Is TV a force for good?

TVTV improves women’s rights, health, education and reduces local corruption. It’s also increasingly sociable. This is the view from Charles Kenny, a Washington developmental economist. He says “soap operas and reality shows help solve real-world problems”.

This may not come as a surprise to many of you but research released last week found that kids in the US are watching more TV than ever – health experts are warning of adverse effects. But here’s what Popwatch has to say about it:
‘Dora the Explorer expands kids’ horizons, Sesame Street taught us all Spanish before we started kidergarten, and even sitcoms like Wizards of Waverly Place offer solid morals and good, clean laughs.’ What role does TV play in your life?

Tyra Damn thinks it’s foolish to believe that TV can educate children. Disney are currently embroiled in a debate with parents who purchased their Baby Einstein DVD. Apparently it didn’t make their children geniuses.

Have a read of this article in the Jakarta Post. The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission supervisory team wants to see more TV for educational purposes. Psychologist Kasandra Putranto said TV was a way to learn about the real world. “Children must also know there are kidnappers, pedophiles and other criminals out there,” she said.

Sandra de Castro Buffington is director of the Hollywood, Health and Society program at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. She says “Research shows that nearly two-thirds of regular viewers report learning something new about health from TV storylines and one-third take action on what they’ve learned.”

Is it time to cut the complaining about the evils of TV and realise it’s true potential?

58 Responses to “Is TV a force for good?”

  1. 1 James Ian
    November 2, 2009 at 10:40

    The only TV I watch it news, history, science, travel and a liitle si-fi, I think the rest of it is trash. About every show on tv seems to be of people arguing, fighting or just making a fool of themselves.

  2. 2 Crispo, Uganda
    November 2, 2009 at 12:00

    Okay, I believe that its more than Tv. What of the internet? The two are becoming increasingly similar especially in influence and interest.
    Turning to the question, most of the material presented on Tv is in a sense entertaining but most of it is actually useless and bogus. Who is that who asserts that soap operas have helped solve problems? Has there ever been research to affirm those claims? How about they causing, breakages in marriage, leading to laziness, artificial life that isn’t genuine?

    If we are to escape from the docket of fake Tv programmes, then we’ve got to monitor and censure material that is to be published on the air.

    Bottom line though is, they are here to stay. The weird human characteristics that are developing of late are an even bigger boost.

  3. 3 patti in cape coral
    November 2, 2009 at 12:15

    You can get too much of a good thing.

  4. 4 anu_d
    November 2, 2009 at 12:19

    I cannot undertsand why the experts and reasearchers want to classify everything into Black or White…or a binary Zero or One…..

    Television and it’s infleunce like a lot of other things in the world is in shades of grey…nuanced…..can be good or bad or moderate depending on how you use it and how much you use it.

    Actually not much to discuss on this subject IMO.

  5. 5 Tamatoa, Zurich
    November 2, 2009 at 13:29

    TV-Shows offer solutions to problems that are portrayed in the plot of a show. Every human being develops and learns through solving problems. To make an important descision I have to choose from all the potential solutions I knows of. Before TV, talking to friends or specialists offered the variety of solutions. TV just offers additional solutions. So it can have a positive impact if the offered solutions help to solve the individual’s problem.
    Nontheless, problem-solving is a process that is best made in group discussions or personal dialogue. Documentaries can present information in a good and interesting way. But unless additional learning techniques are applied the individual would only score average grades in a test.
    It comes down to the fact that TV is only an additional channel to the individual’s normal input sources. But unless they are shared with other people the learning effect remains small. This is especially true for children.
    Are the programs good or bad? Everything is loaded with ideology. It is our duty to identify it and decide for ourselves. It you don’t like the message then do something about it. Don’t implement the offered solution or don’t watch that program. There is democracy and freedom of speech.

  6. 6 gary
    November 2, 2009 at 13:34

    If you believe the world is in a good place, then please remember TV helped bring it there. Fortunately for us it hasn’t lived up to its full potential. Radio remains the more informative and much less distracting medium.

  7. 7 T
    November 2, 2009 at 14:47

    It can be (if done the right way). Unfortuntately, many times it’s not. Can you imagine if WHYS was on prime time Stateside TV (instead of reality TV)? It’ll never happen.

