Friday, October 15, 2010

TV Networks and Exotics - A New Problem?

Are Animal Television Networks Tumbling into the Toilet?

There is no doubt that for many years, and quite possibly decades, animal and nature oriented television networks including Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, and Animal Planet for example, have long served as memorable, reliable, and entertaining sources of information for all individuals and families alike. This has typically been achieved through the airing of many well known programs and individuals such as Steve Irwin and his loving family/co-workers, Mark O’Shea, and Jeff Corwin to name a few. Within these programs, these noble animal and environmental educators constantly stressed the importance of becoming aware of, learning about, and ultimately respecting animals, nature, and the environment.

However, over last several recent years, a disturbing and appalling new trend has emerged within these television networks as well as many others that has slowly but steadily replaced the aforementioned types of programming that so many people love and enjoy. This “new generation” of television programming now focuses far more heavily on exploiting and appealing to the human’s rudimentary senses or emotions such as fear. To illustrate such a classic example, according to Anne Beck, Animal Planets self described “relaunch” has stated the following in February 2008: “The goal is to move from being perceived by viewers as paternalistic, preachy, and observation-based to being seen as active, entertaining, and edgy. That means targeting adults 25-49, rather than full families, with less voice-of-God narration and more visceral imagery and sounds. Think of it as swapping a drab narrator saying that a lion is about to kill its prey for the blood-curdling scream of the doomed creature as it meets its demise.” Read more Are Animal Television Networks Tumbling into the Toilet?

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