If you plan on watching the X Factor tonight, try and watch it with the following perspective / mindset…I think you might feel a little bit different about it afterwards…
Conflict. Rarity. Prominence. Consequence. Topicality. Personality. Proximity. Action.
Hmmm, that’s odd. I could have sworn that those 8 reasons are the criteria for what ‘makes’ news.
But this is just a TV show isn’t? Yes and no.
If you were the editor of The Sun newspaper, you would make sure that the criteria listed above featured in every story in your paper.
Maybe not all at once, but these are the things that what we (the reader) are interested in.
The world’s shortest man (rarity). A local resident has won an award (proximity). Jordan and Peter Andre split up (prominence).
This is what gets our attention, and the X Factor is a great example of life imitating art…on occasion (let’s be honest, some of the acts could hardly be considered artistic!).
Are you being ‘tricked’ into watching the X Factor?
Again the answer is yes and no.
On one hand, its just enjoyable, escapism-type TV.
On the other, is a very cleverly designed framework which keeps you interested in the show not only on the weekend but everyday of the week via other media.
The reason why is that each of the criteria listed above feature in the ‘product’ – some are natural, while some are manufactured.
The main one I want to look at is conflict.
Do you really think Cheryl ad Dannii don’t get along? Hmmm.
Do you really think Simon Cowell says what he says because he means it? Well, he is honest, but he also knows that one of the reasons you tune in each week is to see him give someone a b*llocking.
I’m not saying Simon is fake. Far from it. He is just incredibly clever. He gives us what we want every week without fail.
Without being too cynical (maybe that ship has sailed) I think we’d feel very differently about the show if we let ourselves see it for what is really is: a very well structured, scripted, and planned ‘super story.’
As it happens, we love the escapism and the fun it provides, but tonight, just see if you can spot examples of conflict, rarity, prominence, consequence, personality, topicality, proximity and action.
My bet is that you’ll tick ’em all off after the first 5 minutes.
P.S John and Edward annoy the hell out of me (rarity…in the worst possible way!).