  8. November 2, 2009 at 15:04

    Is it time to cut the complaining about the evils of TV and realise it’s true potential?
    There won’t be a time when it is safe to quit complaining about the evil that is churn out on TV… consistently, we see shows and films rated ‘13’ that are clearly not suitable for viewing for non-adults. I think we have to consider the merits of TV side by side with its evils because there is a lot to say on both.
    Personally, I would love to see more TV channels come up, each dedicated to specific issues and based on clearly stated paradigms, that way, one knows what to expect each time they put on the little black box. I really think without the TV we would be a lot more dumber than we now are.

    November 2, 2009 at 15:59

    I am lucky to have finished my schooling before this proliferation of mass media. I think schools need to be left to teachers without outside interference. They alone understand the steps of learning that the pupils or students need to undertake to succeed in any given course. 24 hour television does not mean that you do not have to attend to your duties.

  10. 10 steve
    November 2, 2009 at 16:40

    It can be a force for good, and for education, but it’s become a force for stupidity with all of these reality shows making so many people want to be “famous” like the Balloon family, or Octomom. TV can enable the mentally ill, but it also can educate. I remember all of the after school specials teaching lessons about life and growing up.

  11. 11 Tom K in Mpls
    November 2, 2009 at 16:41

    TV is a tool. Tools are neither good or bad, unless of course you are referring to people. As for Disney, Walt is spinning in his grave knowing the abomination Disneycorp has become. I find them very scary on many levels myself and will have nothing to do with them.

    Anyone looking to control TV is looking for power for themselves. These laws serve no purpose. Parents, and to a large degree, the children decide what to watch for them selves. If certain shows get mandated and suck, nobody will watch and tax money and jobs will be lost. If any show worth watching is produced, it is watched. The money produced is the ‘vote’ of the people. Many successful shows are educational. I’m tired of hacks trying to use causes and governments to get their garbage on the air.

  12. 12 steve
    November 2, 2009 at 16:42

    @ T

    I think the British invented reality TV. Also those stupid trendy gameshows are imported to the US from the UK, like Who wants to be a millionaire? I’m in Germany right now, and there’s less reality TV, and lots more variety type shows, and way too much soccer.

  13. 13 Ibrahim in UK
    November 2, 2009 at 17:19

    TV stations are commercial businesses, money is the bottom line. Their success depends on giving the viewers what they want to see. TV is a reflection of society. It’s potential for good and evil is ultimately in the hands of the viewers.

  14. 14 Elias
    November 2, 2009 at 17:35

    No it is not a force for good, however in some limited way it may be. As to the fact in the USA more children watch TV is because of the life style there, each country caters for children in different ways depending on life styles and culture. The most benefit for watching TV is to be informed of current and world news, documentaries, educational and the like, but it is disgracefull that the amount of films showing violence, sex and the worst kind of programmes, which knows no bounds, then the question should be asked, “Is it right for children growing up to be indocrinated continuosly for their well being in their future”, certainly not!. Its all very well to suggest that parents make sure children do not watch these films, but children do watch TV whenever they can and want.
    There is a saying “bad news is good news for business”, so we rarely see and hear good news, mostly the bad.

  15. 15 Ronald Almeida
    November 2, 2009 at 17:48

    There are two sides to every coin, including to money itself. If not for TV many things would be better and many worse. If I was to believe TV was bad it would be impossible to convince others about it. So all I can do is not use it or use less of it for myself. Unless of course I was a famous Scientist, Doctor or Media man who can manipulate the masses.

  16. 16 Dave in Florida
    November 2, 2009 at 17:50

    Television can be good; however, it is easily manipulated and reality is suddenly manufactured.

    Overall, here in the U.S. television is complete garbage that caters to the lowest common denominator.

    On a similar note, a year ago a friend from Germany was visiting. We went to a restaurant and she was amazed at the number of television sets that were all over the restaurant and tuned to different stations. She said, “My God, you Americans can not stop watching TV long enough to even eat.” She was right.

  17. 17 jens
    November 2, 2009 at 19:09

    i like the sentence “TV improves women’s rights, health, education. What? does everything on this planet have to be centered and about women? i am getting a little bit tiered of this. What about rights for all, yes that includes us pesky little creatures call men, or do we have not right of access to health and education.

    let’s stop splitting our society in males-females, white-blacks, health-sick etc. only once we realize we are all in for the same ride, we can actually work on making the ride better.

  18. 18 A.Z.Utilitarian
    November 3, 2009 at 04:45

    T.V. is an excellent training tool. It is predominantly used for evil, to sell dissatisfaction to the well off. But it can be used for good, as the various science, political and nature documentaries illustrate. Might as well ask if a machete is good: depends on whether your harvesting a cane field or settling a Hutu/Tutsi conflict. There is no merit in debating the morality of a tool; only the intention behind its use can be justifiably debated.

  19. 19 archibald
    November 3, 2009 at 06:02

    As far as dissemination of information in visual and audible form, television is an amazing tool, however, it has become a socialization mechanism which informs our every activity and thought. Most conversational references are of images, plots and scenarios witnessed on television. It is a child pacifier, rendering the little users speechless and consumed, all for the momentary sanity of a parents, fully believing in its harmless effect, all the while exposing children to commercialization and consumption, molding their characters into automatons who derive all consciousness from the flickering idiot box of lights. Television BAD! Radio Good!

  20. 20 scmehta
    November 3, 2009 at 07:24

    The TV is definitely here for good; but, it is for us to make sure that it is here for the good or for doing good to our societies around the world. This most effective and most popular media needs conscientious regulations for it to act discreetly and responsibly.

  21. 21 Mesele
    November 3, 2009 at 08:55

    Not at all, TV wastes too much time on trashes that require your important attention, so basically when you compare the benefit vs loss. The loss is by far too much so i recommed to shut down the TV to have a very nice focus and rest.

  22. 22 Tan Boon Tee
    November 3, 2009 at 09:32

    Not necessarily so. TV has a good and an equally bad part. It all depends on the viewers’ choice and discretion. Some programmes are documental and educational, aiming at positive goals and values; others can be superfluous yet highly influential in negative ways.

    There are also cases when, in order to get a high view-rating and thus greater advertisement revenue, the producers might go to extremes, disregarding the subsequent moral, cultural or irrational impact on the audience.

  23. 23 CJ McAuley
    November 3, 2009 at 15:29

    TV is indeed a force; but so are radio,internet,newspapers,novels etc.. All are out there to take as one wishes and decide for themselves what to do with the information provided. All are filtered through our own psyches and that means all become personal in the moments of their input; and some ones which we find pertinent to ourselves can linger for a lifetime. In that sense, even TV soaps&reality shows are real and play a role along with everything else we consume. But to think that they are inherently a force for something or other is a very “Ivory tower” view about all us plebes out here in the nether-lands!

    November 3, 2009 at 15:58

    My own experience has tought me that even by the time one leaves college, it is not yet time to make rational decisions about the so many truths and lies about life. That comes later on even when we continue to posture with our small universes that go for degrees and doctorates in this or the other.
    It is bad enough for parents and those responsible for molding the future of our life on this planet to contine deluding that children are inteligence enough to cope with naked reality. A river is because it has a course and that is why one needs to take a course in life which is never complete in the middle. Since there is no one to teach you this, the onus rests with wise parents, community and disciplined learners to take life with caution. Too much tv exposure negates these facts.

  25. 25 John in Salem
    November 3, 2009 at 18:51

    Any technology can be abused but the medias are at the top of the list of being the easiest – within a couple of years after the invention of photography people were making porn. For every person working to develop something new for the benefit of society there are ten thousand thinking of ways to use it for personal gain.
    Television has enormous potential for good but even back in the fifties people like Edward R. Murrow were warning us about it’s potential for evil. At it’s best it is unparalleled – the whole planet stood together to watch Neil Armstrong step onto the moon.
    I do believe that ultimately t.v. will be a force for good but for a very cynical reason – something else will be invented that is easier to use for evil.
    And there’s a good chance you’re looking at it right now.

  26. 26 duckpocket
    November 3, 2009 at 18:59

    I’m told if you hold a chicken’s head to the ground and then draw a line with chalk, the chicken will remain there transfixed for the duration.

