Stephen Armstrong, writing for MediaGuardian, has beaten me to it today with a thought piece on how TV programmes about the media are increasingly becoming hot property.
I’ve been pondering the same idea myself recently, with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip airing this week, and other fictionalised insights into the media such as Dirt starring Courney Cox and Lipstick Jungle by Sex and the City’s Candace Bushnell, also in the pipeline.
It seems a warts-and-all look at the media is increasingly what people want to see, and I still firmly believe the catalyst was 7/7 2005, when citizen journalism took on a life of its own around the London bombings.
The media industry has always positioned itself as sexy, cut-throat and exclusive – but three years ago a crisis situation broke down some of these barriers, and mobile and social media technology enabled citizens to access it from the inside.
To quote from the MediaGuardian article…”I think in part this is about television’s reaction to the internet,” says Mark Olsen, who writes about TV for the LA Times and Interview magazine. “There is a desire to include the audience, to give them a sense that they are insiders, and that they know what’s going on behind the cameras.”
The public want more access – uploading mobile video clips, or writing their own blog etc, is no longer enough. There seems an insatiable appetite for transparency in the media, and TV at the moment is responding to this need.
This is not just the age of social media – it’s the age of media, full stop!