I’ll be honest… I didn’t think it would or could work. But I’ve just sat for I’m-not-sure-how-long watching Current TV, and it’s remarkably compelling. Famously backed by Al Gore, it bills itself as ‘the first TV channel created and controlled by the people who watch it; featuring the latest trends, subcultures and stories affecting twenty-somethings in the UK and Ireland.‘ And this twenty-fourteen-year-old is quite gripped.
Basically, it’s a steady supply of five-minute-ish documentaries – some, but not all, made by amateurs. There’s no ‘schedule‘ in the conventional sense… certainly not on the Sky TV programme guide anyway. So you flick it on, and you don’t know what’s coming next. If you aren’t the slightest bit interested, who cares – something else will be on in a minute.
But perhaps even more interesting is the website. Not only do the viewers produce the material, they edit it too. Registered site users can ‘greenlight’ or ‘redlight’ a video that’s been submitted, affecting its overall rating. Positively-rated stuff makes it to broadcast, negatively-rated stuff doesn’t. And yes, money changes hands.
It isn’t the manic free-for-all it might have been. I feared it would be like the front page of YouTube… or a 24-hour edition of Jackass. It isn’t. It’s intelligent, it’s amusing, it’s surprisingly good. The revolution can be viewed on Sky channel 229, or Virgin channel 155.