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Romania: What keeps people in front of TV?

Brindusa Armanca, a member of the Executive Committee of Azir, the Romanian section of AEJ, lectured on April 27 at a conference on "What happened to television in the Internet age?" at the prestigious ”National Theatre Conferences series”, a regular event which takes place in Bucharest every Sunday in a tradition which has continued for more than 14 years.

The conference heard about a recent survey by the Institute for Evaluation and Strategy Roman (IRES) which confirmed figures previously published by Eurostat, saying that 80 % of Romanians get their main information from television. Brindusa Armanca provided answers to the core questions -- “what keeps people in front of their TV”, why does TV maintain its dominance even in the Internet age and What is the satisfaction that people derive from television, considering that it is essentially a passive activity. Perhaps the most central question of all was: has the internet won the battle over the traditional media? The answer is an unequivocal No: in Romania online newspapers are dying, but they are still published online.

Beyond all the wonders of technology that have transformed television and other forms of media, the conference also debated deep-seated problems about the state of journalism itself – especially those of professionalism and professional ethics, which many believe have been turned upside down in recent years.

Starting from the above premises the conference examined the factors behind the profound changes affecting the profession of journalism, including the attitudes of the public and their diverse means of receiving information. The conference also discussed the issues of convergence and competition between television and the internet.

Brindusa Armanca is a distinguished journalist and professor. She was a senior member of the editorial staff of “Radio Free Europe”, ”The Day” and ”The Expres”. She is currently a senior editor at TVR Timisoara and writes a weekly column critical of the press “Media culpa” in 22 Magazine.