TV: Paradise Lost, or Losing?

There are many issues the entertainment world, and its audience is getting restless. Many viewers complain about the number of TV shows, commercials and “infomercials” exceeding proscribed limits. When they watch they say it “feels like five minutes of programming and seven minutes of commercials.” Other viewers are bothered about what they see in TV news: opinionated anchors, overly-dramatic reportage, emphasis on violent events and “telegenic” crimes as well as often demeaning depictions of minorities.

This could be a problem if not addressed; and the “easy ride” of programming could be in trouble, but there is no indication that the industry is aware of any problem. Ratings are really the only contact the industry has with the viewing public; and all it does is rate a program by the number of viewers watching in a certain time frame. But that doesn’t always reflect what viewers really feel about the programming itself, only about the number of people viewing it.

Many viewers watch Fox News because they like the anchors, commentaries and reportage; but just as many watch it because they don’t like the reportage. Ratings measure the number of viewers, but it can’t really measure a programs true “influence” or effect on the viewer. Watching” does not always mean “approval”.

When the public begins to feel they are being manipulated, they will stop watching; but it doesn’t always mean it about “politics”. Excessive commercials, manipulative programming and practices such as “infomercials” – commercials disguised as informative “news“ programs — need to be more closely monitored and regulated.

TV has had a great ride, but the internet and videos have cut into its relevance. The same news and features can now be accessed online. TV’s basic purpose was supposedly to serve and inform the public, not just manipulate it.