Internet TV Stations and Advertising Revenue

There were some very strong structural reasons why advertising was hard to obtain for Internet TV stations, and that this was allowing the free-to-view space to be inhabited by the main channels and broadcasters, who could subsidise their Internet TV operations with revenue from the traditional broadcast channel.

Is there a solution to these issues? Well, if there isn’t one yet, then one can certainly be constructed. Firstly if the tv player software could pull in advertisements from an external source and integrate them smoothly into the schedule stream, and that external source could be an advertising agency or a buying agency, so that the count of the number of times an advertisement played could be independently verified, then that would be a good start.

Secondly, Internet TV station owners could reposition and reframe themselves away from the TV advertising model. What I mean by this is that just because you want TV advertisements, doesn’t mean you buy into the whole TV advertising model and the way TV advertising is bought and sold ie the advertisement is not the whole model.

There is another advertising model that I see as being more appropriate, the press advertising model. Let us suppose for a moment that you are a manufacturer of sealed unit windows, and you have just made a technical break through that means you can produce windows that are lighter, stronger, retain heat better, reflect sunlight better, and more resistant to breaking.

Your market place is the architects, the structural engineers and specifiers, and the construction companies themselves roughly in that order. What you need to do is create an Advertising campaign that generates awareness initially, and follows that up with technical data, and gets some buildings built or refurbished with your windows.

That Press Advertising campaign is going to be based around advertisements in the “trade” press that each key group architects, structural engineers/specifiers, construction companies and builders etc) read because that is the most cost effective route into that audience.

So, as an advertiser, you are “buying” a discrete targeted group purely on the basis of their profession and their role in the total buying process for your product. And that is also what you are selling as a station owner. And that needs to be your pitch to the advertising agency or media buyer (or both), you want video based advertising (and you are happy to be accountable, and you can provide click-throughs to the advertisers web-site) that is relevant to the audience you have on your Internet TV station.

You have an audience that is valuable to specific advertisers. And ideally your monthly viewing audience is larger than that of the relevant trade or specialist press publication. Clearly the tighter and more homogenous your audience, and the tighter and better targeted your programmes, and the more relevant your proposition is, then the more likely you are to get advertising.

And you need to design this into your Internet TV station from the start if you are to have any chance of getting significant levels of advertising revenue. Essentially, you are competing with the trade press, and you can use their advertising rate card to structure yours. So the media buyers and advertising agency planners you would need to talk to are those dealing with Press and/or buying/planning Press campaigns, rather than TV. The third issue I discussed in the previous article was the typical audience size of an Internet TV station, compared with a programme audience on a typical mainstream broadcast TV station -there’s no comparison, your tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousand of viewers per month, against several millions for 1 programme on 1 day!

However, it should be apparent that comparing your audience of several tens of thousands of architects (say) a month against the readership of, say, Construction News, is going to be a much better match, you may even have better figures. There is another possibility I want to raise, which is of a family of Internet TV stations, all broadly targeted at 1 group, in much the same way that traditional press publishing companies have families of journals. Take for example an Internet TV station aimed at Vets, that could be allied with Internet TV stations aimed at dog owners, cat owners, horse owners etc etc.

So while Internet TV may be your communication medium, your business model, I believe, should be closer to that of specialist press publishing. Now, when you go on Joost, Blinx, Babelgum and similar internet video content aggregators, and your content is buried along with thousands of hours of all other sorts of video content aimed at God only knows who, its no surprise that these businesses struggle with advertising revenue, and you aren’t likely to get much.



Determining the Best Media Niche to Promote Your Product

Five hundred press releases is the average daily number delivered to the New York Times every day. When you get to major metropolitan daily newspapers, the number drops to about 250, and 100 for community weeklies. Most local TV stations are in the 200 range and radio is around 100.

Per day.

So, with competition like that, how do you make the most of your PR promotions and campaigns, and not get lost in the shuffle? Well, the first step is to know how to pick the right media for your message. The better you target your media, and match your message to the medium, the better your chances of getting noticed and rising above the din.

You first need to look at the message and ask yourself a few pointed questions. Is it newsworthy? Is it consumer related? Could it have a local twist? Is there a visual aspect to it? Is it a topic I can have a long conversation about? What age group am I targeting? Is there a financial income I’m targeting? The answer to these questions will help you determine the correct medium.

