Information and TV Newsreels
The old TV newsreels will no longer have a reason to exist, because at any moment during the day and night it will be possible to have accesso to a programme of information.
This fact it in itself an advantage because it relieves us of the oblication of respecting precise timetables, as is the case today.
In addition, also in this case, thanks to the possibility of choice and dialugue with the telecomputer, we shall be able to select the news of geatest interest to us and also the degree of depth.
We shall no longer be obliged to listen to a whole series of news that are of little or no interest to us, as often happens with current newsreels, but we shall be able to pick out the news we are most interested in.
This fact is not to be overlooked and actually it is one of the basic nodes linking politics and power to information. In fact, at present the kind of news at our disposal in the papers can easilly be controlled and directed towards the various power blocs and depending on their interests the latter will often giv us news that are viewed from their standpoint or are downright negative in order to convince us that, all told, we' re not too bad off in our homes. In addition, the news from the rest of the world is centered mainly on wars, murders, coups d'etat and all sorts of tremendous crimes; as a matter of fact, the more brutal the crime the more it is brought to our attention. While I watch the TV newsreel I often get the feeling that I'm being treated like a bull in the area, with the newreporter acting as the torero, waving his red muleta to distract the bull from the real danger.
On the contrary, let us now imagine our standard family dealing with the new instrument, that is the Telecomputer, and the new kind of TV information.
In the first stage of viewing the infotmation, I shall certainly have at my disposal several coices at different levels, such as:
- Sport reports
- Financial reports
- Political reports
- Society events
- Exhibilitions and shows
- Crime news
- Conflicts and wars
- Civic affairs
After that selection I can choose events of the following natures:
It should be made clear that as there are now international, national and local broadcasting stations, the data colletion centers will be structured in a similar manner, and possibly in an even more spread pattern.
At this point, after the initial selections, we may choose between filmed or written material. Nothing prevents the possibility for the laziest viewers to have prepacked newsreels at various levels and on various subjects; therefore, a much more pin-pointed and selective kind of TV information... for instance concerning only fashion, or sports or, for the most passive, the classical newsreel.
The fact should not be overlooked that every piece of news would be broadcast in real time and not according to a preset time table. All information input from any one broadcasting station would immediately be available from that very moment without having to wait for the next news report, as we do now.
In practice, "extra editions" will no longer have reason to exist, because everything will be broadcast in real time. Undoubtedly, this entails a new method of journalism; in fact, all the news in the various forms, films, writings, photographs, comments and radio reports will have to be updated and filed continually. Although more inconvenient for the person managing the network, this fact would afford many advantages to a normal individual, both in the choice of information and in the possibility of viewing again also news of the previous days or months. For example, one might want to have another look at the monthly or weekly reports on the desired subject.
In addition, we may look up the news just when it is needed, or re-view the details of an event that, initially, was not considered very important. The good thing is that we can go into deeper detail; for instance, if we should want information on our preferred soccer team, we could just look up the result or call for a summary of the salient stages or only the main actions and goals, or only part of the game. And all this could take place whenever we wish, programming our time freely without restraints.
At the political level, the situation would be really interesting, because we would have at our disposal a much wider range of news than what is available today; as a matter of fact, the political parties themselves could provide and manage the information they want to pass on to the people. This fact would entail more work for the politicians, but would also bring out a new class that is more prepared and more available for debate on real problems and not on hidden unsavoury operations.
For instance, if on our telecomputer we wanted to see the position of a party regarding a specific problem, such as pensions, there wouldn' t be much room to confuse us with absurd dramatics, for it would be enough for a single party to start representing its standing clearly and precisely to oblige all the other parties to do the same and assume their precise responsibilities.
Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why most politicians oppose this new means of spreading information, because it would undoubtedly upset at the basis all the schemes and plotting that are now the rule. In fact the main opposers of information transparence and circulation are the very politicians that are aware that information is power and that to give up the control on information is actually the equivalent of placing oneself at the service of the population. However, these are only a few of the aspects of the informational kaleidoscope that would be created with this new means of information, because in practice we would have wide-spread information on the most diverse subjects, with both full-time and part-time reporter. In fact also the TV user... I beg your pardon... the teleprotagonist coul write articles at home and submit them to a local editorial office for further elaboration or just simply for broadcasting expansion or rejection.
Certainly many will object that this type of teleinformation would be a means for a small elite and that the mass would be at a disadvantage because of this operation. A long debate might be opened on this aspect which would in any case enrich us all from a cultural standpoint. It is my opinion, in fact, that many would draw an advantage from that situation. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that such a process cannot be stopped and sooner or later it will come about. As a matter of fact, it is already being realized.
Thanks to the higher cultural standard, many could give a greater contribution at all levels; at any rate , even the less favoured persons would undergo a growth or, at least, a better situation than the present one.