Mtv stands for Music Television. But don’t go looking for music videos anymore, unfortunately they have been replaced by a whole slew of bad “reality” tv shows.  VH1 is almost as bad. I don’t watch a lot of tv, but when I do, I want to check out some new music videos, so I go to these two channels and instead get subjected to superficial immature (but eye candy) people and their weird competitive interactions, and shows designed to get people to cut each other down so that they can be the “love” or “best friend” of some slightly famous person. 2 questions– What kind of values are these shows promoting? And What does any of this have to do with music??

A recent article in the New York Times entitled ‘Make Room, Cynics; MTV Wants to Do Some Good’ seems to claim that I am not the only one complaining about recent programming and that the executives have taken note and had a meeting to discuss a transformative direction in their programming.

“Meet MTV for the era of Obama. After years of celebrating wealth, celebrity and the vapid excesses of youth, MTV is trying to gloss its escapist entertainment with a veneer of positive social messages.

Last fall, after the financial crisis erupted but before the presidential election, MTV executives gathered in New York for meetings to discuss the direction of the network and whether programs like “The Hills,” which chronicles the lives of the young and rich in Los Angeles, and “My Super Sweet 16,” a weekly visit to over-the-top coming-out parties, had trapped MTV in a decadent age that was passing.”

Let’s hope so.  Apparently, the ratings have going down, and so this discussion of values motivated by that, and also because Viacom, the network’s parent company has a new deal with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to make “shows more supportive of education.”

When can we expect to notice any positive educational changes in programming? Van Toffler, the president of MTV Networks says  “It’s not like you flip a light switch from one type of programming to another…” and that  “The notion of escapism will still live next to inspiration.”

Hm… What an interesting quote, huh? It is true, we do turn to the TV to provide us an escape, and that is fine. Personally, I am more interested in Music and Inspiration than junk food reality tv escape, so I will hope that MTV follows through with their intentions and in the meantime, I will just keep the TV off. ☺

By, Audette Sophia

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