From time to time here at Off The Tracks I post eulogies, write about the people associated with the arts who have made an impact on my life – heroes like Elmore Leonard and J.J. Cale; people who have been important as pioneers, trailblazers, achievers.
It’s sad to add to that list the local TV program Media 3 (also, previously known as Media 7).
A sad day for local arts coverage – Media 3 (and Media 7) managed to pull together interesting stories, covering music, literature, theatre, film and the politics/funding surrounding them.
The program also worked as a media monitor/commentator. There were intelligent panel discussions, strong interviews, snippets from works-in-progress, previews of upcoming events. The show managed to get inside the events, discussing the motivations of various art makers – challenging the funding bodies and politicians – and critics – that stood as gatekeepers or appeared to be keeping that gate (always) locked.
Media 7 – and then Media 3 – was appointment viewing in my house. I didn’t love and follow every story but I appreciated the range on offer, the focus of the show, the commitment to bringing something of interest week in week out.
You tuned in and you knew, you just knew, that there’d be something worth watching, some aspect of the show would resonate.
Even buried late at night with an early morning replay the show was a must-watch.
There was both torch-shining and finger-wagging. Both were important. Both were (always) handled well.
And now with it gone – the decision made – I despair for arts and media coverage in this country. The don’t-know-what-we’ve-got-‘til-it’s-gone adage will play out and we’ll sink further into that ugly mire of improve-your-house/build-your-house shows.
It’s very sad.
R.I.P Media 3. It seemed, at times, like it was the last hope, the last chance…