An analysis of morbid content as a narrative device with a boomerang effect, since even when it generates an audience, it tends to kill the media source that resorted to using it (updated version).
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…?
A brief examination of what highly educated people really read when nobody is watching them, allows us to conclude that it is humanly impossible to refrain from reading popular works –to maintain a “purely highbrow diet” comprised of only elite works.
We put forth the following explanation: Works applauded and esteemed by the elite arts in the last 100 years or so, envision a sordid, bitter, and hopeless world –thus frequently becoming toxic or harmful for their readers’ emotional and general health, as we shall analyse in other articles. A “purely-depressive works” diet would certainly kill its reader.
No wonder most people, and even highly educated ones, tend to prefer popular works, even if they lack the prestige of the “high arts”. What a pity it is, though, that even popular works have been contaminated by the biases that have progressively killed the “high” arts, thus diminishing the spontaneous and joyful pleasure we hope and expect to obtain from them.
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 and need fun contents in media –that…
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…