Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Death of the Media

The last few weeks there have been some - belated to say the least - discussions in Belgium about the quality of the media. People are grumpy about the quality of the restyled national radio, that has lately been oozing the kind of Fun! Fun! Fun! approach to the medium that people (I purposely do not include myself, because I have not been listening any radio now for at least ten years) find irritable. I do not need to listen to the radio to know that they are right (because, as a working person with a desk job I am obliged to at least unconsciously listen to the barrage of bullshit music that is streaming out of the office radio's).

Another thing was the constatation that the television news is spending more and more time on violence and crime, let's call it the belated Americanisation of the European media. Of course, again the critics are right.

These are both truisms, so I will not comment on them. What really bugged me, though, was the sheer poverty of the arguments with which the executives, editors and programmers defended their respective stances (about turning radio into 'a nice passing time for nice people' and showing more violence and reporting more about crime). As always, they were argumenting that 'the people want this' and that they 'are only reflecting what happens in society' and other unholy bullshit that was stale 30 years ago. They do not even bother to construct a sophism or two. No, they just stick to the old and proved untruths.

Who said that we want more fun on the radio? Who said that we want more crime reports? Nobody said that of course. Because most people just do not know what they want. They merely take what is there. The real reason of course is that the traditional media are losing more and more ground to new media like YouTube and the internet in general. So these marketeers* (i.e. people who know what YOU want), instead of producing the kind of quality that is lacking in these new media, resort to pitiful lies that are as empty and transparent as the head of Paris Hilton (another 'brand'?). You cannot possibly hate these people, you can only pity them. And that is just what I will do to my last second.

Just needed to get that out of my system.

7 comments:

Robert said...

i feel better now...

:)

dejan said...

you're being overly cynical, i quite like the stuff i see from belgium - there was a great show on canvas about people who were wild in their youth only to crash badly in their thirties - a delightfully dry kind of humor - and you have some great animators as well, half of belleville was made in brussels.

Fire in the Mind said...

i am not at all overly cynical.

i was only writing about the prime time television news and the radio content on our national broadcasting company. anyone with a right mind will tell you that the quality of those has gone down steeply in the last 3-5 years.

dejan said...

i am not at all overly cynical.

ok that's a relief

i am quite sure the quality of that went down, as did the quality of everything else

Fire in the Mind said...

i am quite sure the quality of that went down, as did the quality of everything else

indeed :-)

problem is: i do not know what you are comparing with. maybe belgian tv is still a lot better than in other countries. but from my viewpoint the last years have been a true disaster, especially because a so-called marketing firm (called censydiam) has been advising the top of our national broadcasting company.

dejan said...

the marketing movement is everywhere, that's true (and awful). you have no idea how much trouble ''colin'' cost to get published finally, with a one-year delay. because it neither speaks to the general target group, not does it follow the marketing idea of what ''animation'' is or should be. quite frustrating, and appalling. i think belgium has excellent draughtsmen, which makes at least their graphical and animated productions far above par, especially in comparison to dumb holland. in fact i am just applying to a few jobs in your waters.

Fire in the Mind said...

let me know if you should be coming this way.