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The Electronic Media Volti Chapter 12.

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Presentation on theme: "The Electronic Media Volti Chapter 12."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Electronic Media Volti Chapter 12

2 The Electronic Media The printed word was the dominant type of communication after it was invented Toward the end of the last century this began to change

3 The Invention of Radio Telegraph - first device to make use of electricity for sending and receiving signals Samuel Morse, inventor of the Morse code - dots and dashes represented words Used for many things - railroads; news from other regions became accessible Limitations: many trained operators required; telegraph wires had to be strung - expensive Wireless communication needed Heinrich Hertz - produced radio waves with an oscillator (rapidly generated electrical impulses) Hertz focus was of purely scientific inquiry, but others saw practical application resulting from his work

4 The Origins of Commercial Radio
Radio - main use was for ship to shore applications Transmit messages across oceans Used during WWI Amateur radio operators began using radio to transmit personal messages, weather bulletins, musical recordings, etc. Corporations, inspired by profit, developed interest in radio (Westinghouse) First programs were low-budget - phonograph recordings has tiny royalties, live performers usually did so for free ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) began demanding fees

5 The Rise of Television Radio could only reach one sense - the desire for a mode of communication that contained sound and pictures was sought Early efforts to transmit the pictures electronically depended on the Niplow Disk Disk perforated by holes arranged in spiral, interposed between object and screen containing selenium cells (could activate electrical current when light fell on it). As disk rotated, pinpoints of light moved across the screen, generating a picture. Very slow and inefficient process. Vladimir Zworykin (Russian émigré) produced first workable television camera (1928) - called the Iconoscope Radio Corporation of America (RCA) began the regular broadcast of TV programs to a few thousand receivers in NYC

6 The Federal Government Steps In
Development of radio and tv largely private enterprise, but government played important role Westinghouse and American Telephone and Telegraph had financial stake in RCA in return for use of their patents. Federal Government used its regulatory power to insure an orderly environment for broadcasting Used licensing and minimum requirements for broadcasting Broadcasters could only broadcast on a specific frequency Federal Government establishes the Federal Radio Commission, which later becomes the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) 7 person panel, each serving 7 year term; appointed by President Essential element in the system of radio broadcasting When TV went into its period of rapid growth in the late 1940’s and 50’s some of its success could be attributed to the uniform technical standards developed by FCC

7 Problems of Regulation
FCC typically renews broadcasting license if broadcaster meets minimum requirements. Thus, quality control has often gone by the wayside FCC is often at the mercy of Industry, who has technical expertise, whereas FCC does not. FCC commissioners often leave FCC to work for broadcasting companies - conflict of Interest FCC commissioners have “generally opted for the status quo…broadcasting - [became] little more than a way of making large sums of money”

8 The Social and Psychological Consequences of Television
hours of TV watching per day hours of TV watching per day hours of TV watching per day hours of TV watching per day Million TV sets in America 98% of all American households own at least one TV Qualifications: Just because TV is on doesn’t mean it is being actively viewed. TV is often in the background of American domestic life, much like wallpaper. Better-educated people don’t watch less TV, they watch different TV - public TV.

9 Violence on Television and Its Consequences
18 year old will have seen 18,000 murders on TV 80% of TV programs have some violence 7 out of 10 characters on TV are involved in violence Between 1 and 2 out of 10 are involved in killing Does violence on TV cause aggressive behavior in its viewers? Hotly debated issue Children are more likely to play with toy guns after seeing filmed aggressive acts, even if gunplay did not appear in the film Laboratory experiments that study this relationship are NOT real life Violence cannot be entirely linked to TV violence. The social world is far more complex than to be explained by a simple relationship Violent behavior is a product of complex motivations and inhibitions We do not commit an act of violence because: We have learned that such actions are likely to result in retaliation We know that they usually do not solve the problem We have internalized a code of behavior that discourages such acts TV can alter these inhibiting factors

10 Television, Information, and News
Until recent times most people were blissfully ignorant of the world around them Electronic communications has changed this U.S. - 17,000 newspapers; 12,000 periodicals; 400 million radios; 192 million TVs TV has been the most important element in recent communication revolution But TV is not completely dominant - TV much less important for local news than the local newspapers For national and international news TV is prime source for coverage News presented on TV is fundamentally different than news that appears in papers News on TV presented as soundbite Newspaper - impersonal; TV - storytelling

11 Television and Politics
Has TV fundamentally altered the political process? No doubt politics of today is far different from the days of Harry Truman, who campaigned from the back of a railroad car Today, TV advertising plays a big role in elections Prime time TV ads - $200,000+ Typical political campaign budgets 1/3 for TV advertising Increased costs for campaigns may lead politicians under the influence of powerful, wealthy interest groups, which may or may not represent the will of the population TV can influence elections 35% voters do not decide who they’ll vote for until the last week of election 10% undecided right up to the day of the election It is these groups on which TV ads can have the most impact TV ads can be detrimental to the political process because ads often reduce a politician’s message to a sound bite. Real world problems are not so simple "As some critics have argued, the greatest threat to democracy may not come from the assault of hostile nations, but from the trivialization of the political process that occurs when television dictates the basic mode of discourse and comprehension."

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