ERIC Number: ED233404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Oct-15
Reference Count: 0
The Benefits of Watching Television.
The unfounded and sometimes absurd attacks on television have tended to obscure many of the medium's obvious personal, social, and aesthetic benefits. It is easy to watch, and if its content does not always provide viewers with much to think about, television does not ask much of them either: they may eat, sleep, and unwind in front of it, observing the best and worst life has to offer with emotionally safe detachment. It is a private medium, consumed in the comfort of a viewer-controlled environment. Television is antiinflationary. In contrast to movies and books, the cost for which must be renewed with every new "show," television requires only a one-time involvement, after which its programing is virtually cost free. Television is instructive, and critical viewing skills are teachable. Television is also diverse: at any given time, programing from station to station ranges from the esoteric to the banal, and this variety increases as cable systems increase. The slightly larger than life quality--the rich color, sound, and location shooting of television programing--also make it a very sensual medium. There are numerous other benefits of television that come not only from its general sructure but also from the specific themes and content of some of its programs. "Roots," for example, was instrumental in helping white Americans see the black perspective. But television's greatest advantage is its capacity for change. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Response; Television Criticism
Note: Paper presented at the Wednesday Seminars at Fairleigh Dickenson University (Teaneck, NJ, October 15, 1980).