Does the Main Stream Media have an Achilles Heel?
Earlier this week Sky News was dominated by the story of the Achilles injury that will keep David Beckham out of the upcoming World Cup finals in South Africa.
They deemed it such an important news event that it lead their hourly bulletins for over 24 hours. This was greeted with derision from my football hating colleagues of several various nationalities. How can that be the top story in the UK they said, considering what a state your country is in?
This got me thinking, why do SKY think that everyone in Britain is remotely interested in whether or not Beckham goes to the World Cup, and more to the point, promote it above all other newsworthy stories.
Are the MSM really in touch with what the populace are interested in? Using the power of e-mail I contacted all of my British colleagues and asked them three simple questions.
Have you heard of the Jeremy Kyle show 70% said Yes.
Have you ever watched the Jeremy Kyle Show 94% said No.
Do you know anyone who watches the Jeremy Kyle Show 94% said No.
It would appear the viewing figures come from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) which was set up in 1981 to provide the industry standard television audience measurement service for broadcasters and the advertising industry.
BARB is owned by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BSkyB and the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and is a not for profit company limited by guarantee.
They base their figures on the viewing habits of 5,100 households. I’m sure there are many fancy formulae for converting this data to give estimated viewing figures for each particular show, but come on!
I am now convinced that they have no idea what people are watching, or are interested in.
Is it any wonder Newspaper sales are down? That the BBC are facing cuts, and the general level of TV programmes are rubbish. They have lost touch with what normal people watch and read.
Some of the most heard phrases from my e-mail survey –
Nothing on the Box tonight.
Who watches this rubbish?
Not more repeats
This paper is just full of Bloody adverts.
So, I wondered, can I join the BARB panel?
You cannot volunteer to join the panel. Panel households are selected randomly, with controls in place to ensure that all sectors of the population and all TV viewing environments in the home are represented. Every home has a chance of being selected to join the panel.
So my last question is. Do you know anyone who is on the BARB panel?
Well, do you?