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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMB Students Speak Out: World Television Day

The World Television Day celebrated on November 21st was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996 to encourage global exchanges of television programs focusing on peace, security, economic and social development and the enhancement of cultural exchange. However, since that time many challenges have faced this former king of 20th century media. Most importantly the great rival Iinternet has forever changed our expectations of speed, choice and variety of information.

In most Western countries, surveys show that young people watch less television than their parents, lacking the patience to wait for the latest piece of news to show up on the evening news, or to suffer through hundreds of commercial breaks in order to finish a season of their favorite television series. One might wonder if there is any hope for television to retain the nation building function it used to have when once upon a time every family owning a television would gather in front of the screen to watch the same programs night after night, and then discuss them at work or with friends.

Today state television in many countries is struggling to keep up. On the other hand, we need to remember that half of the world’s population still does not have access to a television. UNESCO particularly underlines the importance of television in less developed countries. With The World Television Day the ideal of television as a medium of information rather than entertainment and as a unifying force rather than one catering to the individual is still defended.

We asked 3 UMB students about the good contributions of TV to the society, their TV watching habits with the arrival of high speed internet and whether local culture is threatened today by the omnipresence of channels such as CNN, Fox and NBC.

Shinika SpencerItalian, International RelationsFrom USAI think TV is a good medium for exchanging information that one does not have access to. For example, I have lately watched a documentary on Slavery in South America where they interviewed people from Brazil, Caribbean and Ssouth African countries. It was also telling about how much European colonial powers were profiting from the slave system. Just think, do I have the chance to travel to all these countries and interview these people? It is giving an opinion to people even if they are thousand miles away ofto the situation. However, TV gives a limited choice. This is why I prefer having a more broader spectrum over on the Iinternet. Maybe TV age will never end, but I think that it will not be the legitimate source of information anymore after Iinternet.

Chuong ChuigynCLA – UndecidedFrom Vietnam

The best thing about TV is entertainment. It gives you everything to get rid of your boredom. As a matter of fact, I watch TV just to pass time, somewhat every day. Even if I come from Vietnam, I prefer watching American channels. However, I use Iinternet to watch Asian dramas, music and movies. I think the rise of quality on Iinternet does not necessarily affect TV programs’ quality. It is just another platform to watch TV and finally get rid of your boredom. This is why, one day the TV era will end. About the omnipresence of big channels, I do not care where I get the information as long as it shows me the weather and what is going in my town.

Sanabel AlmomaniEngineeringFrom Jordan

The best thing with TV is that it brings you anything around the world. But I do not think the big channels such as CNN or Fox are able to keep me updated about my home country, Jordan. Still, the TV offers variations: You can install a satellite once and watch any channel from over the world forever. We should also mention about the indispensible role of Iinternet for receiving information. Not only the new sites, but social networks and search motors provide us a lot about what is happening around the world. At least, it is the case with me. After having bought my laptop, it started serving as my primary information center.