I found Boyle’s history of documentary video through the threads of underground video, alternative TV, community video, and guerrilla television to be very interesting.
Boyle cites Guerrilla Television (1971) :
Anyone who thinks that broadcast TV is capable of reform just doesn’t understand media. A standard of success that demands thirty to fifty million people can only trend toward homogenization…Information survival demands diversity of options, and they’re just not possible within the broadcast technology or context. (68)
I think that networks create this homogenization through censorship to benefit the ideologies of those in power. This is a continual problem with broadcast media and also why I found this reading interesting, tracing the grassroots video and tv movements that have occurred. My History of American Broadcasting class just read about the late 60’s television primetime comedy show The Smothers Brothers that was censored and eventually canceled because of their leftist political agenda that appealed to the youth of the time. I found it interesting how long the show was able to run during primetime on a network like CBS. Now we would have to find shows like that on other cable networks.
I just wonder if broadcast television can be capable of reform. How can broadcast media incorporate a ‘diversity of options’? Is this something we see happening right now? Should mainstream television and guerrilla video be kept separate?