La lectura en el mundo actual Archive

  • When we first published this article (1995), internet had only been in existence for 2 years, and was just starting to make its presence felt at Mexican universities [the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)  was the first to have its own network node].  In spite of this, newspaper and magazine sales had already been dropping for years.
Our “newsstands” are more and more appealing ─including María Elena's, the newspaper seller we interviewed for this article, and whose son still assists customers today (2013)─. But a nice looking newsstand cannot protect its owners from products that are less and less appealing to consumers.
And that isn't the only problem: Men comprise an increasing number of newsstand customers, and there are fewer of them all the time, because  ─as she says─ the general public has drifted away from these retailers… Logically, this has affected sales, since obviously a specific part of the public, will always be less numerous than the majority  ─families, those with general interests...─. 
Therefore: Each product must have its own distribution channel, and not all can coexist in the same space…

    The media and their many problems: KIOSKS SLOW DEATH

    When we first published this article (1995), internet had only been in existence for 2 years, and was just starting to make its presence felt at Mexican universities [the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) was the first to have its own network node]. In spite of this, newspaper and magazine sales had already been dropping for years. Our “newsstands” are more and more appealing ─including María Elena's, the newspaper seller we interviewed for this article, and whose son still assists customers today (2013)─. But a nice looking newsstand cannot protect its owners from products that are less and less appealing to consumers. And that isn't the only problem: Men comprise an increasing number of newsstand customers, and there are fewer of them all the time, because ─as she says─ the general public has drifted away from these retailers… Logically, this has affected sales, since obviously a specific part of the public, will always be less numerous than the majority ─families, those with general interests...─. Therefore: Each product must have its own distribution channel, and not all can coexist in the same space…

    Continue Reading...

  • The Digital Revolution (i.e.: the proliferation of the internet, personal computers, mobile/portable devices, etc.) is currently being blamed for the dramatic sales fall that traditional and electronic media are experiencing.  This article, originally published in 1994, witnesses to the unfairness of this myth:  The Internet was officially born in 1993, only one year before this article was written, and its reach in Mexico was still scarce at that time; yet media had already been losing sales and audiences steadily –for years in some cases, and for decades in others.

The fact is so evident that few –if any, of the media products' sales recorded here (including a couple of national newspapers), ever recuperated their previous audiences, and many have disappeared altogether:

Contrary to professionally-generated mainstream-media contents, those internet's contents that have been generated by the general audience (think of FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, e-mail chains and attachments, and the like), are majoritarianly "clean" (amiable in regards to the general audiences' values, ideas and beliefs).  And people are consuming them massively, close to the verge of addiction.

Society cannot possibly deliver mass media a more conclusive message, or put its case in a stronger way.
What are they waiting for to react accordingly...?

    THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE MISSING SPECTATOR has little to do with the Digital Revolution

    The Digital Revolution (i.e.: the proliferation of the internet, personal computers, mobile/portable devices, etc.) is currently being blamed for the dramatic sales fall that traditional and electronic media are experiencing. This article, originally published in 1994, witnesses to the unfairness of this myth: The Internet was officially born in 1993, only one year before this article was written, and its reach in Mexico was still scarce at that time; yet media had already been losing sales and audiences steadily –for years in some cases, and for decades in others. The fact is so evident that few –if any, of the media products' sales recorded here (including a couple of national newspapers), ever recuperated their previous audiences, and many have disappeared altogether: Contrary to professionally-generated mainstream-media contents, those internet's contents that have been generated by the general audience (think of FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, e-mail chains and attachments, and the like), are majoritarianly "clean" (amiable in regards to the general audiences' values, ideas and beliefs). And people are consuming them massively, close to the verge of addiction. Society cannot possibly deliver mass media a more conclusive message, or put its case in a stronger way. What are they waiting for to react accordingly...?

    Continue Reading...

