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from Graphic Leftovers

Our professor asked us – why do you think Filipinos have such TV programming?

Television programs in the Philippines mainly consist of tele-novellas, variety shows such as “wowowee” and showbiz programs that are made purely to entertain. And these shows are aired when everybody is at home and is available to watch TV.

However, News /current affairs and documentaries are programs that have less coverage on TV and are usually played either early morning or late in the evening.

I say, entertainment is the medium’s main theme in programming  because we are “happy people.” We love laughs and we want to take everything slightly. Since news industry is a business, it should cater the public’s interest. So, I wondered why my Professor’s question  matter so much.

Our professor asked us again why Filipino youth today know more about Lady Gaga than the local officials of their towns.

I am no fan of Lady Gaga, however the question bothered me because I knew that our professor was questioning our behavior in choosing the information that we considered worth knowing.

So far, our basis for choosing is shallow – profoundly shallow.

He asked, does knowing Lady Gaga’s manager affects our lives?

I say, HELL NO!

Does knowing our local officials important?

I say, of course.

Shamefully, I do not know any public officials; I could not even enumerate the congressmen.

Television is programmed to entertain. Troubling, television as well is Filipinos main source of information.

Print medium is for old and serious individuals; internet is for few (those who could afford) and radio is mainly for people who love music (in the case of FM.)

The TVs’ affordability and special features have made the medium the most influential media.  It is also the reason for the youth’s rubbish collection of information.

We got accustomed in favoring entertainment over information. Life is too stressful that knowing everyday issues is no longer interesting. And the result is passive audiences. We sit and watch TV to laugh and not to think.

So, whose fault is it? Why do we have such TV programming? Is it because we, the audience, prefer amusement or is it because we don’t have any other choice than to refer only to the selection provided by the TV networks?

Only one thing is for sure, our perception to “what is interesting and important” is jeopardized.

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