Television: America & # 8217 ; s New Dictator? Essay, Research Paper
Television: America & # 8217 ; s New Dictator? During the class of telecasting & # 8217 ; s history, this powerful medium has had singular influence on the societal and moral values of Americans, changing the mode in which they think and live. In the words of Neil Postman, & # 8220 ; Television has, by its power to command the clip, attending, and cognitive wonts of our young persons, necessarily gained the power to command their heads and character & # 8221 ; ( Bill 59 ) . It should foremost be made clear that telecasting is a concern whose focal point is net income, non needfully quality scheduling. Net income is based on advertisement and advertisement is based on viewership which is measured by evaluations, like Nielsen. In the United States, telecasting is the capitalist dream come true. Viewing audiences think they are acquiring amusement and intelligence for free. They aren & # 8217 ; t. All this free material has a monetary value. In return for free versus fee Television, Americans expose themselves to sleek, sophisticated scenarios devised entirely to acquire them to pass. Television is nil more or less than an advertisement medium. It is possibly the most effectual one of all time invented ( Bill 39-40 ) . Harmonizing to a list found in a paper prepared for the 1982 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, & # 8220 ; heightening purchasing behaviour & # 8221 ; is the 2nd highest consequence of telecasting, exceeded merely by & # 8220 ; increasing universe cognition & # 8221 ; ( Bower 115 ) . Because the telecasting industry wants advertizers & # 8217 ; concern, it runs plans that will entice viewing audiences to the set. Unfortunately, the plans which intrigue the most viewing audiences are frequently the most harmful. For case, plans incorporating sexual scenes will pull viewing audiences. It is a known fact throughout the advertisement and movie industries that sex sells, so these plans will predominate. In 1987 the Planned Parenthood Federation conducted a survey to find the sum of sexual stuff that was shown on telecasting. The survey concluded that, during premier afternoon and eventide hours, 65,000 sexual mentions are broadcast per twelvemonth. This means that the mean American now sees about 14,000 cases of sexual stuff on telecasting every twelvemonth. ( Lichter et al 26 ) The same survey found that merely one in every 85 of those sexual mentions involved sex instruction, birth control, abortion, or sexually familial diseases. & # 8220 ; Ironically, telecasting is now willing to incorporate sex into every facet of life except for matrimony and kids & # 8221 ; ( Lichter et al 47 ) . Television has non ever been this manner, but it is chilling to see its rapid broad patterned advance. For illustration, telecasting and the films used to give married twosomes separate beds. Sexual activity, or even sexual insinuation were purely avoided. In today & # 8217 ; s society, about anything goes: Twenty old ages ago sexual activity was seldom hinted at, much less headlined, and adulterous sex was frequently condemned. Today most signifiers of sexual behaviour are either taken for granted or treated as legitimate picks of personal life-style. Adulterous sex, criminal conversation, homosexualism, erotica, and harlotry have all lost their tabu position. Shows reprobating criminal conversation have been outnumbered by those that treat it as apprehensible, a fact of life, or something that doesn & # 8217 ; t necessitate remark. ( Lichter et al 49 ; 34-5 ) The above in itself is rather distressing, but there is more. sex on telecasting really seldom has anything to make with love or committedness. & # 8220 ; Sex is something you do to carry through a basic impulse. Like acquiring a drink when you & # 8217 ; re thirsty. Love and lecherousness are, on telecasting, the same thing & # 8221 ; ( Bill 77 ) . These ethical motives which are portrayed on telecasting form the heads of immature people across the state. & # 8220 ; Through the old ages the possible consequence of telecasting on kids has been the topic of more concern by parents, protagonism groups, and authoritiess than any other facet of the permeant medium & # 8221 ; ( Bower 113 ) . A vocal written by Cole Porter sums up telecasting & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; advancement & # 8221 ; really good: In olden yearss a glance of stocking Was looked on as something flooring Now heaven knows Anything goes ( Lichter et al 25 ) Another ingredient that is to a great extent added to telecasting plans is force. The National Coalition of Television Violence ( NCTV ) has revealed over 850 scientific surveies and studies that show the injury of telecasting and film force. When American doctors were interviewed, it was found that 94 per centum think that we need to cut down Television force. Of these same physicians, 54 per centum indicate that telecasting force has caused some of their patients to hold physical or behavioural jobs. & # 8220 ; Television is doing us ill, literally and figuratively & # 8221 ; ( Bill 64 ) . An illustration of this is in the instance of a film entitled & # 8220 ; The Burning Bed. & # 8221 ; In this movie, a adult female had been abused by her hubby for 13 old ages. She attempted to set an terminal to her horror by soaking the bed with gasolene and puting it on fire while her hubby was kiping. Soon after the movie was broadcast, a adult male named Joseph Brandt set his married woman on fire, saying that he had been inspired by the film ( Bill 64-5 ) . An probe was done over a three
