Falling short of the mark
The end of 2015 has prompted different TV networks to come up with “yearender” compilations that attempt to make sense of the seemingly contradictory and even chaotic events that have hit us from January to December.
In order to learn the right lessons from the natural and man-instigated trials that we have collectively experienced, we have to rewind, reflect and reassess—a similarly arduous task that annual TV reviews can help simplify and insightfully inform.
Much of the time, however, the TV people involved fall short of the insightful and incisive mark, because they try to make-do and pass muster with a simple and simplistic “reediting” or “montage compilation” of existing footage, handily collected under thematic headings like “terrorism,” “refugees,” “financial ups and downs,” “political upheavals,” “show biz,” “new media,” “violence and gun control,” “racial bias”—etc.
We recently caught a special yearender telecast to that effect, and the panel of “expert” commentators quickly talked itself into an unfocused rut, because it attempted to comment on all of those areas.
Unfortunately, they were strong in some areas and weak in too many others, so they were less than truly helpful.
It would have been more productive for the show to have tapped different experts for specific fields, instead of expecting their in-house staffers to be knowledgeable about everything!
Yes, they deal with a range of topics on a daily basis, but that’s just factual information most of time. When it comes to analysis and insight, specific expertise is required.
On the local TV scene, the situation leaves even more to be desired. Some years ago, a colleague was infamous for leaving practically all of his yearender “analysis” to assistants and editors, who more or less just spliced together the year’s “highlights” in each field until they all added up to the required program length, minus 10 minutes.
—Only then did he step in to pull the whole thing together with his less than insightful and mostly just “motherhood” statements and “insights.”
What about TV practice today? We caught a compilation for 2015, and found that little has changed. In fact, it’s deteriorated further.
TV people should realize that televiewers have become more demanding, so they have to work harder—and level up!
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