Monday, February 5, 2007

Outside the Box

This picture is too powerful. In a nutshell it symbolizes globalization. One can also assume that the residents of this village are more concerned with entertainment than caring for the appearance of their houses. Another can argue that unemployment there is so high that satellite TVs become a must since people spend the bulk of their time at home. Makes me wonder how informed the people of this village are compared to those who live in urban areas; or for that matter, to any other connected home.

This picture also asserts the strength and influence that the media plays in our lives, both good and bad. With the myriad of program offerings one can almost always find something of interest – sports updates, election results, health tips, celebrity gossip, movie reviews, and the list goes on. So in essence, television can represent and report on the progress of societies in all aspects and disciplines of life.

But there seems to be a persistent negativity that surrounds this two letter word – TV. Many associate it with news, which more than often is not too delightful - epidemic outbreaks, crime, natural disasters, corruption, poverty, and on and on. And for some reason we keep watching. So is it that our taste for news has changed overtime? Could there not be enough accomplishments for us to highlight? Do negative reports always outnumber positive ones? Or has the definition of news simply evolved to become the record of human failure?


hipster said...

I'm honoured to be the first person to reply:)

As they say, a picture can speak a thousand words.

Thank you for the interesting & thought-provoking read.

To answer your questions,I humbly believe it's a case of negative reports outnumbering the postive ones, which, as you stated, shows our failures:) but that leads to other questions, do people tend to refer to the past as " the good old days" simply because the media wasn't that advanced & sophisticated as it is now & thus, they couldn't get easy access to global news?
& how about the media/news content?
Isn't it being played up or down,edited or concealed in accordance to its controllers'/providers' perceptions & tweaked to suit their needs?! *sigh*

Personally, I watch TV for 3 reasons: Movies, sitcoms and documentaries:)

roi kwabena said...

when i was growing up in trinidad my colleagues and i decided to blank (avoid like a plague) the mind control perpetrated by the media including the TV...we nicknamed it the "idiot's box"
my gran ma now an ancestor would like that as she protested when grandad brought home a tv in 1963....

great to be linked
check out

Dousanna said...

Hipster, thank you for blessing this blog with your kind words.

You raised some important and challenging points that have no easy answers but rather deserve a post of its own. I'll come back at you with a part II.

Roi, that's interesting because the notion of a "mind control tv" seems to be downplayed in developing countries where more than often people rely on a sole source (the state) to provide them with news. To this day, many trust in that information and take it as completely truthful. I wonder what the content was like in trinidad in 1963?

hipster said...

Looking forward to it:)

Roman Kalik said...

Do negative reports honestly outnumber the positive reports? Hardly. I would argue that it is the same with history, and as any casual reader will find a great deal more is said about all the negative humanity has managed to achieve, from wars to assassinations to massacres.

Why? Simply because politics, intrigue, and what shocks us is what we are interested to watch. It is what draws our interest, and I daresay that if the News reported focused on the good rather than the bad, then we would quickly switch to another channel. Thus news agencies simply focus on what brings them more customers, more people who will buy newspapers, more people who will watch the news channel, and more people who will read the news website.

It is a matter of supply and demand, and while there is indeed a great deal of supply I would say that there's also a great deal of good in supply. But would a peaceful existence between two nations interest any of us as much as a great big war when we turn on the television? I would say not.

As for television being a form of mind-control, it is such because people tend to approach it in a very simplistic manner, I would go as far as to call it reverential, as if the illusion is reality and the people on the News are infallible...

But then, the same people would believe anything a man tells them at the local pub, and trust their state representatives wholly if they could talk in person in the same manner they can on TV. What television brings, as does radio, newspaper, web-page, is an interaction barrier. It makes propaganda easier, if one chooses to use the medium for such, as truly charismatic people are lacking.

There's nothing wrong with watching television, as such. But there is a wrong way to approach it.

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