Let’s Take TV First

Whether it is a morning, noon or evening newscast, TV communicates to the audience through pictures. It is all visual. A producer is looking for something “camera-worthy” that’s also newsworthy, entertaining, informative, or a “how-to.” But if you don’t think your message can be visual, think again.

Consider the case of the life insurance agency, who wanted a PR firm to arrange local and national TV appearances for their CEO. The headline created by the PR firm for the pitch was “Can You Afford to Survive without Your Spouse?” and the interview discussion was about the need for women and children to be protected financially due to the death of their husband.

For a visual, the client prepared big, attractive graphs showing the mortality rate of women versus men, which told a powerful story. It wound up being a very successful interview for the client as well as the media.

Each newscast, believe it or not, is written specifically for a targeted audience based on age, profession and income. For instance, early morning news shows are usually watched by working adults and families getting ready for school. Noon shows are aimed for stay at home moms and retired individuals. Late night news is usually targeted for younger business people.

Matching Up with the World of Talk Radio

Radio talk shows, in contrast to TV, communicate through words rather than pictures. It’s conversational, so your message should lend itself to a discussion about the problem your expertise can address.

Like TV, radio talk shows vary from morning to night. Morning shows, as you might suspect, generally have shorter interviews during “drive time.” With news, weather sports and traffic, talk show hosts don’t have time for 30-minute interviews.

Midday shows, now run the gamut of topics since so many people listen to the radio at work. Today, you’ll even find lots of business shows airing during the work hours.

After work is the second “drive time” of the day. Listeners are more relaxed then, and it’s more conducive to a longer interview.

And don’t discount those overnight shows. Think no one’s listening? You’d be mistaken. Evening and overnight interviews reach a broad audience of listeners, including 2nd and 3rd shift workers, public service employees, truckers and many people who work overnight.

Getting Yourself in Print

Magazines and newspapers resemble radio and TV in that they’re looking for the newsworthy, the entertaining and the informative as well. Providing valuable information for a publication’s readers, especially in the form of tips – can often land placement. As well, certain segments of the print media also like visuals.

For example, if you’re pitching your interior design firm or custom jewelry collection – send photos with your pitch. Or, if you have a cook book, make sure to include a delectable dish photo. Whenever appropriate, photos can help you make the grade.



12 Nifty Ways to Stream Internet Movies at Home

What if you could watch all your favorite movies and TV shows from the comfort of your home – whenever you wanted to watch them. Wouldn’t that get your pixels firing on all cylinders?

Well, now you can!

Of course, this is nothing new, since one obvious way to do this is through your cable company which more than likely already offers On Demand movies and programs. However, there are many drawbacks to these cable services, with cost being the major concern.

But forget cable services, that’s strictly old school. Right now we are entering the dawn of a new age in home entertainment — heralding the arrival of Multiplex TV.

Mainly because we are seeing the fusion of your TV and computer screen. The marriage of your TV screen with your computer screen is fast approaching, if it hasn’t already arrived. Probably eloped while you weren’t watching; but many smart consumers have already taken note and taken advantage of these two merging entertainment forces.

Although using the Internet as a vehicle to deliver high-quality entertainment to your TV screen is still in its infancy, there are quite a number of services and products out there which will allow viewers to gain access to streaming on-demand TV programs, movies and original online content via the web. These services will greatly expand the level of your home entertainment experience and enjoyment.

So the real question is where and how do I gain access to this vast and powerful online database of streaming media?

There are numerous services you can choose from and some of them are even free, while most are subscription based. Regardless, all will provide you with more than enough content for totally enjoying online streaming media from the comfort of your home.

Here, in my opinion, are the best options available right now and a few upcoming ones you should know about.

1. TVersity

TVersity is a free program you can download for free from tversity.com. TVersity works by installing a media server on your PC that will transmit your media to anywhere you like. In conjunction with a gaming console such as PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, TVersity will open up to you a wide variety of media from the internet. One of the main features that make TVersity so great is that it can convert your files into the correct format for easy streaming. This is very important because certain gaming consoles can only play certain file formats. TVersity eliminates any playback problems, no matter what type of media hub you’re using such as Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, iPhone, PSP, or others.

2. Vizio’s Connected HDTVs (Coming in Fall 2009)

Vizio is planning to have their own Internet-enabled high-definition TV set which is coming out in the Fall of 2009. The details are still in the works, but these Television sets should have the capability to connect to your home internet feed, through an Ethernet connection or a wireless signal, allowing you to access all the online content providers, such as Netflix, Amazon and Blockbuster. If these TV sets actually produce even half of what they are promising, it may be a worthwhile investment and you should hold out until they are released if buying a TV is high on your list of things to do.

