Volume 90, Issue 99

Thursday, April 03, 1997

The Great One


Taking a critical look at the radical media

By Laura Koot
Gazette Staff

When asked how the ratings are for his newest endeavour, Big Life, Daniel Richler's answer is a curt, but proud: "miserable."

When Newsworld big-wigs wanted to target the youth market they called on Richler, former producer of The New Music and host and executive producer of the literary show Imprint, because his ideas for presenting news are fresh, stylistically different and new.

This new news was the topic of discussion in the University Community Centre's McKellar Room yesterday as Richler addressed a crowd of just under 100.

"There are binary polars that are used to describe the news: good, bad, republican, democratic," Richler explained. "When you break things down to black and white you exclude the original."

This original is what Richler refers to a the grey area and he seeks out interesting and eccentric people to fill the void when he delivers news and information on Big Life.

Richler proposed the delivery of information would be more stimulating if less emphasis was placed on giving the facts of a story that people already know and on attempting to be unbiased. "Why should we stick to this objectivity?" Richler questioned. "My ideal TV world would be one that is completely prejudiced." He challenged the audience to read a radical magazine and judge what he called a "far more exciting organ of media."

Another fascination of the mainstream media is the practice of reviewing, critiquing and evaluating other people's work, Richler said, describing this practice as completely uncreative. "You've got people rating your whole life and I'm sick of it.

"What's interesting are the issues that are raised," he explained. "I don't care how good it is."

Big Life is is still adjusting to its home on what Richler calls the "straight-laced" CBC. "With a vengeance we took This Hour Has 22 Minutes' slot to show news with a vengeance."

Although Richler is still working against a Saturday night time slot which he said is less than optimum for a young audience and occasions of "legal cowardice of the CBC," he said he intends to continue in his unique format.

"We take pride in being a fish out of water."

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997