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Making a Difference in American Programming Mass media in general and TV programs in particular have great impact on our lives. Electronic media programming is one of the outside influences bearing down on children. Although in general this influence is positive (as far as TV channels offer a wide range of educational content), the presence of adult content and violence can cause negative influence in the childs life. Something should be done to make sure the children of today and the generations to come will benefit from the messages they receive from electronic media. The U.S. citizens should take an active role in changing things, especially what concerns TV programming. There are several proposals that can be taken into account. First of all, public, child-friendly television means television with no violence.
It should include a wide selection of educational, sport and entertainment high-quality TV programs. Television should be as much as possible pluralistic, reasonable, correct, and secure. It shouldnt irritate public opinion. The main task of television should be broadcasting the reliable and objective information concerning everything that can be of the public interest. Besides, there should be no commercial advertising. The lack of commercials will positively result on TV content because the TV channel will seek no high ratings but the quality of TV programs (Baran, 2007). Commercial advertising will be moved to commercial and private TV channels. Therefore, public TV for children will be conductive to accelerated development of commercial TV channels. Correspondingly, public TV for children should get some compensation for the lack of commercial advertising.
Sponsorship can become one of such compensations. The second method is to assign a privilege to the public broadcasting organizations to broadcast their TV programs in cable TV networks. The programming policy should be independent. Actually, this is the main point of the public TV activity. It is very important that people should have an opportunity to influence the TV. Therefore, one of the options can be the presence of the representative of civil society, who will watch over societys interests.
The TV should also have its collective council. The responsibility of the collective council will be to keep watch on the activity of the TV company and to assure that its programming policy corresponds to the civil societys interests. It can be named public council, council of trustees (FCC. Report & Order In the Matter of Policies, 1996), or the council of broadcasting. Such council will allow the audience to have real impact on TV programming policy because it will take part in selection of main TV programs, and, consequently, in numerous discussions and debates concerning the content of these programs. Evidently, the method will work through its representatives. It is very important that the audience should keep track of information, on budget transparency and on intentional expenditures.
In addition, the TV channels can use interactive method of communication. It means that television should allow the audience to influence the content of the TV programs, to adjust them to their needs and requirements. Ideally, the TV can become a model of web browser, where the information environment is flexible and the viewer will be able not only to find additional materials, programs and information, but also to choose what he/ she wants to watch. This solution will allow the parents controlling the TV content, thus limiting the adult content and violence in order to assure their children are not accidentally to fall under the influence of such programs. In such a way, the parents are able to make decision whether the children will be allowed to watch the certain TV content, or not, because the children usually make almost no difference between the reality and fiction they see on television. Hence, the audience will become media educated.
Changes in TV programming will allow the audience searching for alternative sources of information and entertainment, controlling media content, using TV for the benefit of their families and children, not being the subject of manipulation from the side of TV companies (or in somebodys interests). Finally, nobody will make up his mind instead of the audience, and the TV audience will become more conscious citizens of the American society. Works Cited Baran, Stanley J. "Introduction to Mass Communication - Media Literacy and Culture." BRYANT UNIVERSITY: McGraw-Hill, 26 January 2007. "FCC. Report & Order In the Matter of Policies and Rules Concerning Children's Television Programming." MM Docket No. 93-48, FCC 96--335.
MM Docket No. 93-48, FCC 96--335, 8 August 1996..
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