The 20th Annual Webby Awards

Interview with Alex Miller, VICE Global Head of Content

Why the Internet can’t be stopped in 5 words: No freedom without free press

Watch Action Bronson, star of “F*ck That’s Delicious present The Webby for Best Cultural Website to VICE Co-Founder and CEO Shane Smith at the 20th Annual Webby Awards!

Started as a print magazine in 1994 by Suroosh Alvi and our very own IADAS Jury Member Shane Smith, in Montreal, VICE Media has grown into a global media company and award winning content creation studio operating in over 30 territories. With over 11 digital properties, VICE Media is an “ever-expanding nebula of immersive investigative journalism” that has taken over how we experience news, including the Emmy-winning documentary TV-series VICE on HBO.

It’s no surprise that the Brooklyn-based company has won an impressive 43 Webby Nominations + Wins, including The Creators Project (a website launched with Intel to celebrate creativity, arts and technology), and their original digital content for VICE MotherboardVICE News and more. 

We caught up with Alex Miller, VICE Media’s Global Head of Content, on the evolution of digital longform documentaries, diversification and future projects to keep an eye out for.

Tell us about your depiction of “The Internet Can’t Be Stopped”

How do you stop a monster with 15 billion fingers, 6 billion eyes, and 3 billion brains? As time goes on, this crazy, ever changing beast will only grow as it is fed with every good, bad, beautiful, and ridiculous experience or thought humans will ever encounter. Ironically, this unstoppable digital monster is the purest expression of humanity ever conceived; so as long as we’re here, the internet will be too.    

What’s the best thing to happen to the Internet in the past 20 years?

20 years ago people were still confused about what the internet was for. The answer of course, was everything. To use a personal example, when VICE started talking about putting longform documentary online, everyone told us it would never work, that internet video would never be more than a repository for cats and porn. Fortunately it turned out that cat and porn enthusiasts also dig longform docs.

What are you most excited for in the next 20 years of the Internet?

Watching those who attempt to control it fail.

Your team has helped shape the last 20 years of the Webbys. What are you working on now?

The interesting challenge we face now is diversification. Tech is constantly throwing new innovation, new forms and formats and media has to work out how to deliver a message across every one of them. I strongly believe it’s not complicated, that quality storytelling will always shine. We’re very proud of our most recent editorial project examining all aspects of the American criminal justice system. The project was across all VICE platforms-from our 10 online channels to our print magazine, HBO show, and mobile offerings like Snapchat Discover.

Why the Internet can’t be stopped in 5 words:

No freedom without free press

For the Call for Entries for our 20th Webby Awards, we have partnered with 20 Webby Winners – who throughout the past 20 years have shaped not only The Webby Awards, but the Internet itself. Read more about our 20th Webbys collaboration here.

Don’t forget you can watch all the highlights from the 20th Annual Webby Awards now!

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