Public Television, myth or reality?

Today in class we talked about public Spanish and Catalan TV, specifically RTVE -Radio Televisión Española- and TVC -Televisió de Catalunya. First of all, we got to know the most popular Spanish media company worldwide is the EFE agency, which we didn’t have the time to analyse. Besides this one, RTVE is the next one most acknowledged.

After mentioning some of the history of both RTVE and TVC, the years they were created, their most important changes and how these were related to the political party in power at the time, their first governmentalization and further attempt of desgovernmentalization, the tremendous debts both of them were engaged in and then rescued by the State, we watched a “Salvados” episode about public TV.

As far as the theory we did in class was interesting, I think repeating it here would be of no use as I would only be copying my own notes on the subject and not thinking further on; however, what I think will be of profit is if I write today’s entry about Jordi Évole’s program, which was, as always, fruitful.

For anyone who doesn’t know who Évole is, he’s a Catalan journalist currently working for La Sexta with his own program, “Salvados”. He interviews politicians, State workers and other people of interest, and his questions tend to be devilish. Despite most journalists admire him, we have to keep in mind he, obviously, touches the subjects his channel permits him to mention, so he’s not entirely unchained.

After this brief introduction, today we watched Jordi Évole asking about the truthfulness of public television in Spain. He asked for experts’ opinion -Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Iñaki Gabilondo and Ángel García. Clearly all of them came up with different arguments and different verdicts, leaving us, the spectators, with contradictory conclusions and not really sure about what to think or who to believe.

One of the interviewed -Gabilondo, if I recall correctly- said there was no public television, but private, property of whichever political party was ruling on the moment -PP and PSOE or even CiU and PNB on an autonomic level.

This makes us meditate about the actual level of manipulation we are exposed to daily without knowing. When we read or listen to determined media we know that was written by people close to certain ideals or political parties; but shouldn’t we have the right to have a neutral source? Somewhere to compare and contrast other media, and not a broadcasting company, which says whatever the government wants them to say, having to change their point of view every four years?

At the moment I don’t think a public, aloof, nonaligned mass media company. Although the Catalan model -TVC- is, in my opinion, better than the Spanish one, I still think we have lots to learn and to change, and this will never be achieved if we don’t succeed in motivating young people, not only future journalists, but future audience, to be more exigent towards what they consume, because without the audience there can be no media.