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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Médias. Une semaine sans télé pour se nettoyer les méninges

by Thierry Deshayes

Media: One week without TV to clean your brain

Translated Friday 9 May 2008, by Jonathan Pierrel

The week without TV, which took place in late April in France, is a call to raise awareness about television: its role, its purpose, its influence (on consumerism, society, health, perspective on the news, etc.) — basically a criticism of "over-consumption" of television, according to Jenny Uechi, editor of the Canadian magazine Adbusters. It is also an invitation to “clean our mental environment.” A test period of one week without televisual passivity and “mental pollution,” a kind of moratorium. Adbusters’s choice to attack this medium in particular is due to the lengthy periods that viewers are exposed to it, as well as the impact TV has on its audience: subjects are passive, and the power of the visual combined with that of sound makes TV particularly gripping and powerful.

Yet, starting this year, the internet, as well as video games and iPods, are also being targeted by Adbusters. The US version of the event was called “Mental Detox Week.”

The week without TV is part of global criticism of the media. It happens everywhere in the world, and such events depend on individual and collective initiatives. In France, the week without TV ended on Sunday 27 April, but it is never too late to start! All the information is available here for the French “Casseurs de pub” (or here for the English version of “Adbusters” – Note of the translator.)

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