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Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:52 pm
by Robert K S
For well over a century the National Geographic Society has served humanity as a nonprofit organization "for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." The principal vehicle for its educational mission was its publication of National Geographic magazine, the cable channel of the same name, and its associated media properties. Many years ago Jeopardy! began a fruitful partnership with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic, which has enabled the show to travel to exotic locations for taping of its Clue Crew clues and provided the show with themed content. Now, the recent sale of control of the National Geographic media properties to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox sounds the death knell to the not-for-profit motivations of service to education and exploration.

Jeopardy! is a game show and its principal motive is the profit of its owners. National Geographic's media properties will probably continue to provide content of some semblance of quality and educational value, at least superficially. From that perspective there is nothing inconsistent with the missions of the partners and the continuation of the partnership.

I question, however, whether, along with the shift in the National Geographic properties' control and mission, will not also come a loss of credibility and a partisan political taint to the National Geographic brand. It's easy to joke about this sort of thing; dozens of Facebook memes have already made light of it, while illuminating the travesty of the sale more concisely than I do here. It's also easy to ridicule a suggestion, like so many "I'll-never-watch-the-show-again-since-they-had-a-political-figure-read-clues" posts, that Jeopardy! should do one thing or another to avoid appearing partisan itself. But undoubtedly a reason for the partnership was the neutrality and credibility that the National Geographic name lent to anything it was associated with. This reason is now largely gone. In short order, a partnership with National Geographic will make as much sense for Jeopardy! as a partnership with Fox News. I have to wonder if this reality-grounded perception should not alter the calculus by which Jeopardy! will evaluate the sensibility of the continuation of the partnership.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:29 pm
by OrangeSAM
I'm asking myself similar questions as an NGS member. I don't have any answers yet.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:41 pm
by Volante
Fox also ran the Cosmos reboot. I'd wait and see how much NatGeo changes. (Or until I win one of those Lindblad trips.)

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 4:41 pm
by Vanya
Volante wrote:Fox also ran the Cosmos reboot. I'd wait and see how much NatGeo changes. (Or until I win one of those Lindblad trips.)
Why pass up a chance to bash Murdoch and Fox News?

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:21 pm
by MitchO
Because bashing an entity with a general "Boo! Hiss!" is still not even the tiniest of fractions as the same as wishing physical harm or death upon the other side of the aisle, and this doesn't do anything to prove a point?

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:00 pm
by Johnblue
All this pearl clutching! I'll stick with Nat Geo & I actually just signed up to take a trip to Antarctica with them & Lindblad. I don't recall a bunch of conservatives whining about Jeopardy's association with the NY Times but maybe there's more maturity on one side.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:33 pm
by seaborgium
Johnblue wrote:I don't recall a bunch of conservatives whining about Jeopardy's association with the NY Times but maybe there's more maturity on one side.
I guess you don't look at the J! Facebook page.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:34 pm
by sarisson
Is this satire?
How would National Geographic get political? Is Koch Industries going to put 40 full-page ads in every issue? Will there be a miniseries on NatGeo on young-earth creationism, or the abiogenic origin of oil? Will Jeopardy have to air on Fox now?
A few major conglomerates control virtually all the media in the US (and Australia, now that everyone's favorite antipodean billionaire has acquired yet another company). Whether they're "liberal" or "conservative" conglomerates is irrelevant.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:09 pm
by Robert K S
sarisson wrote:A few major conglomerates control virtually all the media in the US (and Australia, now that everyone's favorite antipodean billionaire has acquired yet another company). Whether they're "liberal" or "conservative" conglomerates is irrelevant.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. Mr. Murdoch didn't acquire "another company". National Geographic wasn't a for-profit corporation.
sarisson wrote:How would National Geographic get political?
The worry is less that the properties will become overtly political--although that could happen in much worse ways than the ones you list--and more that the change in master means necessarily--legally necessarily--a change in behavior, a change in character. Prior to this sale, the National Geographic properties answered to a board of trustees who were obliged to act with the (nonpartisan) mission in mind. Now they are obliged to do whatever Mr. Murdoch commands them to do. You've probably heard that the transformation began this week with the cutting of costs (including mass layoffs) in such nuisance areas as fact-checking and photojournalism. These things tend to be important for an organization respected and admired for education, exploration, and exposing environmental evils such as poaching and deforestation--the sorts of things that used to be the very fabric of the organization. Now, I would guess the focus is likely to be more on entertainment. Anyone with imagination could compile lists of worrisome directions the media entities could take. An obvious direction for the TV channel to take would be to go from the more bona fide educational and documentary material to more reality TV and animal porn. We know that this is the direction a channel in this genre will naturally take under a profit motive because it's what happened to Animal Planet.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:25 pm
by Vanya
sarisson wrote:Is this satire?
How would National Geographic get political? Is Koch Industries going to put 40 full-page ads in every issue? Will there be a miniseries on NatGeo on young-earth creationism, or the abiogenic origin of oil? Will Jeopardy have to air on Fox now?
A few major conglomerates control virtually all the media in the US (and Australia, now that everyone's favorite antipodean billionaire has acquired yet another company). Whether they're "liberal" or "conservative" conglomerates is irrelevant.