decennary period of clip by the writers of Watching America. The 2nd decennary of the survey covered 1965 to 1975. During this clip, their was a growing in offense both on Television and in the wider universe. In the existent universe the rate for serious discourtesies increased to 25 for every 1000 citizens. This figure, harmonizing to FBI statistics was dual what it had been earlier ( Lichter et al 186 ) . Television endorses force. In a film called Robin and the Seven Hoods, histrion Sammy Davis is in the procedure of rending a chancing haunt to tear up with a submachine gun when he sings this vocal:
I like the merriment Of making for a gun And traveling, Bang! Bang! ( White and Averson 321 ) Violence on telecasting besides affects the manner we see the universe. When compared to the station house, an eventide of premier clip will set the sum of constabulary work to dishonor. & # 8220 ; Undoubtedly one of the grounds that we think of our clip as an age of force is because of our graphic vicarious experience of devastation and ferociousness in the newsreels and characteristic movies ( Lichter et al 185 ; White and Averson 320 ) . In fact, harmonizing to the National Institute of Mental Health ( NIMH ) , watching any telecasting affects how you interpret the universe. After 10 old ages of research, NIMH issued a study whose contents & # 8220 ; destroyed the impression that telecasting is simply innocuous amusement & # 8221 ; ( Bill 68 ) . The greatest menace that telecasting holds for society is far greater than all of its force and immorality. It is the manner it sedates our heads, our organic structures, our psyches. It creates passiveness. & # 8220 ; Television has turned us into a state of witnesss. We no longer make things ; we watch them. Neighbors no longer pass clip draped over backyard fencings speaking to one another. If they want to listen to good conversation they watch a talk show & # 8221 ; ( Bill 73-4 ) . We isolate ourselves from the remainder of the universe in order to catch our favourite plans. One of the most cheerless considerations is that society has become full of ennui. & # 8220 ; Never in the history of world have so many people had so much clip and non had any thought what to make with it & # 8221 ; ( Bill 84 ) . Television has more influence on American lives than films, newspapers, magazines and even wireless. When we want to be entertained, we go to the telecasting. When we want to happen out what has been traveling on in the universe, we go the telecasting. & # 8220 ; It is adequate to observe that speaking to existent people has been passed up in favour of watching & # 8216 ; Real People & # 8217 ; & # 8221 ; ( Bill 16 ) . Television captivates people & # 8217 ; s lives. The undermentioned state of affairs, presented in Stay Tuned, by J. Brent Bill, is non an hyperbole, though it may look to be: While Pop stares through a football-induced coma, devouring infinite Colas and champing french friess, Junior is parked in forepart of his set, playing & # 8220 ; NFL Football & # 8221 ; on Intelivision [ sic ] . The football, the existent 1 that is, non some electronically generated cypher on a screen, mutely grows cast in the cellar, while Dad grows fat and Sonny-boy grows blind from sitting excessively near to the set. ( Bill 75 ) Television besides has a direct consequence on intelligence testing and reading accomplishments. The sum of telecasting a individual watches has a direct consequence on IQ and reading trial tonss. The more Television that a individual tickers, the lower the trial scores become. In one town, pupils & # 8217 ; trial tonss tumbled suddenly after telecasting became available to them. A good thought for parents is to modulate Television clip for their kids. Another of NIMH & # 8217 ; s surveies indicated that those pupils who had sing restrictions performed better in school and received higher IQ trial tonss than did those pupils whose parents allowed them to watch whatever and whenever they pleased ( Bill 68 ) . Television is non all bad. It can maintain us informed and up to day of the month on universe events. Harmonizing to Norman Vincent Peale, it can assist lonely people feel less entirely ; Television characters can go like old friends ( Bill 106 ) . Another positive point about telecasting is the manner it can convey us together. & # 8220 ; Used sagely, plans can open times for household treatment & # 8221 ; ( Bill 107 ) . Television has the power to steep its viewing audiences, but that is non all bad. Television could be something far more constructive than it is. However, there is non much any single can make to alter the telecasting industry. So society demands to be able to state the bad from the good. & # 8220 ; Television, every bit far as the universe is concerned, is here to remain. It is up to each of us, nevertheless, to make up one’s mind how it is to be welcomed in our universe & # 8211 ; as invitee or dictator & # 8221 ; ( Bill 1 ) .
Bill, J. Brent. Stay Tuned. Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1986. Bower, Robert T. The Changing Television Audience in America. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985. Lichter, S. Robert, Linda S. Lichter, and Stanley Rothman. Watching America: What Television Tells Us About Our Lifes. New York: PRENTICE HALL PRESS, 1991. Medved, Michael. Hollywood Vs. America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992. White, David Manning, and Richard Averson, eds. Sight, Sound, and Society: Gesture Pictures and Television in America. Boston: Beacon Press, 1968.