Thursday, December 3, 2015

Radio & TV News : why ?

If I were Prime Minister, Radio and TV News shows and staffers would be gone in a flash.

If humanity lost all its radio and TV news overnight, it won't lose a thing--- just as long as we still had long form texts with pictures in our print media. Even better, long, long form texts and plentifully pictures with a few links to short audio and video clips, available 24/7/365 online.

I loved radio and TV, though I generally never go near them these days. I think they are/were wonderful pipelines for delivering music and movies, sports and live events - even current affairs shows with five pundits yelling at each other.

Radio and TV do emotion and drama wonderfully - but they don't deliver detailed explanations very well. They don't provide the rewinding-ness of video and records and the multi-column-ness of newspapers and magazines.

I never learn anything from the news on the radio or TV --- their expensively produced reports are both too brief and flash by too quickly. They simply tease, raising more questions than provide detailed explanations.

Radio/TV news is basically a very expensive way to have trained voices read extended headlines aloud for the one half of our high school and college graduates who find reading too painful ever to do voluntarily.

Yes films, music records, radio and TV did kill newspapers and other print media, but not in the immediate or even in the moderate long term. Only in the very long run.

Simply by reducing the need for a large number of school graduates, born after the start of the TV age, to continue the school-learned hard work of reading daily, even if only newspaper headlines and lead sentences, merely to stay even basically informed.

People today are less not more long form literate than they were a century or more ago --- because they don't need long form literacy to get by.

TV in particular has always distorted public discussion of important issues because people view TV news to be entertained and roused emotionally.A government minister blowing up with a critic is simply more entertaining, more dramatic, than a report detailing pension shortfalls affecting half the population for decades to come.

More dramatic but far less important, far less newsworthy.

When the world faces an unprecedented ecological crisis with all the various options having huge lifestyle costs, we need lots of facts as much as we need emotion. I believe text media and still pictures can and always has provided emotion - but what they also provide (and TV and radio don't) is all those complicated facts.

Saving the planet may require us also killing radio and TV news....

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