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Dissatisfied viewers demand more varied and balanced TV fare

entertainment / Columns
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Dissatisfied viewers demand more varied and balanced TV fare

/ 12:10 AM August 25, 2017

For a long time now, we’ve been griping about the less than responsible and professional service that some TV people and channels have been providing.

We keep reminding them that, when they get a franchise from the government, they pledge to provide certain “must” services like balanced programing, shows that help develop the potentials of young people in various areas of their physical, mental and psychological makeup, programs for minority or “niche” audiences, etc.

Alas, in most cases, those pious and fervent pledges are more often honored in the breach than in the observance.

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What “balanced” programming? From morn till night, local TV programming is dominated by drama series of all types and stripes, more than 20 of them at last count—and that’s not including the “imported” series from South Korea, Japan and Latin America.

We keep grousing in print about this glaring lack of variety in terms of program type and content. But, the pledge-breakers just keep doing what brings in the most money, and the regulatory agencies don’t lift a limp finger to make them toe the line!

In such a dire and dismal situation, it’s the poorly served viewers who should protest loudest of all.

Unfortunately, most people are passive viewers who are all too easily pleased by less than responsible TV service.

Fact is, if they act and complain together, they have the collective viewer power to get many of the reforms they richly deserve.

Which is why we’re heartened by the fact that more people, writers and social media sharers, as well, are now demanding better and more varied TV fare.

If enough people do this consistently, the television people and channels concerned will have to improve their service, for fear of being collectively chastised and shunned.

A recent survey of viewers’ complaints indicates the TV sins of commission and omission that most aggravate viewers this season:

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They include too  many teleseryes, too many commercials per telecasting hour, especially on primetime; too few shows for children; too many so-called talent competitions; shallow and bitchy gossip shows, and topics, visuals and soundtracks too mature for child, or General Patronage viewership, which is what TV should aim for most of the time, except late at night.

This should be the case, because child viewers’ minds and psyches are not yet fully formed, so they need to be protected from TV inputs and content that’s too adult for their young sensibilities to process.

In addition, local TV is found wanting in the key area of news and public affairs programming, with too much emphasis on crime and violence reportage—much of which is really non-news, blood and sensationalism for its own sake.

To make things worse, “commentary” shows feature opinion-makers who subjectively rant and rage about everything, misleadingly “teaching” listeners and viewers to be similarly shallow and mean-spirited.

Clearly, even more people are needed to join the campaign to make local TV clean up its act. We have the all-powerful viewer power. Let’s use it to convince erring TV people to give us the truly responsible and professional service we and our children richly deserve.

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