ERIC Number: ED284229
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The History and Social Impact of Religious Broadcasting.
Neuendorf, Kimberly A.; And Others
Several aspects of the history of religious broadcasting are examined in this paper. First, the paper provides an informative review of scholarly treatments of the history of religious broadcasting in the United States, tracing the evolution from early broadcasts of simple church services to today's evangelical paid-time programming. The paper then traces recent developments in the structure of religious television, and identifies three major trends: (1) the growth of high-energy, entertaining evangelical presentations; (2) the adoption of the broadcast/cable network system; and (3) the adaptation of traditionally secular television formats to the religious task. Next, the paper describes the viewership of religious television via a review of pertinent research literature, identifying a shift away from the stereotypical older, female viewer. The potential social effects of religious television are then explored, with primary emphasis on three areas which have garnered great criticism: the impact of religious television viewing on church attendance, the purported negative impact of religious television solicitations on church contributions, and the role of politics in religious television. Finally, the paper provides a brief description of an original investigation which examined the availability and scope of religious television in the United States. Throughout, a trend toward blurring the line between religious and secular telecasting is noted. (Author/SKC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Evangelical Christians; Religious Broadcasting; Television History
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (70th, San Antonio, TX, August 1-4, 1987).