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The Television Industry Analysis

Digital television

In the recent past there has been increased development within the technology industry. This has affected very many sectors of the economy. The communication industry especially the television is amongst the sectors that have been greatly affected. One of the most notable changes within the mass media sector is with the development of the digital age. According to David, this has resulted into revolution within the television industry (2008, para.1). The development of digital television is presenting a source of change to the television. This is mainly with respect to the pictures, which are more clearly compared to the original analog television. The analog television was characterized by great interference with regard amongst two adjacent transmitters. This translated into the fact that two transmitters could not be fixed within a span of 150 miles (Paul, 2006, para.3).

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It has also become possible for the individual viewers to view a wide range of the channels according to their preferences. Currently the price of the digital television may be prohibiting viewers from switching from the analog to the digital television. In the future more people will switch to the digital televisions.

In the process of switching from the analog to the digital television, development in technology presents an advantage to the customers. This is due to the fact that the individuals will only be required to buy a digital converter which will be attached to their analog television (David, 2008, para.7).

Network distribution

Changes in technology have also affected the way in which the television network is distributed. Through incorporation of technology within the television industry, it has become possible for the television services to reach a wide range of customers since the problem of interference between transmitters is eliminated. Currently the television network is distributed using the cables amongst the analog television. Due to development in technology, this is meant to happen in the near future. This is due to the fact that there is development of the fiber optic cables. These cables are more advantageous compared to the other cables due to the fact that it is possible to compress and transmit digital video as well as the audio. There is also incorporation of the satellite in the process of network distribution. These technologies makes it possible to transmit a wide range of digital channels (Encyclopedia: television, 2009, para.11-13)

According to Paul (2006) with the incorporation of the digital technology, wireless communication will become more effective (para.5).

Issues of violence and indecency in the television industry

The television has got an influence on the society with regard to violence. The issues of indecency and violence in the television industry are old just as this form of mass media. According to a study on the contribution of the television to violence in 1952, the US House of Representatives came to a conclusion that the television is not only a major perpetrator but also it delivers violence to the society. It also contributes to increase in cases of behavior that are indecent or antisocial (TV bloodbath: violence on prime time broadcast TV, n.d, 2009).

The television industry has also resulted into increased indecency within the society. This is due to the fact that it shows programs that are immoral for instance sexual scenes. The language that is mainly used in reporting is sometimes very obscene (Surabhi, n.d, para.15).Other issues relate to violence which there is a possibility of the children copying and later indulging into them. This results into degradation of the society in terms of morality.

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Social responsibility of the media

Most of the people in the current world obtain their news from the television. This means that the TV has to be very efficient in the provision of the news to the citizens. The TV industry has played a great role in the creation of awareness amongst the citizens. Despite this, it has not effectively played its social responsibility role. This is evident from the fact that it is only a few individuals who determine what is to be aired to the public. These include the commentators, the anchors and also the executive producers (Spiro, 1987, para.10). This means that despite there being a proclamation of freedom of expression in the media industry, this freedom is limited.

The news to be aired is also determined within a very short duration such as forty to eighty minutes. This means that the news may not be reliable since there is increased degree of manipulation even on national matters. This makes it evident that there is a possibility that the television industry acts as a mouthpiece for the powerful and not the average citizen.

Freedom of media

The news reporters have the responsibility of providing the public with all the details that affect them including those from the government. This means that there should no be any form of discrimination in the process of reporting the news. In certain instances, the freedom of the television industry in reporting is restricted. This is mainly if the news has the capacity to undermine the state of national security in various ways such as war (Surabhi, n.d, para.13).

From the fact that it is only a small group of individuals who are involved in the determination of what is to be reported; that is the news anchors, reporters and the executive producers, the process of reporting is thus characterized by bias. The biasness results from the fact that the news reported is sometimes related to the television industry management policy.

Social Responsibility

Television is a powerful medium that gives information to the people. It has a very big influence on public opinion. Thus it should exercise social responsibility in its news coverage. There should be checks for the vast power that rests on the television. Millions of Americans watch the news every night. The main television channels are the ABC, NBC CBS and CNN. According to research millions of Americans rely on the television news as their sole source of information (Agnew, 2009:1).

Television presents its news coverage using visuals, and verbal content. The news coverage includes significant events of the day for example on 25th June 2009 major television networks were covering Michael Jackson’s story. Others cover political stories and news on social issues such as environmental pollution or reducing carbon print etc.