    It’s not difficult to see the parallel.

  27. November 4, 2009 at 11:27

    As much as TV has undoubtedly changed the world and brought knowledge and wonders into the front room, today’s television is in my opinion corrupt in the things now being shown, for instance take the soaps. We have seen murders with people getting away with it, loose morals of actresses getting into bed within hours of meeting a man, including teenage girls doing the same. Morality in the modern day is at a low and the soaps are condoning this, remember there are people out there who believe these make believe places and people exist and take their very existence from what they see on soaps. Violence is rife on television, and although this is supposed to reflect the current world we live in to make it more believable, it undoubtedly is impacting on those who watch. In the early days of TV it was meant to be educational particularly for the kids. There was what was called light entertainment such as variety shows, so called hard hitting series ensured they were not too gory and did not glamourise violence. We can say it did not reflect the real world but, it did make the world seem a happier and a less troubled place and this was reflected in the way people approached life. We know there should be reports of trouble and strife for information and knowledge of world affairs. Television is now used by people in power to indoctrinate, stir up world differences and tribal differences, turn lies into truths even condone violence, manufacture evidence, anything and everything that can be possibly done to make those watching that what they say is the truth. Television was invented to bring visual communication, education and entertainment to the viewer, make believe and fun for the younger viewer. The joy television once brought to me growing up at the birth of television beaming into the home, watching it’s development and growth into this all powerful media tool now controlling the free thinking mind of the masses watching, and through constant pictures of what the politicians and so called programme makers want you to see have now taken over control of your life to the extent that virtually no one can go a day without watching some programme or other. The bottom line is that it is corrupt as is the world we live in and television has made a major contribution to this.

  28. 28 Dennis Junior
    November 4, 2009 at 12:44

    Yes, I think that Television is a force of good and, also, can be a force of bad also to be honest…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  29. November 4, 2009 at 14:24

    Television, a.k.a. Idiot’s Lantern is probably the most efficient propaganda tool ever devised.

    The News is biased and even when telling truth lies by omission.

    The most impoirtant far-reaching events are given little air-time while petty events carry on for weeks.

    The idiot’s lantern is a distraction and is deliberately used to keep folks distracted from the truth.

    “Knowledge” someone said “is power.” The agenda is to reduce the people’s power.

    Ignorance of the majority is bliss for the knowledgeble minority.

    Television dumbs down peoples’ ability to think and even reduces the desire to think.

    Television – we’d probably be far better off without it.

    On the other hand, observing how this medium operates is a useful daily reminder of how it is used as a weapon against us – except that those who do watch it daily see it as their knowledgeable and entertaining friend.

    Overall, I think it is not at all useful for the people.

  30. 30 Nick
    November 18, 2009 at 00:50

    It is if your with the BBC!

  31. 31 T
    November 18, 2009 at 00:55

    It can be, if done the right way.

  32. 32 Tom K in Mpls
    November 18, 2009 at 07:24

    This is strange, I have no argument with any posts. Some seem to see or comment on only one side, but the statements are generally true. I guess you could say TV is so diverse these days, you could say anything about it and be right.

  33. November 18, 2009 at 09:47

    The “good” and the “bad” cannot exist independently of each other; they are twins or two sides of the same coin. So, your question should not be with regard to TV, rather to the people who “pull the strings” in TV (e.g. owners or the Board of Broadcasting Corporations, etc.) TV is just a “tool” in the hands of certain people (or interests), as are cars, knives, etc. If the owners or the vested interests are “forces of good” then so may their tools (and the operators of those tools).

  34. 34 Nick
    November 18, 2009 at 10:27

    Like any form of media when the media is independent and mandated to be unbiased like the BBC and the other similiar broadcasters around the world, TV is a good thing and I think having more educational programs on television is a good thing. However I don’t like watching commercial television with all its Soap Operas and Reality TV shows like Big Brother or Neighbours or those completely biased commercial current affairs shows and morning. These broadcasters try to buy your attention every single hour of the day and thats not a good thing. However I think new technologies such as BBC iPlayer are much better ways.

  35. 35 Ibrahim in UK
    November 18, 2009 at 11:22

    TV and media nowardays is a force for manipulating public opinion to adhere to the views and agendas of the those who control the media. In order to attract the masses, the media appear to be trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
    Like anything that humans control, it has the potential for greatness, but usually descends into an orgy of self-indulgence.

  36. 36 claudine
    November 18, 2009 at 11:56

    It would be sad if TV will become a force for good.

    Even now people exercise too little and too many develop into fatty couch spuds, too lazy to do anything else but to watch TV.

    TV can be informative, but people should know that there is life outside their TV room. Healthcare costs are already shooting up because of people becoming too fat and too lazy.

  37. 37 Nigel
    November 18, 2009 at 12:07

    We don’t see British or European tele here so can only judge on the diet of US TV that we are bombarded with. We do get BBC America here but it no longer provides a balance since they now depend on revenue just like the American networks and have to play the game. Why can’t we get Top Gear any more for example. By and large what we get is a wonderful expose on US life and values driven by popularity ratings and I must say it is not complimentary. On the other side the reality shows, and other crime/violence based coverage are being veiwed by audiences in the developing world whose cultures and values may be completely different and must be having an impact on how we live especially among the younger more idealistic and impressionable minds. Because the gang and prison culutre that is developing here so resembles what we see on the tele it is safe to assume that in some fundamental way the US TV line-up is negatively influencing our way of life and really the sustainability of the peacefull and honest life we once knew.

  38. 38 Aakanksha Singh Devi
    November 18, 2009 at 12:30

    Television was always thought to be worse than it really is. If you watch the right things then of course it will be informative and educational. But then there are programmes made solely for entertainment so why find fault with something that is made for pleasure. If you’ve watching East Enders or Red Dwarf to understand the facts of life then there is certainly something wrong with the person watching NOT TV!

  39. November 18, 2009 at 12:51

    Television programs are rich fodder for the imagination of children.. When children are exposed to good, educational programmes like National Geographic their horizons are widened considerably. Why are Harry Potter books so popular with children? Exactly for the same reason; imagination and positive stimulation. Educational authorities should work closely with television providers/stations to offer illuminating programmes. Once the imagination is fired, phenomenal results could be achieved. Exemplary inculcation is needed.

  40. 40 Joseph
    November 18, 2009 at 13:09

    Tv is here to make money for broadcasters. Not to be good or bad, moral or not, it doesnt care about what people watch it is here to make money and will put on the screen anything that is going to be watched. And because just about everything was here before to make things interesting it must go further. If I took just those few programs that have some value then yes it would be good but most of what I can watch is rubbish with bad influence especially on young people. There is no power that could do anything about it, government wouldnt touch anything that makes money as they are desperate for the economy to work and they dont really care how. Anything for money, anything for economy. Important is that it makes difference now. What will be result of it in 5 – 10 years doesnt matter as it is not going to be them who will have to deal with it. Like with immigration, they know it is a timebomb but it helps for now and what will be tomorrow that is going to be someone elses problem.

  41. 41 William Rojas
    November 18, 2009 at 13:47

    I think that Tv firms are only concern to sell more and more every single day, and at the same time, there’s a goverment behing controlling all this. Each government plays an important role on this. they have the chance to do the things in a different way, they are able to get it, but if they don’t want to, and the rather to be giving people rubbish, it’s something really hard to change.

  42. November 18, 2009 at 13:54

    TV, like most things, is as much a product of society as the cause of it.

    Very few shows will remain on the air if they’re never watched. Highly rated (read: watched by the masses) shows are the same ones people rage on about. X Factor, Big Brother, Jon & Kate Plus Divorce, and so on… media companies have to make money. If the shows they air don’t produce, they get yanked. So your issue should be with the populous, not the product – or the technology that delivers the product.

    Is an AK-47 inherently evil? No, it’s a technological device… but millions of criminals and warlords use them in a dastardly way.

    Is Television a source of villainous evil like many whine about? Well, the fact is many people want that brain candy – I highly doubt all the TV bashers here NEVER have watched one episode of reality tv in their life… if they did they’ll state it with a disclaimer of arrogance like “I just wanted to see what the trash was all about..” whatever, you watched it, you contributed to the ratings, the ratings attracted advertisers, the advertisers paid the TV execs salaries…. done and done.

    Can it be used for good? Sure. Why not? It is already in many ways. The BBC documentary PLANET EARTH was fantastic programming… and the American classic children’s show SESAME STREET has been proven in studies to be educationally beneficial.

    And for those who consistently blame TV for the woes of Britain, America or any other Western (developed) nation…. I’m a Canadian living in Kenya right now and this country is rife with social issues, gender disparity and violence that even occurs in – can you believe it – areas without television.

    I think that on the whole TV is definitely beneficial. Yes there is a lot of brain candy – but people want that don’t forget. A lot of the nonsense and sitcoms tackle issues that aren’t talked about in other ways….

  43. 43 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    November 18, 2009 at 14:07


    Absolutely not,the Nigerian Movies are now breaking up many families in Africa & this is because of TVs,dont they?,they are also not affortable to many individuals who dont have that ability to buy or subsribes to them.

    Povery vs TV…………..cant be nail together.

  44. 44 Paula Watson
    November 18, 2009 at 14:44

    As with any form of media we and our children are subjected to, they must be used in context with other educational tools. SImply sitting a child in frot of the televison will not educate it but selecting a cross section of shows for them to watch can only benefit them. TV is a force for good. It can allow you to escape into a world of fantasy, enducate you in music art and politics and give you an insight into the workings of lives of others that would otherwise be something you could only imagine. The much maligned reality televison that now proliferates our screens has many downsides but I can cetaily say from personal experience that one benefit it has created is a forum for families to discuss and debate a topic. Learning that each person has different tastes, opinons, likes and dislikes, and more importantly how to argue your corner. I belive this can be very powerful. Nature programs can excite and educate, current affairs and satire can introduce you into politics and important issues that can be weighty for the young to consider. Issue dealt wiith in a humourous light can often be more accessable. Moreover anyone who allows telvision to be the sole infulence on theirs and their children’s life is a fool to themselves. Particualry fiction. Soap operas are not real life, even if they deals with real life issues. If we are to truly benefit from what is broadcast the onus is on the individual to educate themselves enough to know where reality stops and fiction begins and to know whn to switch off! .

  45. 45 Gary Paudler
    November 18, 2009 at 15:22

    Hammers, good or evil, vote now! The USC (University of Southern California, a prestigious and expensive private school) researcher who reports that two thirds of viewers learned about health lives in a country where two thirds of the people are obese. Apple or Quarter-Pounder With Cheese? Hmm, I know the answer but the drive-through doesn’t sell apples. You guys are nudging the “Bad Journalist or Selfish Populace” survey toward the former, but the final votes aren’t in.

  46. 46 Roberto
    November 18, 2009 at 15:44

    RE “” This is the view from Charles Kenny, a Washington developmental economist. “”

    ——— More blinkered pabulum from isolated ivory tower egghaids, eh? Some things never change.

    TV can be good, bad, and everything in between. I stopped watching years ago because of the worthless content of most of it, but then I have some standards having grown up in the golden era of TV.

  47. 47 Peter_scliu
    November 18, 2009 at 16:21

    Television , music and other multi media uses Hypnotism and other techniques to control our mind sublimally first by rythmn and then by suggestions. Such suggestion done in a dodgey way is definitely harmful .
    Less often the used underlying pictures like sexually explicit picture hidden in a family program. This technique is seldom used as if you can slow down the picture frame by frame , the picture will show up. Government and advertisers used such techniques.
    I stay away if you want to free your mind.

  48. November 18, 2009 at 17:33

    TV has got both good and bad sides. For me TV and Radio have been (just since a decade ago) the window to the outside world. If at all, I know anything more about the out side world, it is either TV, Radio or the Internet. I wish I had the opportunity to watch TV as a little growing kid–I missed it during my childhood days and may be that has molded me to be the kind of person that I am today.

    It has both good and ill effects. It depends on how we filter out what we see/read or hear on the TV/Internet or Radio.

  49. 49 Mike in Seattle
    November 18, 2009 at 19:07

    Television, like any other technology, is a force for good or for ill, based on the intentions and actions of the users.