3. LG’s NetCast Entertainment Access HDTV (Coming in May and June 2009)

This spring LG is introducing a Television set that has their NetCast Entertainment Access function built in. Perhaps, seeing the potential Blu-ray players have with streaming capability, LG has opted to do away with the box altogether. There will be four internet-enabled TV sets: the 42LH50 and 47LH50 LCD TVs and the 50PS80 and 60PS80 plasmas. All the television sets will allow access to Netflix, CinemaNow and YouTube; eliminating the need for alternative devices by gaining access through an Ethernet connection.

4. Media Mall’s PlayOn Digital Media Server (Price: $40)

Media Mall is a third-party software that lets you watch Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, CBS, CNN, ESPN and more on your TV. Basically, it enhances the streaming functions of your video game console. You can run the program on your Windows PC and this allows your gaming console to access streaming data via your computer, to be displayed on your TV set. Isn’t technology wonderful?

5. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (Price: $199 – $299; $399 – $499)

The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are not just gaming consoles, they also have the ability to be full featured media centers. For example, Xbox 360 is capable of supporting Netflix streaming and Xbox Live MarketPlace allows for the purchasing of movies or TV shows. PlayStation 3 has a similar feature, the PlayStation Network Store, which you can download video content to the internal hard drive for viewing. Plus, by adding third-party software, your Xbox and PlayStation 3 can be made to support internet streaming from Hulu.com, Amazon On Demand and other such movie providers.

6. LG BD 370 Blu-ray Player (Price: $330)

This LG Blu-ray player comes equipped with NetCast Entertainment Access. You can stream video from Netflix, YouTube and CinemaNow. (CinemaNow is similar to Amazon Video On Demand) The LG BD 370 will quickly become a main asset to anyone’s Home Entertainment Network.

7. Samsung BD-P1600/BD-P4600 Blu-ray Player ($229 – $499)

The Samsung BD-P1600 and BD-P4600 allows for Netflix and Pandora instant streaming, you can also listen to great tunes or watch your favorite movies. They are both Profile 2.0 Blu-ray players, bringing you great high-definition quality from using Blu-ray Discs. Connection to the internet is by an Ethernet port.

8. Roku Digital Video Player ($99)

The Roku Digital Video Player is a very cheap way to bring streaming internet media to your Television set. It was released when Netflix launched its “Watch Instantly” program. You connect the player to your home network via an Ethernet cable and you can then select from a wide range of standard to high-definition connections to your television set. The Roku player supports Amazon On Demand as well, giving you another great choice on how to watch your movies. You will get more than 50,000 titles from Amazon Video On Demand and Netflix, with many available in HD.

9. Vudu ($149)

Like Roku Digital Video Player, Vudu is a box you connect to your Television set giving you access to over 13,000 movies. Vudu can be a perfect addition to your home entertainment network. You can also listen to music from Pandora via Vudu Labs on your television set.

10. Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’

Netflix subscribers who have plans of $8.99 or more can take advantage of Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” program, giving them access to over 12,000 movies. You can access this program through your Windows PC, Intel-based Macs, or a number of other devices such as Roku Digital Video Player, LG BD 370 Blu-ray Player, Samsung BD-P1600 Blu-ray Player, and Samsung BD-p4600 Blu-ray play.

11. Amazon Video On Demand

Amazon’s Video On Demand has a current catalog of more than 40,000 titles to choose from, including HD movies and TV shows which are available for watching in the comfort of your living room. You can either purchase or rent these movies/TV shows and prices range from around $14.99 to $2.99. It provides a convenient way for you to watch High-definition quality movies and TV shows on your TV, all without ever having to leave the house. Amazon Video On Demand in HD is currently available on the following compatible devices, the Roku Digital Video Player, TiVo S3, the Sony DMXNV1 Bravia Internet Video Link, and Panasonic VIERA Cast enabled HDTVs.

12. Hulu.com

Together, NBC Universal and News Corp have produced Hulu.com which provides full-length, DVD quality internet streams of movies and TV shows for FREE. Of course you do have to deal with a few 15 to 30 seconds commercials every now and then, but the benefits will outweigh this inconvenience for many viewers.

As you can plainly see by the variety and number of different ways you can access streaming movies and TV shows via the Internet; home entertainment is definitely going through a major transition and everyone wants in on the action and potential profits. The ordinary viewer has a whole array of options and choices when it comes to choosing the system that will deliver their streaming videos, movies and TV programs. It makes for a perfect marriage, now lets bring on the honeymoon.



