Following a lecture on ‘Context and Compliance in Broadcast‘ we were given some questions to think about which I am going to explore.
Where does TV fit in the world of media?
Television has undoubtably become our number one companion. It can offer us knowledge, escapism and even a reasonably priced baby sitter.
What makes it so appealing as a dominant medium within an ever-expanding world of media? Many would say the familiarity and easy accessability of televisionis behind its success. With just a touch of a button it’s always been there for us through the jubilees to the breaking news flashes from as far back as 1928 . My generation will never appreciate a radio with the addition of a television device consisting of a neon tube behind a mechanically spinning disk with a spiral of apertures that produced a red postage-stamp size image, enlarged to twice that size by a magnifying glass. But I’m sure that must have been a pretty tempting breakthrough having previously relied on sound alone. Televisions today with increasingly clear pictures allows us to travel from the comfort of our own homes. We don’t really need an imagination anymore to get our fix.
How is TV evolving to keep its audience?
“It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality.” – Shirley Chisholm.
The audience is always right! Television has a mass audience and so keeping its appeal includes an awful lot of variety. Our taste is constantly changing and television producers have to understand this if they stand any chance of their text surviving in the competitive world of cable television. Sky for example typically offers its audience 633 channels most of which with 24 hour broadcasting. Saying each programme is one hour-long that is 15192 programmes to sieve through in a day. Say what!?
Entertainment – 88 channels
Lifestyle & Culture – 37 channels
Movies – 27 channels
Music – 32 channels
Sports – 29 channels
News – 14 channels
Documentaries – 24 channels
Kids – 28 channels
Shopping – 42 channels
Sky Box Office – 55 channels
Religious – 15 channels
International – 50 channels
Gaming & Dating – 14 channels
Specialist – 6 channels
Adult – 56 channels
Regional / AD Variations – 23 channels
Sky Customer Channels – 5 channels
It’s no wonder television has been going to new lengths in order to compete. 3D television for example now offers its audience a cinematic experience that would never have been expected in your living room before. Allowing the audience to be closer than ever to the action has taken audiences of all demographics by storm with Some 113,000 people watched the London 2013 opening ceremony in 3D. Thinking about it , it’s pretty clear that television has had to evolve pretty drastically to keep up with the times. If we take the concept of watershed for example and how that has changed, what we consider harm and offence has changed considerably as we have become more tolerable. The BBC which once banned “Rum and Coca-Cola” – The Andrews Sisters (1945) for its obscene language allowed The wizard of Oz’s – Ding Dong the witch is dead in a huge controversial outcry following the death of Margaret Thatcher. What the audience wants the audience gets.
Why do magazine shows remain popular?
Magazine shows are unique in that it has this kind of appeal in which the audience is what makes the show and it is a technique difficult not to get sucked into. The competitions, the polls and the phone ins are all what make a magazine show seem entirely real to the viewer; as if made personally for the audience member themselves people want to get involved and feel like a community.
Studying the magazine show genre in terms of our own studio show has made me think more consciously about these codes and conventions and the way an audience can be attracted through participation. The think that has comes to mind throughout my revision of the magazine genre is:
Do magazine shows allow an exploration of an existing society or are they molding our society?
Well that’s another blog for another less sleepy time. What do you think?
Alexander Riley. (2009). Chapter 2. In: Addiction 101: Being A Human Being First. Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse. p8-12.
Anon. (2013). Editorial guide. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-harm-watershed/. Last accessed 13th May 2013.
Anon. (2nd May 2013). History of television. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_television#Television_sets. Last accessed 5th May 2013.
Miles,S. (2012). 3D Viewing up, but still small when it comes to the bigger picture. Available: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/116504-3d-tv-viewing-update-but-still-small. Last accessed 13 May 2013.
The unknown one. (2007). How many channels are on sky in total. Available: http://forums.digitalspy.co.uk/showthread.php?t=733454. Last accessed 13th May 2013.