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.