Saturday, July 16, 2005

Thoughts On A Comment

I take comments to and about this blog way too seriously. Take this comment appended to the announcement of my first Emmy Poll from "Manny" who has this blog: " I have a better question - one that is perhaps more relevant: Who will help poor children in Third World countries eat tomorrow? I suppose the Emmys are more important..."

Now here's the thing - Manny is absolutely right. The Emmys are not as important as who will help poor children in the Third World eat tomorrow. Hell they aren't as important as kids in North America getting a basic education, or people in rural parts of the States having to drive for hours to actually see a doctor, or the fact that the infant mortality rate in the United States - which 2005 is 6.5 deaths per 1000 live births - is amongst the highest in the industrialised world but is still less than 3% of the infant mortality rate in a country like Angola. But if you are writing about television in North America you will write about the Emmys (presumably a British TV writer would write a lot more about the BAFTA awards than the Emmys and so on). And if I weren't writing a blog about television I probably wouldn't be writing a blog, or would only be updating one sporadically.

Media is not a zero sum game. A+B does not necessarily equal C of you change the content of B. It's the same as it is with those people who oppose holding the Olympic Games in a city because the money would be better spent on the poor in the city - bread not circuses. The problem is that the money isn't transferable; the money might be there for the "Circus" but that doesn't mean it will be there for the "Bread" if you reject the "Circus". Governments, investors, advertisers and the rest will keep the money in their pockets or spend it on some other project that will make them money or increase their prestige and public image. You can't replace coverage of the Emmys with coverage of starving children in Africa, at least not very easily.

I could write a lot about the importance of the Television industry in North America in economic terms and about how the Emmys have an impact on who earns what, what TV shows you see and who has clout as a celebrity to publicize things like Child hunger or funding for stem cell research, but does it really matter? In the great scheme of things no. However it is what interests me.

Like I said I take comments about this blog way too seriously.

No comments: