Are we falling for it?

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This week many people around the world have been talking about Madonna’s fall during her performance at The Brit awards. The Brit awards are a yearly event in the UK, which recognises musical talent from across the globe, with a host of different award categories. The nominees for these awards are normally in the main from the Pop music scene.

If you haven’t heard about Madonna’s fall you can read more about it in a news story here:

I haven’t watched the Brits for years and it was only the morning after that I found out about Madonna’s fall. This incident has got people around the world talking, in countries that this event wasn’t shown and in places that have never heard of the Brit awards. Through a few split seconds of something that didn’t look like it was suppose to happen, the audience for the event became global.

Manufacturing situations

In the wake of the event some people are now speculating whether this fall was actually a planned event by either Madonna herself, the Brit Awards or both. Both have past form with controversy when it comes to awards shows. For the Brits we had the moment when Jarvis Cocker went wondering on stage during Michael Jackson singing ‘Earthsong’ in the 90s and with Madonna we had the MTV VMA’s in the early 2000s when she kissed Britney Spears.

I wouldn’t put it past any of those involved to have manufactured the situation but I do think there is a growing trend now with anything that goes viral or gets widespread attention like this, that everyone wants to question the authenticity of it. When something makes headlines there are people that don’t buy in to it and want to discredit it, so in the aftermath we see videos and blogs popping up online of people explaining what really was going on and trying to show evidence to back up their claim.

The news has changed

We now live in a world of 24 hour news where these news companies need more and more stories to cover, so editorial control isn’t as selective and with so much competition, each news company wants to be the first to break a story. Couple this with the rise of PR, marketing and creative companies whose job it is to get brands and celebrities in to the news and on the face of it, this looks like a bad mix. With social media and information so available to the masses these companies have to work even harder to come up with stunts and news stories that people won’t question, to get hype for what they are promoting. These companies need to move with changing audiences and find creative ideas that have never been done before to get our attention, which I believe will mean we are always questioning the authenticity of what we are seeing.

So back to Madonna and the Brits, for many years people have questioned how relevant each are. I don’t know what the viewing figures for The Brits have been in recent years or the sales figures for Madonna but a stunt like this, if it was preplanned has got everyone talking about them again. The great thing about it is regardless of whether it was planned or not people are still debating the authenticity of it today so people are still talking about them and they are getting even more publicity.

A new world

I think this new news world we live in has made a skeptical audience and this audience now has the power to research the news. People want to catch the news out and don’t just take what they see at face value. I think on the whole the news has turned more in to entertainment than reporting of facts, entertainment that we can join in with and help mold. In todays world its not just the news that gets us talking, it’s the news that covers things we are talking about.

I think the way the video of Madonna falling went viral asks this important question for TV programmes and events – Is social media reaction more important than actual viewership?

2 thoughts on “Are we falling for it?

  1. Pingback: Adam Sibley | A changing audience

  2. Pingback: Adam Sibley | How TV Talent shows have changed

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