Future of Television

[facebook_ilike]Thoughtful piece by Tom McGuirk in the Sunday Business Post. Part of an interesting debate in Ireland at present re the value of television presenters (lots of pressure to cut their remuneration further in light of the tough economic climate). Tom takes a different angle: plenty of examples of people being able to step in, at relatively short notice with practically no training, to run chat show time programmes. But his other concern relates to the quality fo the content e.g. a chat show that juxtapositions Tony Blair and Jedward. I drove past the studios that night myself – a confused grouping of Any Blair demonstrators and pro Jedward fans gathered at the entrance.

This all takes place in the context of the ongoing debate about the future of television, newspapers, journalism. Major initiatives from Google, Apple, etc re TV promise a new TV experience, integrated fully with the web – including all the social functionality which has become commonplace on the web.

However think Tom’s final comments may ring true with many of us: ‘ But in the 36 years since I started out, I hope television has also become more accessible and more utilitarian for the viewers and licence payers. There should no longer be any mystery or mystique about it. Already, a new generation are emerging who make their own excellent TV programmes with equipment bought on the main street.

They see TV as merely functional, just another means of expression. Most of the time, television is boring and banal – and the truth is that, as you get older, you will probably enjoy a good book far more.’