Does the future of TV broadcasting mean no sex, no sugar, and possibly no shooting?
Federal government hearings will soon bring in experts to discuss violence in the media. In particular, a number of analysts will say that violence may indeed be instigated and sustained by watching too much violent media.
Broadcasters might be concerned. This topic isn’t new, but the latest mass murders could add some heft to the discussions.
Lots of discussion will center on scripted, fictional shows. But will TV news make it into the hearings? News content can be violent. Maybe that shouldn't be allowed either. Content is content. And if young children can't distinguish fictional violence from the real thing, where does that leave real-life violence?
Some people say these crimes haven nothing to do with guns – they blame entertainment, movies, TV and video games, as well as mental health issues.
Should all this develop into any meaningful push, the questions will always be: “How to handle?” “Who makes the judgment call about what is necessary in storytelling?” “Should all potential violent-oriented content run after 10 p.m.? After 11 p.m? After midnight?”
TV marketers have a place in this mix. But as usual, it comes against their free-market intention of looking for as many consumers as possible in a given TV show to absorb and act on their messaging.
Should the marketplace decide? If there are fewer consumers, a TV show is not viable. The business math works.
If all this does indeed gain traction, and broadcasters somehow take heed of this advice, you'll be seeing a lot more singing competitions, straight-ahead comedies, harmless primetime soaps about musicals or other workplace scenarios, and news.
Zombies? Nope. Gang-related story lines? Nope. News stories about errant violent acts in your neighborhood? Maybe not so much either.