BBC's Jeremy Paxman on What's Wrong with TV?

"The more television there is, the less any of it matters."

Paxman describes a medium that is confused and has lost its way.

"Would it not be a lot more sophisticated — and honest — to acknowledge sometimes that things may be more complicated than they appear? The problem is that all news programmes need to make noise. The need has got worse, the more crowded the market has become. We clamour for the viewers' attention and a sort of expectation inflation sets in...

...My point is that there comes a point where the frenzy has to be put to one side, the rolling story halted, so that we can make sense of things. Television journalism's justification should be the justification of journalism through the ages: to inquire, to explain and to hold to account. The news may have been dull, but it was respected because it made sense of the day. That involved people assessing, filtering, separating the froth from what mattered. It was, in short, the exercise of clear judgment. And in return, it demanded — and got — the trust of the audience."


Drinking Turpentine and Spitting Fire

It's been 100 years since Picasso painted "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon." Braque said he must have been "drinking turpentine and spitting fire." Derain said "someday Picasso would hang himself behind his canvas." The Musuem of Modern Art, which owns the piece, has a show dedicitated to this seminal work (May 9–August 27, 2007). The Wall Street Journal reviewed the piece and it's history in a recent "Masterpieces" article (P14, July 21-22, 2007). Marxist writer John Molyneux discourses enjoyably on the piece; "Les Demoiselles opens the floodgates, first to cubism and then in rapid succession to futurism, synthetic cubism, expressionism, vorticism, abstraction, suprematism, dadaism and more besides.


Old Media Tries Fragmentation as Web Video Tactic

The internet reshapes traditional media. It's permeable membrane allows media to trickle out anywhere, at anytime, weakening the gateway metaphor that has long governed media products. Many big media companies try to counter this by building their own portal sites in an effort to get the attention of web wanderers.

CBS says one website is not the way for it to gain eyeballs for its web video content. So it is starting to distribute video to a variety of sites, including various newcomers and social sites such as Facebook. CBS will sell the advertising on these streams according to the Wall Street Journal. They hope this stratetgy of fragmentation will overcome the failure of its year old site, Innertube, to garner much attention for CBS's web video content. Reporting in the Wall Street Journal (5/14/07), Brooks Barnes quoted Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, as saying "We can't expect consumers to come to us. It's arrogant for any media company to assume that."