Last Updated 28 May 2020

Broadcasting Industry

Category Industries
Words 649 (2 pages)

When Newton Minow delivered his first formal address as the newly appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1961, his speech triggered discussions about the role broadcasting, specifically the television played in the society. Minow’s Address to the National Association of Broadcasters elaborated on the critical task the broadcasting industry brings to the audience, in the case of television, the viewing public. He presented the harmful and constructive effects that the television possesses. Winow highlighted his major arguments on television’s negative or ill effects to viewers.

It is a common knowledge that the viewers more especially the children of this generation will be devoting more of their time watching television – waiting for their favorite programs, switching channels and choosing programs they will be interested to watch or simply killing time. The premise was that the programs offered to the publics are not intelligibly chosen and put on-air. Most networks air programs for the purposes of earning high ratings and viewership without really considering what the viewer will be getting from such programs.

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It is indeed true that TV works for one general function – to inform, but it seems like the broadcasting industry’s trend has done away with integrating or injecting values to the programs they air. With the current set-up or trend, the viewers are the ones at risk. The reason why mass media – particularly the television is blamed for the collapse of the society’s (especially the children’s) value system. According to Marsden, the disintegration or what was termed as fragmentation affected the religious and moral life in the United States over the decades when the mass media proliferated.

With Minow’s account of the world currently living in a “television age” one of the worst effects would be such disintegration. This proves how immense the television can influence the viewing public. What the viewers see on television is often times accepted to be the truth and is treated as something to be absorbed and to some extent, be imitated or applied in real life. Stories and programs with themes about violence, revenge, murder and sex leave the viewer without morals or values to keep but in some cases make them believe that violence is justifiable.

These details were some of the reasons why the FCC chairman illustrated the television shows as a vast wasteland. Television is one of the most powerful mass media which can reach millions of viewers with a single program at one sitting. With this great potential the television offers, Winow believed that the broadcasting industry should take advantage of this. Television industry should not just be satisfied of fulfilling its information function but it should make use of its power to educate, inspire, motivate, challenge and empower the loyal viewers.

It is still good news that there are still a few programs that cater to the mentioned functions. Putting the viewers into consideration not only making them enjoy what they watch but also more importantly allow them to learn and decide for themselves. Minow emphasized that the broadcasting industry owes a lot to the viewing public, leaving the practitioners the challenge of giving back to the publics what they truly deserve. The public is given the choice and control over programs to tune in, and responsible broadcasting is all about providing them with quality programs to choose from.

Television has a very big potential in molding the public, but along with this potential also comes a crucial responsibility of airing appropriate shows both for children and adults and other segments of the viewing public. He had also stressed that the broadcasting industry, more specifically the television should be used as a tool or instrument in molding the viewers as he mentioned about educational television. Newton Minow posed a challenge to the industry practitioners to be more responsible, to use the television to the viewers’ advantage considering the tremendous power and influence such broadcast medium provides the public.

Broadcasting Industry essay

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