Compare the television landscape of today with the landscape depicted in Network. In particular, how has the average television viewer’s (if there is such a thing) news gathering methods and sources changed?
In an article provided by Professor Oldham, it was indicated that CBS, ABC, and NBC average from 5.5-7 million viewers during the evening news time slot. Those numbers aren’t very impressive if one considers 108 million individuals tuned in for the 2013 Super Bowl. However, these lower numbers are understandable if compared to the time period that the movie, Network, is based out of because at that time there are only a handful of stations competing for viewership. With the emergence of cable tv, AT&T Uverse, and other unique services, individuals can have channels in the 5000s.
If there is one element of the article that I find that stands out the most in comparison with Network is the ownership of the stations. As stated in the article “ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by General Electric Co. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.”
All of the television networks today are owned by large global corporations. No longer do we see a home grown corporation in full control of their programming, causing havoc in the lives of employees.
Disney has their hands in almost every market and the same can be said of Warner Bros. Entertainment. The world, through advancement in cellular devices, the internet and television, the world has become a far smaller place. All of these corporations are vast empires looking only to make a profit and the competitive edge may not be present as it was 50 years ago.
4. In Network, programming the news is taken to the extreme. To what degree do you feel the news is programmed in reality? Support your answer with details and examples.
In the movie, Network, extremes are taken as they take a man considered to be mentally ill and they thrust him in front of a live audience and cameras and portray him as a modern prophet.
Do news networks take the extremes today?
I have one example that suggests that those in affiliated with the news have no emotions or if they do, there is a switch turned to the off position when covering their assignments. Take the Sandy Hook shooting: a story that swept the nation, in fact students from the school performed at the most recent Super Bowl.
How did the news originally cover the situation?
Let us focus on CNN who after arriving at the school, describing the location, they began pulling children and interviewed them. They put children under the age of 10, who were crying, confused, and scared on TV to depict what had happened. That is pretty sick if you think about it. Ratings would indicate that such an emotional interview would be a great attribute in taking down competition as well as establishing a dark shroud over the viewership. To inflict fear on the viewers and to instill in their minds that their network, CNN has all the answers is an objective they strive on a daily basis.
Many media outlets in the United States struggle to move on. Months we hear about one shooting which will last until the next which causes for studies to be published and experts on morning talk shows discussing the psychology of a mind that has the audacity to take the lives of children.
Some may see this mentality as insensitive to the situation however others have a mindset that we should not over expose our vulnerability.
This nation will reflect the tragedy of 9/11 until the earth crumbles but even in the roughly 12 years since, the country has transitioned into mourning into remembering which allows for a rebuilding process. The Freedom Tower is being built taller than the original Twin Towers, a symbol of this nation’s strength to rebuild to greater levels that dreamt imaginable.
However, a sense of patriotism that one may embrace when seeing the new building being constructed combats the media outlets as every year during the week, “Remembering 9/11” all the same clips are shown, we begin to recognize faces in the crowds running away. I think the constant redistribution of the same material, having the same discussions, which are what causes us to go numb with emotions. We become accustomed to seeing the pain – we become casual when discussing a terrorist attack that killed over 3000 innocent people. One may read that last sentence, but how much did that shock you? The writing might not be compelling but the vast overexposure by some media outlets has reduced the true detriment of the event.