Well, we all know National Geographic is smut, all those half-dressed natives; disgusting.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:54 pm
by triviawayne
Vanya wrote:
sarisson wrote:Is this satire?
How would National Geographic get political? Is Koch Industries going to put 40 full-page ads in every issue? Will there be a miniseries on NatGeo on young-earth creationism, or the abiogenic origin of oil? Will Jeopardy have to air on Fox now?
A few major conglomerates control virtually all the media in the US (and Australia, now that everyone's favorite antipodean billionaire has acquired yet another company). Whether they're "liberal" or "conservative" conglomerates is irrelevant.

Well, we all know National Geographic is smut, all those half-dressed natives; disgusting.
Pessimist! I think they're half undressed.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:39 am
by dhkendall
Vanya wrote:
sarisson wrote:Is this satire?
How would National Geographic get political? Is Koch Industries going to put 40 full-page ads in every issue? Will there be a miniseries on NatGeo on young-earth creationism, or the abiogenic origin of oil? Will Jeopardy have to air on Fox now?
A few major conglomerates control virtually all the media in the US (and Australia, now that everyone's favorite antipodean billionaire has acquired yet another company). Whether they're "liberal" or "conservative" conglomerates is irrelevant.

Well, we all know National Geographic is smut, all those half-dressed natives; disgusting.
Hey, like pretty much any teenage boy I was looking at National Geographics in my room under the covers with a flashlight. Good times.
Spoiler
OK, so I was looking at the maps.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 2:43 am
by This Is Kirk!
sarisson wrote:Is this satire?
How would National Geographic get political? Is Koch Industries going to put 40 full-page ads in every issue? Will there be a miniseries on NatGeo on young-earth creationism, or the abiogenic origin of oil?
It's not necessarily the stories they will publish but possibly stories they may decide not to publish now.

But, no, I don't think Jeopardy! should end their partnership with National Geographic.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:38 pm
by JonathanHenke
Jeopardy has has so much blatant product-placement lately that I wonder if *this* is the ethical hill to die on. I mean, however far NG falls from its previous quality, Jeopardy is likely already shilling for even shadier organizations.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:50 pm
by Volante
JonathanHenke wrote:Jeopardy has has so much blatant product-placement lately that I wonder if *this* is the ethical hill to die on. I mean, however far NG falls from its previous quality, Jeopardy is likely already shilling for even shadier organizations.
Like Sony Pictures!

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:20 pm
by BRD-98
Why is this even an issue?

Image

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:27 pm
by This Is Kirk!
^Interesting spelling of the word "literally."

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:16 pm
by dhkendall
This Is Kirk! wrote:^Interesting spelling of the word "literally."
He meant "littorally", he was talking about the coast.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:21 pm
by jkbrat
dhkendall wrote:
This Is Kirk! wrote:^Interesting spelling of the word "literally."
He meant "littorally", he was talking about the coast.
"I just threw some trash on the ground," said Tom litterally.

Re: Should Jeopardy! end its partnership with National Geographic?

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:26 pm
by BigDaddyMatty
jkbrat wrote:
dhkendall wrote:
This Is Kirk! wrote:^Interesting spelling of the word "literally."
He meant "littorally", he was talking about the coast.
"I just threw some trash on the ground," said Tom litterally.
Swift response.