Sunday, May 2, 2010

RT televsion as a selective alternative

At the moment I am teaching a course called 'Globalisation and the Global South' at one of the universities here in Munich. One of the aspects of globalisation that we have been looking at is the globalisation of the media, which brought us onto looking at and discussing the film, 'Outfoxed', as a follow up to us looking at alternative media sites such as 'Democracy Now' and the 'Independent Media Center'. During the discussions that followed I was quick to discern that, while the students appreciated the opportunity to hear "another" opinion, the set up of those sites along with the effort required to look at them meant that they would not be regular viewers/readers of the alternative media. The evidence would seem to suggest that the student, at the end of a long day in the classroom or the library, and the tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief, butcher, baker, candlestick maker, after their daily toil, are not going to want to cognitively challenge themselves while plumped in front of a normally smaller screen, without a remote control, in a normally harder chair. Unless, perhaps, they were really given the illusion that they were actually watching "real" television,

That is why, we might see the English language version of 'RT' from the Russian TV network as an emerging challenge to the Anglo-Saxon-Zionist manufacturers of consent even if it is normally accessed on a "normally smaller screen" and "without a remote control", while sitting on a "harder chair". Available all over he planet via satellite, cable and free from the channel's website it also has almost 100 English-speaking journalists reportin and some good investigative journalism. Moreover, it also invites guests, such as Webster Tarpley, FW Engdahl and Michel Chossudovsky, whose opinions are worth listening to, and hosts shows such as Max Keiser in his 'Keiser Report'. Furthermore, maybe, just maybe, because it is also available via cable and satellite .... anyway, I for one feel more as if I am actually watching television than do when I am in front of 'Democracy Now', the 'Real News' or 'Indymedia'.

Now, we are not going to pretend that Russian television and the Russians don't have an agenda, still what we get is to hear people like Tarpley, Engdahl, Chossudovsky and Keiser telling us the other side of what is largely "our" story. Therefore, while we won't want to tune into it for a documentary on what is happening in Chechnya, there are lots of things on geopolitics and geoeconomics that will get us at least using our grey matter. Moreover, we will be doing that while actually still having the feeling that we are watching the telly and relaxing rather than going through some cognitively challenging exercise, something which might be a little too much like hard work, at the end of a long hard day. Most certainly, if RT comes up for subscription or if it suddenly appears on my exclusive T-Home package, I will be more than happy at the prospect of some decent television from the comfort of my couch.

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