What Are Streaming Media Players?

Streaming media players, or media streamers, are simple little devices that plug into a standard TV, and convert it into a smart TV. They enable you to stream the content that you would ordinarily watch on devices like laptops directly onto the TV in your living room or any room of the house. This means that you can watch content from Netflix, iPlayer, and even YouTube on a full sized TV instead of watching it on a 15″ monitor.

Simple

The key to a good streaming player is that it must be simple to use. Most people opt for a streamer because they don’t want the hassle of plugging a laptop directly into their TV, navigating the laptop, and eventually buffering the content onto the TV screen. They want to be able to view the content they see online, but they want the ease and convenience of using a TV and set top box in the living room.

As such, streaming media players are designed to be simple and intuitive. They should be easy to install, easier to use, and have very little to master in order to offer their benefits to users.

Channels Are Everything

The media player itself is, in a lot of cases, inconsequential. It is the quality and breadth of channels, or content apps, that are available on the chosen device that really determines whether it is a good deal or not.

Devices like the Chromecast, the Apple TV Player, and even the Now TV Box, are geared specifically towards the content of the companies that they represent. The various Roku models that are available, on the other hand, offer access to more than 700 channels regardless of whether you buy the cheap, entry model, or the overly advanced Roku 3 player.

There are free channels available, including terrestrial catch up TV services, but there are also premium subscriptions services such as Netflix. The latter will typically offer access to a greater range of content, and will enable you to choose from a larger selection of films and TV series.

HD Content

Check the channels and the media streamer itself to ensure that you can enjoy HD content through your device. You will obviously also need an HD compatible TV, but most devices work through HDMI so this will be a given in most instances. The Roku 1 player is the exception, because this can be used even on TVs that do not have an HDMI connection.

The Controller

Some players require the use of your smartphone or other mobile device in order that you can change channels, mess with the volume, and navigate the menus. Some buyers will like this feature, but many people that are buying a streaming media player want a TV-like experience so they will prefer a standard TV remote. The Apple TV Player offers a stunning looking remote, and all Roku devices include remotes.

Additional Features

Some devices offer additional features. The Roku 3 player, for example, offers motion gaming with access to a free Angry Birds game, and it also includes a USB port so that you can watch, view, or listen to your own content on the device.

Choosing the right media streamer will enable you to enjoy the best quality content, and it will ensure that you have all the features and benefits that you are looking for.



Live TV – Watch it Over the Internet

We all love watching live TV broadcasts. But have you ever thought of enjoying TV through other forms? What are the choices? Number one: you can watch your favorite TV shows over the television, be it a flat-screen TV, or LCD. Number two: you can watch TV over the Internet. Yes, today it’s possible.

TV on PC – Imagine watching TV shows on your personal computer, or better yet, watching TV shows on your laptop. That’s portable TV! Now, you don’t have to grumble and complain about missing the morning news on your way to work. You can actually take it with you!

Just imagine the possibilities. And, that’s not even the best part yet. By watching live TV through your computer, you can take advantage of the many benefits of satellite TV for PC. This article will give you some of the benefits of Internet TV that will surely interest you.

No subscription fees!

Yes, no more monthly subscription fees. Getting a satellite or cable TV service would usually mean an installation fee and a subscription fee that you have to pay for every month. With Internet TV, you only pay for a one-time, small setup fee and then you can enjoy full service. You wouldn’t pay for recurring fees or any form of monthly subscription fees anymore. Just imagine how much you could save over the years from those monthly cable and satellite subscription bills?

Assortment of Channels

With Internet TV, you get lots of channels. In fact, you can get up to 3,000 plus TV stations from over 70 countries worldwide. With that large number, you have a wide selection of what to watch – sports, movies, shopping, music, news, weather, politics, religion, education, kid’s stations, and even premium channels that would usually cost you a lot money just to watch. You also get to watch local, regional, and national broadcast so you can really get in tune with the rest of the world. If you’re originally from Japan and migrated to the US, then you can cure your homesickness by tuning in to your favorite Japanese TV station.

Why You Should Try It

It’s really easy. If you want to be one of the several who are now enjoying TV on their computers, then all you have to do is download an Internet TV software. Once you pay for it and the payment is received, you are then directed to a downloading Web site where you can get the software. Download it, follow instructions, and enjoy full service within a matter of seconds. The software is compatible with all Windows versions and is very easy to use.

