Monday, June 05, 2006

Death of the captive audience

I would like to highlight the comments by Kate Nicholas in last weeks 'PR Week' on the dubbing down of the British publics media diet, in her article “Media too often skew complex subjects” (2nd June 2006). I would corral a view that the press and broadcasters are trying to deliver what the public want, as it keeps them in jobs.

The current news ‘push’ is however being increasingly replaced by information ‘pull’ as more adopt web sources. Online the agenda is no longer in the hands of the news bulletin producers and newspaper editors. Online users will only look at what they are interested in and are not ’forced’ to sit through or listen to features of educational or world importance. How many do people access webpages about poverty in Africa as opposed to David Beckham?

Kate has highlighted a growing public ignorance and rightly argues that it is a result of falling media standards. With the shift to online sources I can only see this trend accelerating. In my view the result is it is becoming much harder to get worthwhile coverage for the serious issues people need to know about.