  • This article analyzes the consumption of cultural works in Mexico, at the end of the XXth century. 
In the years elapsed since it was published, however, the number of copies magazines sell -like national papers' and other media products' sales, have plummeted.
Several best-selling magazines it mentions, have disappeared from the market; and others are publishing less than a fourth of the copies they did at that time, as a consequence of the very same issues this article analyzed: Creators, producers and distributors of both "high brow" (elite) and "low brow" (popular) works, have alienated themselves from their audiences, and through the continuous opposition to the latters' values, ideas and beliefs (through both veiled and overt contestation), they have lost their consumers' trust.  And also their money.

In other words: What this article concluded, is still true, including the fact that people -even the younger generations, are reading... --yes, indeed!; but not what some would like them to read.
In the end, this is more positive for society in many senses, than the consumption of media works that would otherwise have corroded even more, the social and cultural tissue of our countries.
What we have observed is the displacement of average audiences, towards works that better reflect the latter's values, ideas and beliefs, as we should have expected since the beginning: This facilitates the survival of the larger part of the social group and its culture --the part that has been less influenced by media in general, by the way.

Anyone could have foreseen what has happened, from a social-anthropology or systems-theories' frames of study --we certainly did, and published it all around, while many stared at us in disbelief. Nowadays media fear for their very survival; but the social-body demonstrates a vigour and an intuition, few would have vowed for. It will soon produce new works, away from dominant content agendas, that most of us  (but sadly not all), will love.

    If it is not the readers’ fault, WHOM SHOULD WE BLAME…?

    This article analyzes the consumption of cultural works in Mexico, at the end of the XXth century. In the years elapsed since it was published, however, the number of copies magazines sell -like national papers' and other media products' sales, have plummeted. Several best-selling magazines it mentions, have disappeared from the market; and others are publishing less than a fourth of the copies they did at that time, as a consequence of the very same issues this article analyzed: Creators, producers and distributors of both "high brow" (elite) and "low brow" (popular) works, have alienated themselves from their audiences, and through the continuous opposition to the latters' values, ideas and beliefs (through both veiled and overt contestation), they have lost their consumers' trust. And also their money. In other words: What this article concluded, is still true, including the fact that people -even the younger generations, are reading... --yes, indeed!; but not what some would like them to read. In the end, this is more positive for society in many senses, than the consumption of media works that would otherwise have corroded even more, the social and cultural tissue of our countries. What we have observed is the displacement of average audiences, towards works that better reflect the latter's values, ideas and beliefs, as we should have expected since the beginning: This facilitates the survival of the larger part of the social group and its culture --the part that has been less influenced by media in general, by the way. Anyone could have foreseen what has happened, from a social-anthropology or systems-theories' frames of study --we certainly did, and published it all around, while many stared at us in disbelief. Nowadays media fear for their very survival; but the social-body demonstrates a vigour and an intuition, few would have vowed for. It will soon produce new works, away from dominant content agendas, that most of us (but sadly not all), will love.

    Continue Reading...

  • Like any other schooling system, Modern formal education in the Western world, tends to reproduce in students a certain mindset -a certain frame of mind, therefore privileging a particular type of intelligence --the literate one in this case, over others. 
We must not forget that this type of intelligence is not the only one humans can access, however:  There are other intellectual abilites which it is also worthwhile to acquire, like those an oral culture appreciates, and which are innate to our species.

If we keep basic concept like this is mind, we will be able to make more accurate assumptions about reality, thus improving the quality of the decisions we make,  the worth of our opinions, and their impact in the world.

This article mentions one clear example: How  the differences between the oral and the literate mindsets, and their intrinsic biases, reduce the possibility of reaching a durable and fair solution for conflicts as serious as the Chiapas rebellion in Mexico, thus gravely affecting the life of a whole nation.  The paradigm shift is another example.
__
This is a short version for the general audience, of a very long specialized article that the Revista Digital Universitaria de la UNAM, published in 2002.

    O, YEE PROUD PRINTED LETTER…!, or How we have come to forget the worth and value of orality and “normality” in the last 100 years.

