Predictionsof the film Network
The1976 film “Network” directed by Sidney Lumet correctly predictedmodern day television. The film foretells the dominance of televisionin dissemination of information and knowledge which has created amisinformed society. Although the film was written in the middle ofthe 1970’s crisis when tabloid television was unheard off, thescenario perfectly fits into 2014. In one scene, TV news anchor,Howard Beale, rants about the situation of the media then on live TVmidway through a news bulletin. He accuses media of giving too muchweight to crime, unemployment and economic crisis rather than beinginformative. This is the specialty of today’s tabloid televisionwhich was only invented in the late 1980’s with the arrival ofcable television and an increase in private media houses. Aspredicted, today’s tabloid television is feeding the public withnegativity full time. CNN, BBC and others today cover beheadingscarried out by the ISIS, terrorism in Middle East, unemployment,protests over police shooting in American cities, unemployment andother similar negativities. Cables news channel are eager to outdoone another even some reporting live from war zones and crime scenes.
Anotherprediction the film makes pertains to the role that television andthe media in general plays in society. In a conference, Beale statesthat the number of people reading books and newspapers has fallen andinstead watch the “tube” which has corrupted their minds. Heclaims that this tube can make or break Popes, and Presidents. Hesays that the tube is also responsible for a misinformed generationthat overlies on it. This is already happening today. Generationsare misinformed by too much television and new media platforms suchas Youtube, Facebook and Twitter have made heroes and destroyed some.For instance Justin Beiber was discovered trough Youtube while aWhite House Aide was recently forced to resign after making uncouthcomments about the first family on Facebook. All these issues, thoughnonexistent in 1976, were correctly predicted by the film Network.
Gottfried,H., Caruso, F. & Lumet, S. (1976). Network.US: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.