Download ...And There Was Television by Ellis Cashmore PDF

By Ellis Cashmore

Tv is blamed for an collection of evils, together with violence, shortened consciousness spans, the decline of literacy and political indoctrination. This learn weighs up the theories and the proof. the writer argues that a lot of the panic is with no starting place, and that the one most vital risk posed by way of television is that it encourages us to spend an excessive amount of. Cashmore concurs with many writers that tv is an elemental strength in modern-day tradition, yet he offers a very various account of ways and why this has occur. He postulates that tv is the critical gear of shopper society and its luck is measured now not when it comes to even if we take pleasure in programmes, yet how a lot we spend because of gazing them.

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In Livingstone’s view, Cheers would be quite an “open” program, in that it “invites its audience to become involved, committed, speculative, evaluative, to fill in gaps…identify with some characters, to recognize others…to discuss events with family and friends” (1990:72–3). “The more ‘open’ a program is, the more viewers may be involved in constructing the meaning of the program and the more their interest may be both cognitively and emotionally enhanced” (1990:72).

Technologies can almost eliminate human faculties. As Mark Miller remarked, in criticizing McLuhan: “Assisted by the calculator, our students forget how to add and subtract” (1988:295). A very similar point is made by Postman, who, while agreeing with McLuhan’s original formulation, remained skeptical about its implications for television viewers: “Television does not extend or amplify literate culture. It attacks it” (1985:84). The attack does not come from a menacing foe bearing a scowl, but one with a smiling face.

1985:249) Yet, there is no denying that, sophisticated or not, we are influenced by television, not so much in how we think, but what we think about. And that may be more important. ” In a slightly self-contradictory passage, he wrote: “We notice and soak up and ignore selectively, although not always consciously” (1985:333). Television’s influence is now so allpervasive, that we cannot possibly reflect on its symbols, meanings and implications. ” Television, Gitlin argued, “can no more speak without ideology than we can speak without prose” (1985:333).

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