Basically, that’s all you need. You wouldn’t have to get additional hardware or a TV card. There’s even no need for a satellite dish or receiver. All you need to have is a computer, an Internet connection, and the software! And then, you get to enjoy TV on your computer.



How to Get Satellite TV on PC

You may have been wondering about the hype surrounding watching Satellite TV on your PC.  This article will attempt to answer some of your questions.

Is it possible to watch Satellite TV on your PC?

With Satellite TV for PC it is possible to watch over 3000 channels on your pc.  This virtually changes your pc into an entertainment powerhouse! 

How does it work?

Satellite TV for PC accesses and streams thousands of audio and video media files from the Public Domain and World Wide Web. It streams the channel (media file) across the computer’s I.P. address right to their computer.This streaming process allows the user to watch a TV show immediately, without having to wait for a downloading process to finish in order to watch a particular program.

Is it Really Free?

There is a fee for purchasing the software, but after that it is 100% free, and there are no further costs to be incurred – ever.

What Hardware and Software is required?

No special hardware or software is required.  Satellite TV for PC will work on any Windows-based computers (including Vista). It does require other easily attainable software to work, such as free Windows Media Player and RealPlayer.

After purchasing the above-mentioned Satellite TV for PC proprietary software, the user will legally own it, and can install the software on as many computers as desired. The merchant’s copyright policy should however be adhered to.

What kind of Channels are available?

  • Live sports
  • Movies
  • Music
  • News
  • Kids Channels
  • Weather
  • Educational
  • Shopping
  • Radio Stations etc

Many different languages and countries are catered for.



Connecting Television to Internet Videos

YouTube videos have created a revolution on the Internet. The only disadvantage is perhaps the lack of public viewer ship of the Internet in comparison with Television and the lack of censored videos. TV still remains the most popular medium. Internet is far from being used by a majority of the population. An average house hold has a television, but does not have access to the Internet.

The time has come to connect these two mediums. There has been some technology that has been developed to connect the medium of television to the medium of Internet. Since this has been done we can see the commercialization of services that play videos without copyright violations on Television.

The advantages are enormous. The cable operators can choose from a high volume collection of videos, snippets and movies. Caution must be exercised to choose censored material that is without adult content and other provocative material.

However it may be possible for a team of Internet technicians to search the Internet for high quality videos. These can be uploaded on to a few servers. These servers can be made accessible to the Cable TV operators. Technology can be developed to receive TV specific Internet pages on Television.

There can be a show that hosts the best of you tube and the Internet to the world of TV audience. Also there can be an on demand service of you tube requests that can be streamed continuously to TV audiences. So what are we waiting for, let us catch the next Best of you tube on TV!



TV Psychics And Mediums

There are innate difficulties in proving the existence of the ‘after life’ or the spirit world; some people ardently believe that there is life after death and that they are a channel or link from earthly life to this strange, unproven world.

But, at the opposite end of the scale are those people who believe that it is all fake; the soul departs a dead body, they cannot explain where it goes or why, believing that psychics are preying on vulnerable people.

There is nowhere that this debate is more hotly pursued than in the realm of TV psychics – are they true? Is it all camera trickery? Ear pieces and information about people must surely be sourced and passed to the ‘entertainer’? Is it as simple as this?

TV psychics – entertainers or real psychics?

Let’s be honest; those people who are self-employed, whether that is as medium, fortune teller or local plumber, you need a certain sense of the commercial world you operate in. It is no different for a celebrity psychic, looking to spread their talent and keep the bank balance healthy.

However, let us not take a mercenary turn, where we label all TV psychics are people seeking their fortune at the expense of others; for many genuine mediums and spiritualists operating in this way, this is not the case. There is a very real need and concern to spread the message from the other side to the people who need to receive them.

Fake?

There is a process called cold reading, and involves a subtle trickery that many people are not wise too until the moment has passed. It is the power of suggestion and, with practice, anyone can do it. A client or member of the audience may be asked what their worry is; “my job”, they may reply. From this, the medium can create a whole set of scenarios or situations and the audience member could agree, or give off other signals, cleverly read and used to form the twists and turns of the conversation.

Do all TV psychics operate this way?

No, for genuine mediums will receive a bundle of information, if you like, within their mind, none of which will make instant sense. Those people seeking arguments to debunk mediums as genuine tend to focus on this lack of clarity as a way of proving it is all entertainment. Surely, they say, if a loved one was coming through they would say a password or give their name, or some other titbit of information that would make them instantly recognisable?

