1) Why are studios used to make programmes when tape is so cheap and available?
Television studios offer a formatted environment, which can be easily adapted and changed to suit the needs of those presenting the show, sending a message to the audience and the viewers receiving that message. Interactivity is enabled between those in the studio, on screen, and those watching, as it is live. The set for a magazine show generally stays the same each week, therefore it is somewhat easier for the set designer/director/producer of the show, in terms or preparing the show for broadcast. Magazine shows aim to bring the current and up-to-date news, gossip and events that audiences want to hear; surely being pre-recorded on a tape would mean missing out on the most recent news?
2) What are Magazine Programmes? Why do audiences like them?
Magazine programmes are television shows that are formatted in such a way to present a variety of topics, usually on current events. They often include interviews and commentaries and broadcast on a regular basis, most commonly every day or every week at the same time slot. Examples include ‘Friday Night With Jonathan Ross’, ‘The One Show’ and ‘Paul O’Grady’. There are always presenters who are able to connect with the audience and make them feel at home, as well as entertaining them. Magazine shows are light-hearted, more often than not, and offer familiarity for an audience. They are easy to watch and provide informative entertainment.
Audiences are comfortable in watching spontaneous and live broadcasts; they feel as though they can interact more with the show, which they of course can. For example, with the increasing use of social communication through television (the Red Button) and more noticeably on the internet and social networking sites (Twitter/Facebook/MySpace), audiences are able to interact with the show as it is being shown, and therefore they have a chance of being heard and being, to an extent, part of the show.
3) What are the limitations of magazine shows? How can they be improved to ensure they continue?
The media is constantly changing. There will always be new stories, new things going on in the world; because of this, in my opinion, there will always be those broadcasting this general information. The future of magazine shows is bright.
Having said this, there are always concerns that the rising popularity of the internet will soon overthrow television broadcasting, due to its easier accessibility, people are able to receive the information they want when they want it, not at a specific time every day. Nevertheless, there will always be those who prefer to sit down in front of a television with the rest of their family to watch their favourite shows.
How can they be improved to ensure they continue in the future? I would slightly contradict myself in saying that even though audiences thrive off the familiarity of magazine shows, the only way they can truly last for years to come is to change – not instantly, but gradually, offering new angles for an audience instead of a continuous, repetitive process. These shows should not limit themselves to the same subjects or topics, but instead keep it interesting, fresh and to an extent, unpredictable.
4) Consider other sources of distribution for magazine type shows.
The internet is of course a main contender in terms of another source of distribution for these types of shows. The accessibility is unquestionably greater than that of the television. With the technological advances of the modern day, mobile phones and other portable devices allow the public to access television shows on the move, granting them the ability to watch them wherever and whenever the viewer wishes. Applications such as BBC iPlayer and E4OD can be downloaded to your desktop on your computer, enabling you to pre-record the shows you want and watch more than one simultaneously if desired. Not to mention the giant that is YouTube; many magazine shows have got their own channels on this website, for example ‘Top Gear’; their channel can be found here.