Network Unraveled

Recently I watched the film Network in my ethics class and I have to say I’m a big fan of it. Even though I’ve seen it about 15 times, it never gets old.

One of my favorite scenes comes from the tail end of the film when Arthur Jensen rips Howard a new one for telling the world about the company buyout. In the speech, Jensen says, “the world is a business… has been since man crawled out of the slime.” It’s almost eerie how correct Jensen’s statement was at that time and especially during the present day.

There doesn’t really feel like there is any human interaction left in the world, it’s all about who can make me money and how much. I think this really applies to the TV industry because ratings are all that companies care about. If their ratings are high, their income is high, fairly simple process. You could produce the best show on TV, but as soon as those ratings start to drop, it’s your ass.

Now, I will step back and say that it all depends on the size of show you produce. Coming from my professional experience, we produced a show that had about 55 to 65,000 people tune in each week. There was a couple weeks that we dropped down to roughly 35,000 and our boss wasn’t happy, but luckily he didn’t get mad at us. Instead, we held a meeting to brainstorm on ideas for new shows or segments in the show that might bring more viewers. We came up with a new segment idea, and the second week it aired, our ratings went through the roof! Over 125,000 people tuned into the show that week and in return our company sales increased about 10% in a very short period of time.

You may not think everything is a business, but look at it this way. Even your college classes are technically a business. You pay money to the school, the school pays the professor, the professor teaches you, and then you go out and use your knowledge to make money. Unfortunately, just about everything is this world nowadays revolves around money and business, and I don’t think it will change any time soon.


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