But earthly life is not simple is it? Full of misunderstanding and conflicting information, we do not live in a world that is simple, expecting the afterlife to be ordered and sensible seems at odds when you consider the perpetual confusion of earthly existence.

And so…

TV psychics, along with others who ‘perform’ to mass audiences are complex characters, some using their ability and skill in a positive way to enhance the understanding of the afterlife but others, take advantage, with one eye on the monetary prize… you decide – fake or real?



New Media Innovations Worth Checking Into

You have no doubt heard of blu ray and know that it was was designed to supersede the standard DVD. Blu ray media is advancing by leaps and bounds and the name itself comes from the blue-violet laser that is used to read the disc. Blu ray employs a shorter wavelength laser than what is used on the DVD format, and it allows for almost six times more storage capacity than a DVD. Blank bluray discs are available in single, 25GB and dual layer 50GB formats. If you have paid hundreds of dollars for a big LCD, plasma or widescreen HDTV, then you should get all you can out of that purchase. Unfortunately, the standard DVD player cannot do these sets justice, but blu ray media does. The main advantage of blu ray media is the playback quality. Blu ray plays video in HD at a much higher resolution than a standard DVD. With blu ray you get enhanced special features and more intense movie experiences.

Another great development is lightscribe media. This is an optical disc recording technology that uses recordable CD and DVD media to produce labels that are etched with a laser to produce text and graphics. This makes stick-on labels and printable discs obsolete. The advantage to lightscribe is that it allows you to create direct labels to your discs using an optical disc writer. It does require that you use special discs designed for this purpose as well as a disc writer. Once you have burned your data to the read-side of the disc, you need to just flip it over and insert it. The laser will etch into the label side so that it produces an image. You must take some special storage precautions so that the lightscribe discs do not fade. This includes using polypropylene disc sleeves and you must store the discs in a cool and dark place.

A thermal CD printer is another great innovation that is ideal for the home or the office. A thermal CD printer is an affordable CD printer that uses heat to transfer the print to the surface of the disc. This is done by putting a thin ribbon of film between the disc and the print head. This type of CD printer is faster than other CD printing technologies and the print is long lasting and it does cost much to operate.



All Media Is Fiction

All media is fiction. Every thing you see, hear and read, in print and on any screen anywhere is a fabrication that has been altered, edited, censored, and pointed towards a preconceived agenda. It is not true, it is not real, it is not the whole story by any stretch of the imagination-which it is, but it’s not really anyone’s imagination either.

It is a corporate product; a mind game conceived of by faceless committees meant to dupe anyone within view or earshot into complacent consumerism. It is calculated manipulation with no genuine content that can remotely be thought of as the truth. It only appears real after it has been focus grouped and cut to fit commercial standards, no matter how amateurish or incompetent the final results appear. It has been approved-and that alone determines it as fake.

From cartoons to pornography, from news to soap operas, to game shows and antacid commercials, it is all contrivance. You will never see anything truthful or even factual in the media. Even the weather is approximate. The weather is taped. File footage is not news. The latest trend is ‘reality’ TV not ‘truthful’ TV. There is no one in the media or Hollywood interested in the truth, regardless of being ‘breaking news’ or ‘based on a true story’. Truth is simply one buzzword among many used to conceal and distort reality.

By its very definition media cannot depict reality because media is not real. At its best it resembles the most pedestrian dinner theater; at its worst, it simply is what it is, a transmitter and signal. It is not a mirror, though it uses mirrors, lenses, cameras, tape, film, lights, overrated actors, make up, under appreciated writers, whatever. The fact is so obvious that making the very point becomes painfully tedious-and moot, since for all of the interactive, real time, ripped from the headlines, video game chat rooms, no one seems to care one bit. The entire investment is in making the delusions of others tangible in one’s own life. One must believe what one is fed through the media, or else…or else what?

Let me give an example. War. War is not real for you and me but it is for the people in a war zone. When we turn off the set or change the channel, all of that suddenly disappears. Reality does not suddenly disappear. If you’re of a certain age you remember what TV looked like before black people existed. If you’re of another age you remember what MTV looked like before black people existed. I suppose if you’re even older you remember what war looked like before black people existed. That was a long time ago, but my point is this; war looks like whatever the media tells you it looks like and that is war. Nowadays war looks like a video game, except, of course, to the people in the war.