On Journalism 2
Who exactly is this big, bad entity called “The Media”.
Whoever they are, they sure take a lot of heat. Nobody likes them. Everybody disrespects them. They’re blamed for just about everything from zapping our attention spans to “ruining this Great Nation of Ours”.
This from dictionary.com:
me⋅di⋅a Pronunciation [mee-dee-uh]
a pl. of medium.
(usually used with a plural verb ) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely: The media are covering the speech tonight.
Media, like data, is the plural form of a word borrowed directly from Latin. The singular, medium, early developed the meaning “an intervening agency, means, or instrument” and was first applied to newspapers two centuries ago. In the 1920s media began to appear as a singular collective noun, sometimes with the plural medias. This singular use is now common in the fields of mass communication and advertising, but it is not frequently found outside them: The media is (or are) not antibusiness.
Hey…that’s me! I work for TV. By that definition, I’m the media!
However, here’s another definition, courtesy steve.op:
- You are what you watch.
- And you are watching!
- Membership is free, but with freedom comes responsibilities…
According to Wikpedia, the top primetime telecasts of all time can be handily broken down into five categories:
- Big pro football games
- The final episodes of “The Fugitive”, “Mash” and “Cheers”
- “Roots” and “The Thorn Birds”
- Rare special events like the Beatles on Ed Sullivan
- and “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Is TV the chicken that spits up calorie-free programming, or the egg laid by viewers who clamor for more? People like to joke about TV news that “if it bleeds it leads”. The news is riddled with reports of murders and crime, house fires and traffic accidents, scandals of all shapes and sizes. But here’s another truism: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Why do you suppose that is? Why is it that the news leads off with murders and scandals rather than of a nice, positive feature on “community-building”?
Here’s another tantalizing item for thought. In 2009, the total numbers of emails or phone calls I personally received from viewers – other than those involved in the given story – is zero. Nada. Zip.
That’s about how often I get feedback on my stories from the “general public”. Oh, sure – my wife weighs in on how I do. She’s my biggest critic – and I value her opinion highly. She’s heard me “talk shop” so she knows a “jump cut” from a “sequence”. Combine that with her native intellect and her accumulated life experience, and she knows what she’s talking about. And when she talks I listen. Same goes for all of my other “fans”.
Feedback on what I do helps me to shape future stories. That’s how we work in TV. “Eat all you want; we’ll make more!”
So if it’s quality you’re hungry for, all you’ve got to do is tell us, the media, what you the media want.
Back to the “Top 46 of All Time”. Since I happen to work in “news”, I was particularly quick to observe that no news programs ranked in that list. No “ABC Nightly”. No “60 Minutes”.
In fact when you look up the current top 100 TV shows, the first “news program” to make the rankings is “Dateline NBC” at #69 — below “Hannah Montana”, “Family Guy”, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”, and “America’s Next Top Model”.
Currently, the top five most popular shows on TV are “Dancing with the Stars”, “Real Housewives of Orange County”, “NCIS”, “The Bachelor”, and “American Idol”. If that’s what you want, we’ll make more!
I rest my case.
Posted under Artist? Scientist? Philosopher? Camera Guy?
This post was written by sbetchkal on February 16, 2010