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Bridge TV Needs Real Diversity

Posted on 14 February 2012 by Sam Kinney

Marquette’s Raynor Memorial built its bridge extension for the Raynor Memorial Libraries in 2002. Although the bridge has a great variety of food and a unique atmosphere, the television programming is bland. That is of course unless you enjoy watching CNN all day.

To a certain extent I understand why they chose CNN to be shown. Usually coffee shops and other restaurants tune into 24-hour news networks for their patrons. But this is Marquette. Why not play MUTV? The MUTV news program is broadcast on channel 99 Monday-Thursday from 6:30-9:30 pm. It is created, produced and anchored by Marquette students. During that three-hour time window shouldn’t Marquette broadcast its own news program?

I spoke with a number of my peers, and they all said the same thing: no one watches channel 99.
Some people, especially freshmen, do not even know what channel MUTV is. This is a perfect opportunity to market its own news program.

As stated, the MUTV news program is not broadcast 24 hours a day. But I tuned to channel 99 during a time that the news program was not being broadcast and I found what is called mtvU.

This is played during the 21 other hours of the day and during the weekends when MUTV is not on air. MtvU is just like the real MTV, it plays music videos by popular artists. Our generation is very connected with our music, so why can’t we enjoy it whenever we are able to?

I also asked random students if they would rather watch news all day or listen to music. To no surprise, all of them said they would rather listen to music. Why doesn’t the University satisfy the student’s demands? Studies have shown that people work better when they are happy and comfortable. Our generation is comfortable with listening to music while studying. Perhaps an older audience would enjoy watching CNN, but we students do not.

But why stop with music? The library can tune to ESPN, another 24-hour news network. ESPN has interactive shows such as NFL 32 and Sports Nation. These kinds of programs lighten the mood like music. The bridge could turn on ESPN at least some of the time.

However, there is something more at stake here. This television situation goes deeper than just music and sports. Political biases are coming to the forefront when solely broadcasting CNN. It’s no secret that CNN has a liberal bias. And any lefty can tell you FOX News has a conservative bias. If Marquette truly believes in diversity, they will play both. Marquette preaches to its students to be fair and be accepting of others. But Marquette fails to do so itself. Accepting other cultures is important. Why should politics be any different? The University wants us to conform to their ideas, but they refuse to accept mine. That is extremely hypocritical.

It’s not fair to those of us who are not Democrats. We conservatives are tired of indoctrination. I want a fair and balanced news program. If MU only allows 24-hour news network to play on the Bridge, I advocate for FOX News. Obviously, very few people would be in favor of only broadcasting FOX News. Why not allow FOX News and CNN?

I asked the librarians about this topic and Jean Zanoni, Associate Dean of Libraries, told me: “ESPN is out since it is too narrowly focused. MUTV is under consideration, but closed captioning is not available for MUTV. Closed captioning is essential since the sound is muted. Also, it appears that their programming schedule does not match Bridge hours. It would be challenging to schedule channel switching during library service hours. CNN continues to serve the needs of the area with comprehensive news coverage, closed captioning and display headlines. We also broadcast some sporting events such as the Marquette basketball games during tournaments, the Olympics, World Cup soccer, etc”.

I specifically asked Zanoni about MUTV, ESPN, CNN and FOX News. As shown above, Zanoni seemingly avoided answering about FOX News. Perhaps the library can shed some light on this issue.

Going back to the Zanoni’s response, how does CNN serve the needs of the area? Serving the area is what MUTV or local channels are for. CNN is broadcast throughout the world. Yes, CNN uncovers in-depth stories, but so does FOX News. FOX provides comprehensive news coverage, closed captioning and display headlines, just like CNN. Zanoni’s response appears biased.

The bottom line is that the Bridge has one television but only broadcasts CNN. They should show something more local to Marquette like MUTV or at least balance the liberal station with a conservative one like FOX.

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