news headlines in our Big Deal/Big Whoop segment, including the possibility of a “Ghostbusters 3” sequel in the works. Read more


Showbiz Sandbox Special Episode: Are Bloggers Breaking The Rules?

October 16, 2009

When Anne Thompson posted a story on Thompson On Hollywood last week questioning whether entertainment bloggers follow journalistic rules she had no intention of opening a Pandora’s box.  Nor did she mean to call out, or deride James Rocchi, a freelance entertainment writer and critic whose work appears on MSN and in Mother Jones magazine.  But, by suggesting that today’s entertainment bloggers may not share the same journalistic ethics as their mainstream media counterparts, Anne highlighted an issue that few in the industry like to discuss.

What happens when a studio or network pays for a journalist to travel to cover a film or show, especially when that trip is to an exotic location like Bora Bora?  Should the journalist disclose the means behind their coverage to readers, or are readers smart enough to figure it out on their own?  Does such activity influce the journalist’s critical review?

Based on the number of lengthy comments from well known journalists and industry influencers that appear on Anne’s post, Full Disclosure: Bloggers Break Rules, it is safe to say that people have very strong and passionate opinions on thte topic.  That’s why we asked Anne to join us along with James for a special episode of Showbiz Sandbox to talk about her post at length.  Read more