I am in Vienna doing some media anthropology teaching. Watching television earlier today I stumbled upon two programmes that were surprisingly scholarly as well as engaging. The first one was a current affairs programme on the perils and prospects of electronic voting. The second was from a bilingual local Arabic-German channel, and a number of panelists were discussing schooling and ethnic minorities in Vienna, a city where over half the primary school pupils, according to one of the panelists, are of non-Austrian descent. This was quality television. (Who watches these programmes?, I wonder.)
Later in a pub near the Rapid stadium I joined a group of football fans who were watching the crucial Barcelona-Real Madrid match. Although I like playing football I’m not much of a fan and my knowledge of today’s football industry is very limited. The whole pub were behind Barcelona, so I thought the appropriate thing was to support the underdogs, el Madrid. Besides, I grew up near Madrid. The match was great, but una verdadera catastrofe para el Madrid (2-6)!! Quality television of a different kind.