[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Paleoworld, JP, etc.



        Certainly the purpose of broadcasting a TV program is to attract a 
wide audience, and to sell air time to advertisers.  However, most dino 
programs don't disseminate much information that your average 
six-year-old doesn't already know.  It's as though the effort to bring in 
the widest possible audience has forced the producers to create a 
"dumbed-downest" program.  I know that whenever I watch an episode of 
Paleoworld, etc., with friends of mine (who are not dinosaur fanatics) 
that they are able to pick out the errors and inconsistancies pretty 
easily.  The end result is that we all go away from the program not 
having learned much.
        Too, my friends aren't exactly uninformed when it comes to 
dinosaurs, after all they are surrounded by them whenever they come to my 
house.  But when we're watching a dino special they'll pick out errors I 
didn't expect them to see.  Also, I've frequently heard them say that 
this or that program wasn't substantially different from almost any other 
dino program they've seen.
        The point I'd like to make is that the quality of the information 
presented is often neglected in an effort to cover as many topics as 
possible in the space of an hour.  The end result is that the depth of 
the information is usually pretty shallow.  Certainly, Paleoworld has 
been an improvement over most other programs I've seen, but the same 
conditions exist to a lesser extant.
        Now, I'm not suggesting that Paleoworld2 should try to become a 
comprehensive, end-all, total guide to everything ever said about 
dinosaurs.  However, a little more depth would be greatly appreciated.
        Two more short points and I'll get off my soapbox.  
1. Programs that feature dinosaurs are likely to use interviews
with people like Bob Bakker because, whether you agree with him or not, he
is an appealing character on TV.  He may not be popular with a lot of
paleontologists, but he has definitely been a big factor in popularizing 
the science aspect of paleontology.
2. The people who make dinosaur programs are not paleontologists; they 
are journalists, producers, etc.  I don't think it's fair to ask them to 
produce programs that are error-free, but I'd like to see them work a bit 
more closely with their resources (i.e., the paleontologists they 
interview) in order to produce a better program overall.

-Mikiel