When talking about the public sphere, the debate over whether or not it has been degraded by things such as consumerism and tabloid media is the first thing that springs to mind. The most well-known and probably least respected tabloid news programs, A Current Affair and the now partially defunct Today Tonight are often sighted as among the worst offenders when it comes to “news” discussion in the public sphere – And here’s some of Today Tonights “Greatest Hits” so to speak…
Back on topic though – A more recent addition to our TV stations is the creation of ‘infotainment’ programs, which aim to deliver the news but also try to keep the viewer entertained. One of these programs is SBS2’s ‘The Feed’. The program, which clearly has been developed in a similar way to the ABC’s ‘Hungry Beast’, produces entertaining news stories about things you might not have heard about. They’ve got stories ranging from drug addiction and the future of digital currency through to the more lighthearted stories on space beer, 3D selfies (guys get keen), Douche of the Week, and my personal favourite – their satirical take on celebrity news, “Celebrity Chin Wag, with SBS journalist Lee Lin Chin.
This particular segment of the show is clearly satirical, and acts as commentary on what is discussed in the public sphere verses what we should be discussing. The entire shows purpose in my view is to bring issues that we might not be thinking about on a daily basis to the for, and get a discussion started in the public sphere about them.
The Feed tries to provoke thought on topics such as Mental Illness, Addiction and other topics that some news broadcasters might consider taboo, or too controversial to discuss during a 6pm bulletin, and The Feed tries to do this in a very conversational manner seemingly in an effort to help normalise these discussions in the public realm, which is something that not enough programs on mainstream television do.