Media Evolution

Seth Godin on the evolution of every medium, when applied to the television industry:

TV used to be driven by the guys who knew how to run cameras and transmitters. Then it got handed off to the Ernie Kovacs/Rod Serling types. Then the financial operators like ITT and Gulf + Western milked it. And finally it’s just a job.

Yep. TV has become predictable.

Though I wasn’t part of the early days of public broadcasting, every account I’ve heard or read suggests it was a time of remarkable innovation and experimentation. There wasn’t a lot of money, but there was a lot of passion tied to a powerful mission. These days public TV doesn’t do commercial-style media well.  But it also doesn’t do mission-based media well.

There are outstanding examples of great media creation within the pubcasting world, but as a whole we’ve blanded the place up and disconnected it from our communities. Time to rethink the mission and re-energize the work. And it might just have to start with the engineers.

One thought on “Media Evolution

  1. Interesting blog John. With merger talks going on among public broadcasters in Alaska this is certainly relevant.

    Perhaps public broadcasting is not so different from newspapers. Newspapers are no longer the purveyors of news since it is available faster from other sources. What newspapers can add is context. Why, how, in what ways is this news item significant because it relates to other things around us? This would be valuable.

    Perhaps the content for public broadcasting is context. Public television is a content generating social medium in the same family as Facebook, You Tube, and Flkr. They may not consider themselves as such, but with the diversity of content venues available. perhaps it’s time for public broadcasting to reconsider.

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