Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Screening and Discussion - Network

On Thursday, February the 2nd, at 4.15 Network will be screened in the New Academic Building LG02. This will be followed by an informal discussion.

'Network' (1976) is a satirical comedy directed by Sidney Lumet. A television network, Union Broadcasting System (UBS) is struggling with poor ratings and, facing unemployment, their news-anchor loses it on live television - surprisingly causing ratings to rise again.

Network opens up questions about the power of television over large groups of people - especially thinking of the mob-like behaviour that accompanies the shows of Jerry Springer and the like - and the almost messianic aura that its presenters gain (think Oprah Winfrey). The film considers the importance of ‘good ratings’ within television, underlining that the media, even though claiming for itself official and objective information about society, essentially needs to sell itself (thus considering what people want to read becomes an issue – lowest common denominator?) - interesting to put in the context of today's Leveson Enquiry and Rupert Murdoch's approach to news-making.


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