    Like any other schooling system, Modern formal education in the Western world, tends to reproduce in students a certain mindset -a certain frame of mind, therefore privileging a particular type of intelligence --the literate one in this case, over others. We must not forget that this type of intelligence is not the only one humans can access, however: There are other intellectual abilites which it is also worthwhile to acquire, like those an oral culture appreciates, and which are innate to our species. If we keep basic concept like this is mind, we will be able to make more accurate assumptions about reality, thus improving the quality of the decisions we make, the worth of our opinions, and their impact in the world. This article mentions one clear example: How the differences between the oral and the literate mindsets, and their intrinsic biases, reduce the possibility of reaching a durable and fair solution for conflicts as serious as the Chiapas rebellion in Mexico, thus gravely affecting the life of a whole nation. The paradigm shift is another example. __ This is a short version for the general audience, of a very long specialized article that the Revista Digital Universitaria de la UNAM, published in 2002.

    Continue Reading...

  • This web is the result of a seminal discovery, expressed by an uncountable number of impartial consumer and scientific studies: That both because of personal and social reasons, the majority of us want […]

    FOR AUDIENCES WHO LONG TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT SUFFERING (including parents, teachers and all kinds of consumers)

    This web is the result of a seminal discovery, expressed by an uncountable number of impartial consumer and scientific studies: That both because of personal and social reasons, the majority of us want […]

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  • Communications media ARE in a terrible financial state; and not only in Spain, but in the better part of the Western world as well.

Last week news-programs loudly celebrated the fact that in 2010 “more Spanish films than ever before” had been shown (…!) in Spanish movie theaters; but this week only a few mentioned the fact that Madrid's movie theaters had 9% fewer patrons than last year... (Report on the Economic and Social Conditions of Madrid's Residents, apud “Qué” (daily newspaper), October 13, 2011, p. 4).

MacLuhan believed that “the media is the message”, because the dizzying developments in the technology we use to transmit media contents, dazzle and appeal to us in-and-of themselves –it calls out for attention like a volcanic eruption would.  That said, the frenentic technological race is coming to an end –in addition to proving to be extraordinarily costly, both for the media as well as for society.  ...And the contents that those in power allow us to transmit, are further and further removed from what their respective societies would naturally and spontaneously choose to consume, if allowed to.

The “ropes” are on fire; and it would appear that few in the world of Communications media –traditional, electronic or digital–, are prepared to risk it all, shouting “water for the ropes!”. The majority are terrified of speaking out, and of admitting that something is terribly wrong.  And therefore they are losing trustworthiness, influence, audience, and money.

As we already said on another occasion:  Every nation needs media; but the media –without its people– cannot exist at all…

    HELP SAVE MEDIA PEOPLE! (artists, creators, producers, publishers, distributors…)

    Communications media ARE in a terrible financial state; and not only in Spain, but in the better part of the Western world as well. Last week news-programs loudly celebrated the fact that in 2010 “more Spanish films than ever before” had been shown (…!) in Spanish movie theaters; but this week only a few mentioned the fact that Madrid's movie theaters had 9% fewer patrons than last year... (Report on the Economic and Social Conditions of Madrid's Residents, apud “Qué” (daily newspaper), October 13, 2011, p. 4). MacLuhan believed that “the media is the message”, because the dizzying developments in the technology we use to transmit media contents, dazzle and appeal to us in-and-of themselves –it calls out for attention like a volcanic eruption would. That said, the frenentic technological race is coming to an end –in addition to proving to be extraordinarily costly, both for the media as well as for society. ...And the contents that those in power allow us to transmit, are further and further removed from what their respective societies would naturally and spontaneously choose to consume, if allowed to. The “ropes” are on fire; and it would appear that few in the world of Communications media –traditional, electronic or digital–, are prepared to risk it all, shouting “water for the ropes!”. The majority are terrified of speaking out, and of admitting that something is terribly wrong. And therefore they are losing trustworthiness, influence, audience, and money. As we already said on another occasion: Every nation needs media; but the media –without its people– cannot exist at all…

    Continue Reading...

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