Friday, 19 August 2011

The Fucti-Fyno News Quiz...

Listen up TV News bosses of the world...! Bare with me here... you are going to love this. I have ideas all the time about how to bring knowledge of current affairs to the general public. You remember them, the great unwashed who we try and vox-pop on their opinion of just about everything... And those that get their news from Twitter, blogs and Facebook where rumour and false information is rife.

Now i’m just a mere freelance cameraman in the world of TV News. I do my bit and feed it into the churning mass of pictures and journalism the fills our very existence. But I often wonder what most people think of the news. How much do they realise the importance of current affairs, it’s relevance to the modern world and the history behind the stories told. Now i don’t expect many people to instantly know who the foreign minister from Burkina Faso is, but how about the foreign minister from the UK..? Or the Prime Minister for that matter? Watching the news can be like a conveyor belt of bad news at times with no, or very little back story to explain the current issues. And the interest of the general public waxes and wanes. We need to keep them on the edge of their seats. We need to test their knowledge.

The news can be a very insular, specialist thing. If you don’t follow a particular story, how are the viewers supposed to make sense of the current story? What led to the current maelstrom of information now being read to me by the delightfully pert news reader? The journalist may be a specialist in his or her field. Economics, Politics, World Affairs. They all have their own backstories and histories that lead to the current story, one which the journalist knows about... but the viewer? Exactly how much do they really know? Here is our chance to find out.

The Fucti-Fyno Red button... All kinds of interactive fun.

I’ve got an idea for a new interactive news quiz for the tellybox. It’s called the Fucti-Fyno scrolling news quiz bar. This will replace the scrolling headline strap which only repeats the news reader anyway, you know, that annoying lower third information ticker bar that cuts off one third of your tv picture... normally the bit that shows what happened... but i digress.

The days news would be packaged up into categories such as conflict, disaster, politics, celebrity and finally, was that newsworthy? The news would then be read by the news anchor, video reports shown and discussed by guests from the world of politics and journalism in a normal newsy type manner... So far, so very normal.

But heres the twist. Whilst the said TV Journo’s and expert blow holes discuss the current story, the television news watching audience would be invited, via the red button, to guess an answer to a question posed along a rolling bar at the bottom of the screen. The Fucti-Fyno rolling question bar.

Imagine the lovely Sophie Raworth finishing up a story with “For more, press the Fucti-Fyno button” Go on... imagine it.

Here’s an example. Violence has again erupted in the Middle East. Fundamentalists from Gaza have fired rockets into Israel killing many people. The panel discuss / vilify / take the piss. ( Delete as appropriate ) A question then pops up on the Fuct-Fyno scrolling bar for the viewers at home.

What or who started the current intifada..?

Please press the following buttons to register your answer.

RED BUTTON: The building of a Berlin style wall, surrounding Palestinian territory, thereby restricting the movement of goods and people. ( News junkie button )

GREEN BUTTON: Religion, it’s the cause of most conflict. ( Knee jerk reaction button )

YELLOW BUTTON: Justin Bieber. ( Trick question for the celebrity obsessed )

BLUE BUTTON: Fucti-Fyno. ( Default setting for the blue button, which takes you to a web page, explaining what the fuck is going on )

I think the answers would give a very real idea of what goes through the heads of most news watching people. And... And... we could give prizes to the 1000th person who gives a correct answer, to encourage them to find out more, such as tickets to the next studio filming of Have I Got News For You, or free flights to a dictatorship of your choice, so they can witness the news first hand... The interactive potential of news broadcasters engaging with their audience is huge, and for the commercial stations, a huge money spinning venture, with link-ins to the X-Factor, natch. It’s a win-win proposal..!! So come on BBC, Sky, ITV News... Give it a go.

I give you the Fucti-Fyno scrolling news quiz bar... ( Patent Pending )

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter