A story where “nothing happens”, may hardly prove interesting. Another one that produces in us a brutal level of anxiety, by accumulating destructive events, cannot sustain itself as the most enjoyable one –as a “long runner” product, either. In mass media, like everywhere else, the “right” seasoning is difficult to obtain, as different types of contents must be balanced and integrated to produce an enjoyable and memorable “dish”, so that it will be able to fulfill its social function without harming society. This is what this article talks about.
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…?
Around 1995-6, a new television company started to broadcast its signal to the Mexican audience. Some said it was being transmitted from Miami, but no-one truly knew where the signal was being aired from. Its programming was attractive, and was largely composed by reality based contents –mainly newscasts and documentaries. Its advertising campaign promised to deliver only truth to a country who hungered for it. Despite this, its news programs did not even mention the humongous national demonstration (with simultaneous massive local marches in all main cities), that repudiated the agreements signed by the Mexican delegation at a world population conference. Incongruities like this one happen all the time and in every media –internet included; and the expert reader uses them to filter the information he/she receives in order to discover truth –that is: the true image of reality, despite the many political, ideological and economic agendas which currently shape media contents.
In the time elapsed since this happened, that television channel went bankrupt, was taken over and changed its programming, …but never recuperated the audience it had initially attracted and lost. The audience is smarter than many think…