Television the Four Powers of Television Are Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Television, the four powers of television are characterized as the power to entertain, the power to socialize and educate, the power to inform, and the power to create community and consensus. The four are not mutually exclusive and can be found operating in pairs or larger groupings on individual shows.

The power to entertain is understood by everyone and is the primary power for most people. The television networks have played to this power from the beginning, carrying over what they had been doing on radio into the new medium to create programs that would gather large audiences around comedies, dramas, variety shows, and the like. This primary power has continued into the cable era, with many cable networks imitating the broadcast networks in these terms by presenting movies, dramatic shows, and comedies or by shaping non-fictional programs so they entertain, seen in the many so-called reality shows that are currently on the air. Television has indeed been charged more and more with elevating entertainment over the other powers, so that news programs show ore and more effort at being entertaining rather than informative, from the so-called "happy talk" between anchors to an emphasis on fluffy news about celebrities instead of national and world affairs, or the shift in local news to stories about crime, producing the phrase, "If it bleeds, it leads."

The power to socialize and educate is seen in programs with a clear educational intent, such as many shows on public broadcasting. In the broader sense, however, all of television has this power because people watching television acquire knowledge, even if it is only knowledge of the culture. Television provides many shared images and messages that shape the way people view themselves and the world around them.

Similarly, the power to inform can be taken broadly to include more than news and public affairs, though these are clearly represented. Television viewers can see the world outside their immediate community to a much greater degree than was ever possible in the past. Viewers also vicariously experience real events, real people, and history itself by what they see on television.

The power to create community and consensus is seen in the way television repeats aspects of the past and so creates a historical context in which to judge current events. Television also creates a community through shard experiences of the culture, from entertainment programs to major news events which, even if a viewer does not see the original broadcast, will be talked about and referred to so that everyone knows what happened.

Many programs express all of these powers. Most talk shows, for instance, are shaped specifically around the four powers, seeking to entertain, socialize, inform, and contribute to our sense of community, such as The Tonight Show, which entertains, makes fun of the news and so informs at the same time, educates about different ideas and issues (even to having political and other leaders as guests), and shapes the sense of community for the viewers.

2. what we see on television does have an effect on what we think is important in the world. If a story is not covered by television, it may not exist at al for millions of people, while if a seemingly trivial story is covered by television, it becomes bigger than life. The agenda is often set by what television chooses to cover or chooses to ignore. This is also a source of much criticism as the 24-hour cable news networks concentrate on less important issues such as the Michael Jackson trial or the recent Runaway Bride in Georgia while not giving sufficient attention to the war in Iraq, political issues of import to everyone, and economic news that people could use in their lives. Television creates its own reality, and what it says is real becomes more real, while what it ignores may fade away.

This power is not always exercised intentionally. Stories take on a life of their own for reasons not always clear. If an event like the Runaway Bride happens on a slow news day, it is magnified until it becomes seemingly the only story. There may also be various prejudices at work. It has been pointed out that when a white child is missing, the news media may make the story into a national one rather than a local one and may magnify events all out of…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Television The Four Powers Of Television Are" (2005, May 11) Retrieved December 3, 2016, from

"Television The Four Powers Of Television Are" 11 May 2005. Web.3 December. 2016. <>

"Television The Four Powers Of Television Are", 11 May 2005, Accessed.3 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Television & Movies Made For Television Movies

    In terms of a feature film like the Spiderman series, there is much revenue to be generated from merchandise, DVD and video sales, tie-in promotions from companies like McDonalds, and spin-off video games. Therefore, the stakes are higher. A feature film producer who has been granted a 200 million dollar budget had better deliver an audience, and deliver it in spades. A telemovie producer, however, working much faster with

  • Television in Australia

    Television in Australia Television itself was quite an invention and made significant changes all around the world. It became common in the United Kingdom and the United States by the end of the Second World War. The American system basically had the commercial system in which government interference wasn't so pronounced. On the other hand, the British system was more government owned and dominated by BBC. The television in Australia has

  • Television Americans Frequently Refer to

    The Contest" draws attention to the level of humor that pervades the lives of television show characters, especially characters on sitcoms. While many people do enjoy hearty laughter and excitement with their friends on a regular basis, few in real life do so to the extent of the Seinfeld characters. It is possible that people who watch the show are attempting to discover ways to enliven their real-life friendships, to

  • Television and School Performance

    Television and School Performance brief glance at the publishing history of books about the effect of television on academic performance makes one thing clear: there was a boom in interest in the topic in the 1970s, and a lot less now. Information about the subject seems much more extensive in recent and current periodicals, however. There are two possible conclusions this dearth of academic research, along with a relative wealth of

  • TV Show Critique Gossip

    Too bad the only thing suave about him was his outfit. Even if it was only as suave as it could have been if he'd kept the Armani from Barney's" (qtd in Naugle 52). In addition to this, is the constant spreading of lies and rumors to climb up the social ladder and the constant intrusion into the lives of other people could also teach teenagers to be uncompassionate and

  • Television Commercials Emotional Logical and

    The lizard is improbably likeable, with his enormous bright eyes and Cockney accent. The commercials are effective, in part, because they ask us to suspend belief. The lizard is the foil for whatever human character appears. The human does something silly or illogical and the lizard is the voice of reason. The situations are bizarre, which is what makes them funny. Geico is smart to change the commercials frequently.

  • Television the History of Television Is at

    Television The history of television is at once familiar and unexpected, in that television, like every new medium, experienced a time when it was simultaneously written off as a fad and hailed as a world-changing wave of the future. The truth was somewhat more nuanced, because although television did change the world in serious, wide-ranging ways, it did not do so in the way many early critics and theorists suspected. By

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved