2 The Electronic MediaThe printed word was the dominant type of communication after it was inventedToward the end of the last century this began to change
3 The Invention of RadioTelegraph - first device to make use of electricity for sending and receiving signalsSamuel Morse, inventor of the Morse code - dots and dashes represented wordsUsed for many things - railroads; news from other regions became accessibleLimitations: many trained operators required; telegraph wires had to be strung - expensiveWireless communication neededHeinrich 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 applicationsTransmit messages across oceansUsed during WWIAmateur 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 freeASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) began demanding fees
5 The Rise of TelevisionRadio could only reach one sense - the desire for a mode of communication that contained sound and pictures was soughtEarly efforts to transmit the pictures electronically depended on the Niplow DiskDisk 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 IconoscopeRadio 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 roleWestinghouse 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 broadcastingUsed licensing and minimum requirements for broadcastingBroadcasters could only broadcast on a specific frequencyFederal Government establishes the Federal Radio Commission, which later becomes the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC)7 person panel, each serving 7 year term; appointed by PresidentEssential element in the system of radio broadcastingWhen 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 waysideFCC 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 InterestFCC 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 dayhours of TV watching per dayhours of TV watching per dayhours of TV watching per dayMillion TV sets in America98% of all American households own at least one TVQualifications: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 TV80% of TV programs have some violence7 out of 10 characters on TV are involved in violenceBetween 1 and 2 out of 10 are involved in killingDoes violence on TV cause aggressive behavior in its viewers? Hotly debated issueChildren are more likely to play with toy guns after seeing filmed aggressive acts, even if gunplay did not appear in the filmLaboratory experiments that study this relationship are NOT real lifeViolence cannot be entirely linked to TV violence. The social world is far more complex than to be explained by a simple relationshipViolent behavior is a product of complex motivations and inhibitionsWe do not commit an act of violence because:We have learned that such actions are likely to result in retaliationWe know that they usually do not solve the problemWe have internalized a code of behavior that discourages such actsTV can alter these inhibiting factors
10 Television, Information, and News Until recent times most people were blissfully ignorant of the world around themElectronic communications has changed thisU.S. - 17,000 newspapers; 12,000 periodicals; 400 million radios; 192 million TVsTV has been the most important element in recent communication revolutionBut TV is not completely dominant - TV much less important for local news than the local newspapersFor national and international news TV is prime source for coverageNews presented on TV is fundamentally different than news that appears in papersNews on TV presented as soundbiteNewspaper - 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 carToday, TV advertising plays a big role in electionsPrime time TV ads - $200,000+Typical political campaign budgets 1/3 for TV advertisingIncreased costs for campaigns may lead politicians under the influence of powerful, wealthy interest groups, which may or may not represent the will of the populationTV can influence elections35% voters do not decide who they’ll vote for until the last week of election10% undecided right up to the day of the electionIt is these groups on which TV ads can have the most impactTV 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."