Written by O Wilkinson
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Thursday, 3 July 2003

image for Dumbing down of TV reaches pandemic proportions (that means really really big)
Problem larger than 18,000 busses laid end to

Scientists today released their findings of long-term project conceived to quantify dumbing-down by the world's media.

Dr Richard Tench of Oxford University, leader of the EU-funded project presented key findings to the press earlier today.

"Television has been dumbed-down enormously over the last decade, particularly as more and more European production companies take on US values in order to spoon feed their audiences. Every minor point, now matter how moronically simple, is now hammered home with tacky visuals, exuberant sound-bytes and repetition ad-infinitum".

"Can you give us some examples?" queried a puzzled-looking hack.

Tench responded with a tense smile, and clicked through 18 animated Powerpoint slides. Each slide was an assault to the senses that conveyed no more information than its predecessor - the assembled journos looked on in rapture, comprehension written on every face.

"We've finally modelled dumbing-down mathematically, allowing us to correlate it against time" Tench explained to his now-fidgeting audience. "As a result, we can predict that by 2010, dumbing-down will have reached pandemic proportions, and - ironically - will mean that only the greatest minds will be able to pick valuable data from the bombardment of information thrown at them by their televisions, radios and printed media. By 2015, Stephen Hawkin will be the only human capable of understanding Neighbours or Eastenders, and absolutely nobody will be able to derive fact from any documentary."

After several seconds of stuned silence, one voice in the depths of the room was heard to mutter "not a fucking clue" and Dr Tench was last seen demonstrating his formula expressed as number of football pitches, and double-decker busses laid end to end.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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