Balance between local interests and national/international event on television - Essay Example

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If I am a news director of local television station and have to choose between news of park closures and the celebrity death, then I will choose the former. The purpose of a local television station is to satisfy the entertainment and information needs of its viewers. …
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Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 13 November Part one If I am a news director of local television station and have to choose between news of park closures and the celebrity death, then I will choose the former. The purpose of a local television station is to satisfy the entertainment and information needs of its viewers. If it fails in that purpose, then it doesn’t function even primary purpose of its existence. Peter Drucker, the management guru, once said that a company was like an organ in a human body. Its purpose was to serve the body which means the society or the country. Same can be said about the television station. But at the same time it will be financially unwise to ignore the death of the celebrity. If the celebrity news doesn’t get proper coverage, then the viewers may feel the television channel is out of tune with the outside (wider) world. In such a situation, a healthy balance has to be maintained between local interests and national/international event. This situation was recently faced by news channels in Great Britain. On one hand they had to cover the tragic story of massacre in Norway by the hands of Andrew Briewik. This incident had shocked the whole world and deserved not only proper media coverage but also great deal of analysis. On the other hand, famous jazz singer Amy Winehouse had died in her house. She had a troubled life and struggled to get rid of alcohol addiction. Both the news were tragic and deserved media coverage. The British media’s response to the whole dilemma was phenomenal. Although the massacres took place in Norway and Amy Winehouse died in London, more coverage was given to Oslo which was the scene of crime at that time. This tells about the ethics of the British media. The spirit of true journalism was not sacrificed for the other news, no matter how sensational it was. As I have said earlier, more coverage would be given to the news of park closures. But the magnitude of coverage depends upon the locality itself. Unfortunately, it is a fact that interests of rich people and rich communities are very appropriately addressed by the media which may not be the case with poor communities. If the locality is well off or ‘posh’ then I wouldn’t have to worry about media coverage. There would be other media channels and if not, then the people living there can use their influence or technologies (social networking sites, videos) to spread the news about park closures. But if the locality was poor, then there needs to be an extra responsibility towards the deprived sections of the society. The best way to deal with this situation will be to call for a meeting of all the staff and reporters and discuss the issue with them. Sometimes people come up with suggestions that can solve the problem without much hassle. There might also be some reporters who would resist shifting focus from the park closure story, because they have organized a decent coverage so that people can have government attention. Whatever the decision I take, I will be conscious of the fact that while people can see celebrity news on other channels and even internet, my channel shouldn’t falter on its tacit promise to its viewers, and that promise would be reliability and honesty. Part Two It can be really hard to determine whether culture borrows more from movies or whether movies and television are influenced by culture. On deep analysis the fact comes out that they have a symbiotic relationship. Movies have been a source of entertainment and inspiration since many decades. Movies have told stories about both ordinary people and extra-ordinary circumstances. In the whole process movies have given cultural icons who are emulated by the society. Whether it be James Dean in the 1950’s, Marilyn Monroe or Marlon Brando, movies have produced icons who have shaped the society in a subtle manner. In current times, these icons come from not only the movie world but also television. Oprah Winfrey is icon and has fan following in millions. These stars not only have huge popularity, they also wield a great amount of power over people. An endorsement from a star can persuade people to buy that product. From fashion statements to hair styling, people follow these stars fanatically. But the relationship between culture, movies and television isn’t just about celebrity culture. As said earlier, art seems to be inspired from life. It shows stories about people, their struggles, triumphs, celebrations. In the process of being a mirror to the society, art enriches the society itself. People get information about what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out’. Many get a sense of purpose. Many get dreams from art (movies and television) which they want to pursue at all cost. There is one more emerging technology which has created a special place in the hearts of millions of people and especially younger generation. That technology is video games which was in its formative years around 15 years back. The craze they developed at that time hasn’t waned with the passage of time. Initially there were less complicated games such as Mario, Taken and Street fighter which captured the imaginations of youngsters. Now electronic games have evolved into a different technology which not only entertains you but also can keep you fit. Playstation and Wii are examples of it. These games are used for learning dance and also exercising. Electronic games also have a very close relationship with movies. There are many games that have been turned into blockbuster movies. For example – 1- Tomb Raider 2- Final Destination 3- Street Fighter 4- Mortal Combat This shows that the movie industry closely watches the interests of people and then serves the same contents in its own special way. At the same time there are many Hollywood movies that have been converted into the video game format. The movies, television and electronic games have also affected the equilibrium of culture by violence. Not every movie is a source of violence, but many people have been inspired by what they see on their screens. There are umpteen examples of murders and other crimes where criminal have tried to replicate the things they have seen on screen. For example, after seeing Robert de Niro in Taxi Driver, one psychopath tried to assassinate U.S. President Ronald Reagen. There have been many such cases where life has tried to imitate art, and that too in a violent manner. Read More
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