Recent furore over who has access to new digital TV platforms has tended to create a rather misguided debate. Semi state funded organisation, CyTA wants to control another platform, as if CytaVision is not enough. Mean while many MP’s are turning this into an anti-state and therefore anti-government charade. Its alleged some MP’s are clandestinely representing the interest of private TV channels, who are hungry for more ways of creating exclusive channels to show Champions League Football on.

So as each MP gets on TV and says their piece, I can’t help but wonder are they really serious – have they all missed something?

The digitization of  TV came about largely to give more access to citizens to make television output. It’s a fair argument considering another media platform has  made it so easy for any one with a net connection to upload anything they want to YouTube and a whole host of other sites.

Digital TV was meant to enhance diversity through increase media pluralism, offering viewers an alternative to the rather stale programming of state and private TV stations. In Cyprus TV remains highly influential, very samey, often lacking in character and identity. Basically we have different brands which more or less offer the same thing. News is largely determined by speculative gossip, often badly scripted. Sitcoms and soap operas lack substance, with usually the same set of actors on most channels shouting at each other. Plus there is a large dose of globalised rehash formulaic reality shows. Pop Idol becomes Greek Pop Idol and the highlight of many local musicians career is to get to Eurovision!  All of this kind of output confirms that cultural imperialism is alive and kicking but there’s no use in blaming the Americans for it. The fault is entirely determined by fake local markets, profit margins and false TV show ratings.

Amidst all of this, and due to the total absence of political sensitivity on citizens based community media, one can’t help but have a feeling of being robbed of our media rights. Why create more channels for state or private media  organisations to gobble up like a pacman on acid tabs? Why should making TV be motivated by  materialistic and profit oriented factors. Couldn’t the government make a move to support more community based media by freeing up the airwaves? Or will we just get more of the same…boring, stale, cliché TV programming which dumbs-out audiences and does not reflect the plurality of contemporary Cypriot society….

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