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Defining the cultural forum, Newcomb and Hirsch explain that television serves as a medium whereby "contemporary cultures examine themselves through their arts." Examining current television programming, an argument can be made that the medium has and continues to benefit society in providing responsible and informative information. In addition, television programs have provided an effective vehicle to address important social issues affecting various sectors of society including women, minorities, and children.
In today's television programming, several programming formats and themes are available to viewers. Traditional genres such as news, soap operas, situation comedies, and dramas have been supplemented by an assortment of talk shows, cable programming, made for television movies, sports programming, and a host of other subjects. The primary objective of each program is to provide entertainment or information.
The structure of news programming has advanced significantly over time. Satellite technology has allowed news coverage to reach virtually everywhere in the world in real time. This has brought extraordinary events and information direct to viewer's homes from the area of the planet news breaks. CNN's coverage of the Kosovo conflict provides an example of how the medium of television can provide consumers with immediate and powerful images and stories occurring in today's society. In this way, utilizing the medium as a powerful information-gathering device enriches consumers.
Information provided by television news is often the most current available, allowing consumers to maintain perspective of where different aspects of society, of importance to them, are heading. For example, when John Salvi assaulted two abortion clinics, television news organizations initially brought the story to viewer households on a local and national level. This provided an outlet for viewers to gain information on the actual event. If the event affected consumers in some way, the televised reports may provide a stimulus to seek out additional information or initiate a response, such as forming an action committee, on the subject. A forum for discussion is created, in part, because television brought the situation to light.
A multitude of programming on television is classified as entertainment programming. Many programs have proved influential in addressing and advancing societal issues. All In The Family provides an example of a program that turned America's conscious tide. Viewers were introduced to controversial issues via entertainment programming. Topical barriers within society and the television industry were broken. Sensitive subject matter such as race and sexual preference entered homes during prime time, thus entering mainstream society p
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Terminology mentioned in this research paper
Television talked about in this research material
60 Minutes, The Cosby Show,
Technology talked about in this paper
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Sally Jessee Raphael, Oprah Winfrey, Hirsch, John Salvi, Ellen, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Lacey, J. Christopher, Rikki Lake, Jenny Jones,
Organizations mentioned in this essay
strong foundation, The New York Times,
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