The dumbing down of television

There was a time, many years ago now, when I used to be enthralled by certain television programmes. I remember a particular Horizon science programme about a lake in Africa (I think) which exploded with carbon dioxide and killed all the living things which were around it at the time with a suffocating cloud. It was a terrific story. It had mystery, tragedy, research, experiments and an astonishing conclusion. I learned something from this programme.

In recent years however, such programmes have been nigh on impossible to find. I’m not sure what the reasons are for this decline (probably loss of market share to other media) but I can only assume that there is less money to make quality programmes. The result is a homogeneous, bland wallpaper of cheap and tatty television which is as disposable as a politicians’ platitudes.

So it was with an increasing despondency that I used to scroll through the evenings television listings on teletext, trying to find anything of interest. Then on October 9th it was almost as if the television companies themselves admitted defeat; the BBC withdrew the facility of viewing the listings on teletext. Clearly, they had become too embarrassed by the moribund state of their industry to allow such public humiliation.

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