Scannell, P. “Dailiness” In Radio, Television and Modern Life. Blackwell, London, 1996, 144-178

One of Scannell’s main goals in his chapter entitled “Dailiness” is to highlight the media’s impact on our sense of time. Once again the reading has led me to reflect on an aspect of my life that I had never given much thought to before. I suppose this makes the course a success so far. The aspect I am referring to is how we rely on the media to structure our day, to give us an idea of time and dailiness. Scannell’s raises the question “Would time feel different for us without radio, television and newspapers?” (p. 149) and I am inclined to and ‘yes’ wholeheartedly. Whether consciously or subconsciously felt the fact that media gives “the sense that each day is a particular day” (p. 149) is undeniable. It may be because a particular program is on or an unusual event is reported in the news but in either case the media appears to be to our everyday clock as sunlight is to our biological one.  A “sense of the fullness of days- of this or any day; that today is this day in particular because this is happening.” (p. 150) can be discerned. 

 

However, could today’s constant flow of information be weakening this ability of media? There are unending streams of information available- online news sites and pay TV stations devoted entirely to news- that are no longer broken into morning and evening or even hourly news breaks. If we are connected to these streams for an extended period of time does our temporality start to change? Does media have less of an effect upon our daily lives? Here is where the article becomes outdated. Scannell states that “the situational properties of broadcasting always attend to time” (p. 151) However, technologies such as the internet where TV shows, films etc. can be watched, downloaded and shared this idea is rendered slightly obsolete. While clearly defined ‘family’, ‘children’ and ‘adult’ TV slots still exist these are changing as our lifestyles change: “bed-times have become later by an average of rather more than half an hour.” (p. 176) Our dailiness is changing.

 

Another aspect of this reading that I found interesting, though again technology has advanced and made the idea slightly archaic, is the idea of broadcasting disclosing “ for the first time and routinely – the public world in its eventfulness.” (p. 161) Having grown up with the internet, newspaper, TV, radio and being surrounded by more information sources than I know what to do with, I have difficulty grasping the change that public broadcasting must have generated in society. Statements such as “Radio and television, as they developed in the course of this century, have powerfully contributed to repersonalizing the world.” (p.165) seem obvious in the face of globalisation. However, closer inspection reveals that ideas like “Speaking is selving” (p. 164) and “truth reveals itself in its openness, in its being public. The publicness of broadcasting the, is truth-disclosing.” (p. 168) can be easily see in technologies such as blogging, Facebook and zines. Therefore, while this reading, written more than ten years ago, may be dated in some ways certain concepts and ideas, like dailiness and broadcasting’s effect on public and private domains, remain- if only in new forms. 

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