The media has the responsibility to serve the public by giving honest and fair news. The television reporters should give news that is objective to the public. They should reflect the diverse composition of the community and avoid biasness and oversimplifying issues. Their first obligation is to the public (Ethical Reporter n.d). The journalists are supposed to provide a variety of credible information to the average citizen to enable them make wise decision. Thus they should pursue truth in their news coverage and give accurate news. However this is not always the case and the media in many occasions fails to serve the interest of the average citizen by giving biased news or half truths. The journalists also serve as analysts and when they like a person they will say good things and the opposite is true. This is especially true during election periods when the journalists analysis the politicians. They will campaign for their favourite politicians and give them more coverage than their opponents. The average citizen who relies solely on the television news will be influenced by the reporter as they hold a lot of power over the average man’s opinion. The media serves the interests of the powerful few especially when the media is owned by individuals. The media cannot say anything that would hurt them by exposing the wrongs of such individuals.

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The reporters have a responsibility to report wrong doings in a government. The reporter should not fear standing their ground and reporting any wrongs they see around them done by the government (Ethical Reporter n.d). They should not allow themselves to be dragged into a game by the government through bribery so as not to expose the truth. When they report the wrong doings the culprits leave public offices or are sent to jail. This way the government is saved from losing a lot of money through under hand dealings in the public offices. More importantly is that the reporter plays their role well by being a force that promotes good in society by telling the truth. This kind of a reporter is independent and does not wait to be fed with news but looks into what is happening in the government and reports. This is not a threat to national security as it exposes the evils in the government, brings reforms for a better society. However for those exposed by the reporting they would complain of being persecuted, they would also say that the media is biased and unfair to them. On the other hand to those who seek the truth this kind of reporting is responsible because it does not hide the truth. The reporter remains true to their code of ethics.

Media Effects on the Individual and Society

Exposure and consumption of television has both good and bad impacts on an individual and the society at large. It affects how we think and even hoe we act. The bad effects are many. Some individuals will try to dress like the people they see on the television, talk like them, copy their hairstyles etc. this brings the question whether when we imitate what we see are we capable of differentiating right from wrong. The young people idolize the people they see on the television. These people are called celebrities and they adore them. They copy everything they do as this is regarded as cool. The media highlights the negative side of these celebrities and the young people copy this kind of behavior (Negative Media Influences, 2009:1).

Eating disorders is another impact of television. Some television programs encourage unhealthy eating by showing this as fun. And people copy this eating habits that lead to health conditions. For example obesity due to junk food that is advertised in the television. Others suffer from bulimia when they watch programs where their heroes explain the measures they take to remain thin. This would explain the many case of anorexia among the young who want to conform to the right body size as seen on the media (Negative Media Influences, 2009:1).

Most people spend a lot of time watching television. This reduces their physical activeness and when they become obese from gaining excess weight. This is because when they sit in front of their television sets they eat junk food. Thus many people have become obese and this may lead to death and even short life spans for the young children.

Relationships in the society are affected because people tend to believe what they see on the television. This leads to prejudgments of people who are different and people don’t take time to learn one another. They accept what the media says yet some of the information could only be stereotypes. Thus people lose a chance of forming meaningful relationships in the society (Negative Media Influences, 2009:1). On the other hand the television is used to pass information to may people around the globe. Thus people are informed as long as the information is accurate. People get information about the weather, stock markets and entertainment. There is lot of information in the media which is useful. People learn about other cultures and this could lead to tolerance.

Conclusion

Television is a part and parcel of our lives. It will continue to influence individuals and societies in terms of culture, attitudes, and lifestyle. People will be influenced by the people they see in the programs they watch. The most important thing to do is to use the information we get from the programs we watch wisely. We should not take everything we see and hear as the gospel truth. We can do this by finding out the truth for ourselves by counterchecking whether the information is correct before we make judgments.

The questions on what causes the affects of the media are very important. They enable us to look at the media critically and look at its power over individuals and the society. We are also able to question whether the media is acting responsibly and if not we can demand that it does for the sake of our society. The evidence for the impact of media is the transfer of the American culture to many parts of the world. By people watching American programs they have learnt its culture.

Finally it would be hard to imagine a modern world without television as it plays a major role in spreading information. It should be used for the benefit of the society as it shapes it.

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References

Agnew, T.S. (2008). Spiro Agnew speech- Television News Coverage Des Moines, IA.

Negative Influences of Media on the Society (2009).

The Ethical Reporter n.d. 2009.

History.com encyclopedia (n.d).The television.

Paul, D.L (2006). Can you hear me now? London: Penton Media Incorporation.

Parentstv.org.(2000) TV bloodbath: violence on prime time broadcast TV. A PTC state of the television industry report.

Spiro, T.A. (1987) American rhetoric: Top 100 speeches. New York: Waveland Press.

Surabhi, S.(n.d) Freedom of speech and expression. Jodhpur: National Law University of Jodhpur.

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