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by Neena Louise
OPINION

You hear it more and more these days on informative television shows such as the nightly news, news magazines, tabloid shows and even on documentaries: "If you want more information, just click on our website". Does this make sense to you? For a television program to almost insist I turn off the TV and run to my computer? It would makes sense, perhaps, if a piece was in-depth in nature and one was simply being directed to the website if one wanted even more information. In fact, that would be perfect. But information series seem to be making their segments shorter and shorter in order to cram in more and more, thus merely whetting the appetite for more information. They solve this by telling people to go somewhere else.

I don't understand this trend at all. Sure, most people have access to the Internet from somewhere (even if it's not from home), but most people watch TV to be entertained and/or informed - not to get directions to website addresses. And, if you're like most people, the Internet - like TV - is a form of entertainment. Bearing that in mind, you would think TV would be competing with the Internet, not encouraging people to go away and surf the 'Net!

TV is also becoming irresponsible because of their websites. As news pieces get shorter, important information seems to be becoming scarcer. Case in point: I was watching a national newscast in which there was a piece about a town dealing with contaminated water due to the mismanagement of a sewage plant. I was stunned when, after a brief "a bunch of people are sick and dying", the anchor said if you wanted more information about signs and symptoms of a potentially deadly bacteria and what do to about it, go to the website. Then they moved on to an insipid bit on what the President was doing (and there was no website reference to go with THAT segment). Excuse me? I could DIE from something and you're not going to tell me anything about it? Isn't that was the news is FOR?

Information isn't the only thing TV is trying to sell you over the Internet. More and more, they're hawking merchandise by running a full color banner along the bottom of the screen during any number of different types of series, just begging you to click on their website. You almost have to have a computer sitting beside you in order to watch TV at all these days. Can you just imagine? Sitting in front of your TV, reclining in your recliner, drink in hand, dog at feet....computer on lap. Yeah, right. Why would any non-geek with half a brain want to do this?

Website references on TV are becoming an increasing annoyance. Just as you're becoming interested in a story about one thing or another - BAM! - it's cut off and you're told to go the 'Net. If I wanted to get information from the Internet, I know where to go and how to get it - I don't need (nor want) TV People telling me. However, If I'm watching television, I want to WATCH TELEVISION (duh).

 
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