How do you test your loyalty? Well,in the public media you test it with your silence. Silence comes in may forms and in the media silence is both the thing you most fear and the thing that managers wish upon you.There are the silences that emerge when under criticism, the silences of criticism, the silences of the end. These places are where they can maintain or stanch the bloodletting of external criticism by allowing their staff to be silent.Silence is the shredder of the media.
This week Kyle Sandilands producer has closed down his website in order to achieve the silence of criticism – in this case the full weight of ACMA and its rather insipid clout. The website was full of sexist, stupid and weird and not-so-wonderful photos and blog entries based purely on the puerile. The silence has been achieved by junking the site. However the web is about chatter and not silence so most of the website has been leaked to the media critics.The outcome will be the obviousness of noise versus the quiet hubris of silence.
This would not happen in the public media because the silence is achieved before the event. There are rules and regulations about blogposts and also the status of individual websites. It is therefore very hard to be a self motivated media critic inside the public media sector and your loyalty is constantly questioned from above. You are a broadcaster but you must remain silent about your noise.
I was bemused by the changes on RN in the public broadcaster because so much chatter came from outside and so little from inside. The changes are set in silent concrete before they emerge into the light of day and the machinations behind the scenes are now part of a silent “hexis” – what the Greeks would call, “dead matter”
And as my mentor Fritz Perls once said,”If you internalise crap then crap is all you will know”