April 22, 2004

Dumbing Down, TV style!

Serious shows turn off viewers, says the Guardian this morning.

In a survey of 6,000 households, fewer than 10% of viewers thought arts and religious programming were "of importance to society". News, sport, drama and soaps were regarded as far more important. Fewer than 50% of those questioned thought the main terrestrial channels should provide programmes for different ethnic, religious or other minority groups.

BBC 'squeezing out serious shows to chase ratings' says the Independent.

ThisLondon reports it this way:

"...the (Ofcom) report shows that spending on arts, children's, religious and educational programmes all fell as the channels went for ratings winners including soaps such as Coronation Street and EastEnders.

There was also an increase in reality shows with Big Brother, Fame Academy, Pop Idol and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, while arts and current affairs have been relegated to slots away from the peak time.

For those who insist on telling us that the medium of film and television can be a useful and effective vehicle of truth (i.e Passion buffs), there is a lesson to be learned here.

These visual arts are about entertainment. People do not want to be 'educated' or 'challenged' by television. They want escapism, enjoyment and relaxation - and if they don't get it, they will flip the channel.

They certainly don't want to be preached to.

Posted by pencils at April 22, 2004 11:45 AM | TrackBack

And unless, of course, they are watching The Preaching Channel on SKY...

Posted by: pencils at April 23, 2004 05:47 PM

I think the OFCOM report dealt with terrestrial viewing only - specialist channels will always thrive on the minority that regularly, or even occasionally watch, but they will never compete with the primetime ratings heavyweights BBC and ITV. These documentary channels buck the trend - but unfortunately will only ever be a minority niche market.

Point taken though - not all of us are brain dead!

Posted by: pencils at April 23, 2004 11:09 AM

But what about National Geographic and the History channel?

Posted by: Andy at April 22, 2004 08:46 PM


Posted by: Jon at April 22, 2004 06:08 PM
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