  50. 50 Christian In Milwaukee
    November 18, 2009 at 19:33

    Television has a small percentage of educational or enlightening programming, but most of the rest is at the most an escapist pleasure, and at the worst complete garbage. I am reminded of a Red Hot Chili Peppers lyric:

    Throw away your television
    Take the noose off your ambition
    Reinvent your intuition now
    It’s a repeat of a story told
    It’s a repeat and it’s getting old

  51. November 18, 2009 at 19:34

    Is TV a force for good? This is a yes and no question,to which there will be no satisfactory answer.

  52. 52 Leslie
    November 18, 2009 at 19:34

    I think the important factor is quantity control. It’s true that TV and the internet can be useful and educational. People that watch news programs or read the news online have a better idea of what’s going on in the world. Nature and science programs can be very informative and educational for both children and adults. There’s a lot to be learned and the internet especially allows younger generations to learn a lot that their parents simply didn’t have access to. At the same time, there has to be a balance. Those parents that sit their kids in front of a TV or computer screen instead of interacting with them are putting them at a disadvantage. But who’s to say these parents wouldn’t be just as distructive to their kids’ development without TV and internet?

    To blame TV for all obesity in developing countries is also nonsense. There are clearly many factors contributing to this, including American influence (fast food, etc) and the fact that people in countries where a middle class has only recently developed simply have more money than they did 10 or 20 years ago.

  53. 53 Mike
    November 18, 2009 at 19:36

    Even if there is evidence that TV, computers, etc. have “negative” impacts on development for children. Doesn’t the exposure to these forms of media help them to understand how they work? I don’t want my kids learning how to use a computer when they are in high school. I want them to know how to use them as soon as possible to help them with their future. Most, if not all, jobs will require technical knowledge.
    Doesn’t knowing how to use these tech devices out weigh the negatives?

    FYI – my kids have a healthy balance of tech and non-tech activities. I know the kids who have zero exposure will struggle in school and in life.

    Great Falls, MT

  54. 54 eileen
    November 18, 2009 at 19:37

    In the sense that background TV disturbs young children’s uninterrupted play how does radio compare?
    is this a similar problem or not?

  55. 55 anton
    November 18, 2009 at 19:40

    I hate watching tv – it take a lot of time but doesn’t give anything even if you are watching science programm or something about nature the disturbing ads appears so often that you will forget what you had been watching when advert finaly will be finish. Even news don’t warth to watch – it is only propaganda you would not get any real information from TV – so internet it is my choice – i can find different information or different point of view on one thing.

  56. 56 Wendy Gorski
    November 18, 2009 at 19:50

    Quoting from: Amusing Ourselves to Death, “…under the governance of the printing press, discourse in America was different from what it is now–generally coherent, serious and rational; and then how, under the governance of television, it has become shriveled and absurd…I am constantly reminded of television’s value as a source of comfort and pleasure to the elderly, the infirm and indeed, all people who find themselves alone in motel rooms…There are also claims that whatever power television might have to undermine rational discourse, its emotional power is so great that it could arouse sentiment against the Vietnam War or against more virulent forms of racism…Media change does not necessarily result in equilibrium. It sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it is the other way around…I will try to demonstrate that as typography moves to the periphery of our culture and television takes its place at the center, the seriousness, clarity and above all, value of public discourse dangerously declines. On what benefits may come from other directions, one must keep an open mind.” (Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman)

  57. 57 T
    November 19, 2009 at 04:26

    Saying money is the bottom line doesn’t excuse all of the rubbish that’s on TV. And, part of the problem is that many who complain refuse to act to change the system.

    Stop with the endless studies and answer a question. Why don’t they act if they really want change?

  58. 58 Gopal Tiwari
    December 28, 2009 at 21:30

    Television is an excellent way to get knowledge and insights of diverse fields be it be fashion,technology,upcoming trends in various fields,the ever changing world. Ultimately it depends upon a viewer in the sense that he will get right information by rightly surfing through channels and also get wrong information (manipulated information).Like each coin has two sides even tv has got pros and cons and its upto the viewer .TV channels always want to make business so the type of show which they run is not an issue with them untill it is successful and giving them good revenues and high TRPs.Now what type of show to watch is solely at the descretion of the viewer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: