Change can be challenging.
Change is inevitable.
Change is not always for the better but sometimes it is.
I don’t subscribe to the Good Ol’ Days like some of my contemporaries even though I’m a card carrying member of the Grumpy Old Man club. But I don’t accept that change is always for the better either. The rush towards instant gratification and the consignment of the colour grey to the dustbin may be inevitable but is not automatically working in the interests of society.
Numerous studies are now hitting the media saying we don’t appreciate just how well this country is travelling even though these same media outlets spend day after day searching for a negative in the current news of the day presumably because it supports their failing readership.
Who’da thunk it?
Seems like a pretty obvious example of cause and effect to me and probably to young Tony Abbott too.
One of the ways to defeat this challenge to accepting good political stability is to regularly break away from the mainstream and consume media that has time to reflect on the issues and consider alternatives in a non-urgent manner.
In this area Radio National has been a saving grace with a number of programs that really fill out the details without feeling the need for a Vox Pop after every sentence.
Saturday Extra, Ockham’s Razor, Background Briefing, The Health Report, The Science Show are just a few that spring to mind but sadly the National Interest which was right up there with the best of them, is being dropped.
The National Interest was always a very interesting program that tackled items that didn’t necessarily make it into the National papers, but then again, once they had raised the matter (like the Productivity Commission’s Pokie reports) the topics often made it into the mainstream.
A pretty good example of their style is in the last program where Peter Mares interviewed Malcolm Turnbull over the challenges faced by the media with the rise of the Net. Not only is it non-abrasive, it also gives the pollie a chance to display some intelligence. By the end of the interview I was even more convinced the Libs should drop the full on Opposition Leader for a credible alternative Prime Minister in Turnbull.
Sadly, this type of program has a limited audience so the majority of Voters are locked in to the shouting matches and very little understanding is shown of what alternatives exist for particular problems.
But that is water under the bridge now. We have one less option to smarten up the discussion.
What is coming in the new format at RN? I have no idea but the last set of changes cost us The Religion report and The Media Report and, contrary to their response to my letter of complaint, these have not been effectively covered in the new programming. The worry is a comment was made about “freshening up” the format which generally is a euphuism for dumbing down when uttered by the untouchable bureaucrats at the ABC.
I guess it’s possible something good will pop up in the new format but going by the ABC’s ongoing struggle to support the 24 Hour News channel, it doesn’t look promising.