The cult of the night

It seems as if the media is divided into two – those who work by day and those who work by night.I have noticed that in radio this means that there is a selective way of looking at the medium if it is by day or by night.

If there is one way of seeing how media people work then it is always interesting to go into a radio/TV station at 3.00 am when there is the “chosen few” working.

The few who are there are inhabiting a very lonely world – a world that seems to be of the making of the 24hr cycle, where the night seems to take over with the feeling that you are broadcasting to the very very few..and you could be right.

Many many years ago there was a secret study of radio National listeners post 9.30pm that was never revealed beyond a select few and the reason why was that it was a frightening document that proved that the listenership beyond 9.30pm was, in fact, barely more than a 1000 people in Australia.

The “asterisk” factor became one of the prime movers to have data reassessed so that they could shift the listenership into the 2% bracket without then having to define in numbers the actual listenership.

And so it is all over the media. The so-called benefits of overnighters is that one can talk to a small, but valuable, listenership and also talk to a small but valuable bunch of complete nutters who inhabit the night, like cultural vampires searching for a voice to add to theirs.

This is why I sometimes feel a twinge of sadness for the overnighters (many who have been “banished” to the late shift for misdemeanours or even for poor ratings in other shifts). They are the scapegoats of te organisation – with almost no publicity they seem to hide in the corners of the media, breaking out into the unnatural light to be heard or seen and then scampering back into their selected worlds.

Media does not brief us on the value of the 24hr cycle.It merely reflects the output of the strong against the weak


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