In the paragraph below, what do you think "the word" in the third paragraph means?
Some say that "the word" means "duty". If so, is the word "duty" rarely used nowadays?
The word "infotainment" is very special and antiquated to me, and rarely used nowadays, and some people never watch such infotainment programmes, because they seem like silly and meaningless. So "the word" means the word "infotainment" to me. Is it right? Do you agree? Please answer me. Please!
The desire to know what is happening, which is present in all of us, has been transferred from the complicated world of real life to the stripped-down, easy-to-understand issues of a firemanís or a policemanís or a fighter pilotís or a nurseís life. We watch them facing real fires, real criminals, real targets, real emergencies, and we feel we have seen the real world. The complexity of real life is varnished over and smoothed down yet again. It ceases to be real life at all; itís reality as entertainment, easily digested, lacking in roughage. You know the outcome before you switch the programme on.
Itís infotainment: empty, silly, meaningless perhaps, but itís what focus groups say they like. What else can they say, when they donít have anything better to watch?
The word may sound antiquated, Reithian, imperialist, arrogant in our ears, and it is rarely used nowadays; but the broadcasters in any society have a duty to fulfil. They have access to all the information in the world, and it is their duty to pass it on faithfully to their audiences. But television executives have grown up in an environment where it is acceptable to mould reality.
'The word' referred to is 'duty'. It is not that the word 'duty' per se is antiquated or rarely used. The writer means that the concept of broadcasters having a 'duty' to fulfil sounds antiquated. Lord John Reith was the first Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and is commonly associated with associating the BBC with 'a mission to educate'. That is the context of the adjective 'Reithian' in the sentence.