Movie Network Analysis: how Much does Advertising Affect

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Updated: Mar 07, 2023
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In modern times it is impossible to go anywhere without there being a form of advertisement shown somewhere, even if you have no electronics yourself. However, where does one draw the line between what is all for “show” and what is actually considered real news? In the film,  “Network”, one can see the satirical argument being made is that human life is less than money, or in this case TV ratings. One of the most memorable parts of the film is the scene where one of the main characters, Howard Beale, makes the proclamation that due to his show’s low number of viewership he is retiring and since the show is the only thing he has to live for he is going to commit suicide on it.

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This desperate act of attention gets dismissed by virtually everyone responsible for airing it and only the man responsible for his retirement, Max Schumacher, really notices and eventually tries to calm down by eventually taking for drinks. It is here where one can see more of the film’s satirical argument when one of their drunken ideas for viewership is “Suicide of the week” or “Terrorist of the week”, which are both highly controversial topics in general, but also show that they no longer felt that the sanctity behind the loss of human life warranted respect for those who have passed for whatever reason. The story continues on and gradually Beale is put back onto air and makes an angry and very vulgar tirade telling everybody to get mad, prompting tons of viewership.

This famous speech is still referred to today through actual news anchors to pop culture artists like Jennifer Lopez who parody the speech for a feminist agenda. Ultimately, however, the story’s argument is best shown from the character Diana Christensen who is the literal characterization of everything wrong with the media. Christensen pushes the Union Broadcasting System to further exploit Beale for viewership without care for his actual mental state or health and eventually has him murdered once he no longer worked for her gain. She had the planned murder go down in public in front of his audience, while her network would be airing the attack as it happened, gaining massive viewership with the attack itself being written off as a terrorist attack by a terrorist group that she could manage in the end to keep her viewership high. It is in this tragic ending of the show that it can be concluded that viewership, which leads to monetary profit, was more valuable than the life of a man who started bringing public attention to the media’s exploitation of the general public.

Unfortunately, it can still be seen more broad spectrum of the media that the viewers are still getting exploited as they are subject to massive amounts of advertisements that pay certain shows to air them. Such is the case with Laura Ingraham now potentially facing her show time at risk because her advertisers have backed out after a twitter protest by David Hogg, showcasing how easy it is for such advertisers to drop someone like Beale, even though the reasons are entirely different.

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Movie Network Analysis: How Much Does Advertising Affect. (2021, Oct 16). Retrieved from