Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Diversity and the Fragmented Audience

In the quest for diversity on the air, audiences become fragmented as they only tune into the programs that they WANT to watch. The media, it its requirement to serve the public interest has to provide a variety of content so that people watch what they put out there. However, how much is too much diversity? Networks still need to focus on actually drawing in an audience and sometimes this comes with having similar programming so that audiences continue to watch the station. A perfect example of this is Thursday night on NBC where their comedy programing dominates the air and most viewers stay up to watch all of it instead of tuning into just one show. However, this is successful because they have grouped similar content together. It is not diverse and it only appeals to those who like the comedy shows. Einstein talks about how critics of television look for diversity of programming on a network but what does this really mean? Do they really want to see completely different content in one night that draws opposite audiences? In my opinion, the only clear way to actually have diversity is to group shows the way that NBC does and have a variety of programming throughout the week.
Is there actually a way to please everyone and still achieve diversity? And what actually IS real diversity. Einstein points out that there is difficulty even defining the term. This is where the loopholes appear because the FCC can't even fully say WHAT diversity is, what it should look like and what the perfect example of it is. Audiences are pulled in by content and if the content is diverse then a network should expect a range of viewers. However, is this enough to say that they run diverse programs? Can anyone truly call their programming diverse?

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