Sunday, May 04, 2008

Daniel Boorstin "TV's Impact on Society" 1971

"TV's Impact on Society" was an article written by Daniel Boorstin in 1971 for Life weekly news magazine. His article argues "that television separates us from other human beings" (from the preface of article).
Boorstin says that every television gives an individual a window to the world from their living room. This creates segregation in the home as well as segregation from other peoples outside the home. Each room that has a television before a private room to watch the world on. But the segregation also contiues from the people who are putting the shows on the air. Televsion watchers are not the one deciding the tv shows; "For television was a one-way window", he writes.
Boorstin argues that because people cannot get their message back they are forced to rely on the age old post office system. Also that television has become more and more about the here and now that history is being watched in real time instead of being read and recognized as an event in the past. This is one of the problems with Tv and how it minimalizes events and places so there is no real urge to experience something for oneself. Just flip through the channels and find another place while sitting on the sofa in your private alienated living room.
"Successful programming offers entertainment (under the guise of instruction), instruction (under the guise of entertainment), political persuasion (with the appeal of advertising) and advertising (with the appeal of drama)."
At what point is it all a show, the Presidential speech or the live debates? Reality Tv has even become scripted with their rules and instructions which will determine the outcomes and even the suprise twists were thought up by someone on the sending end of the tube are regulated and calculated. Has Tv become democratized Boorstin asks? Well their certainly is something for everyone.


Post a Comment

<< Home