Neil Postman's How To Watch T. V. News

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As the technology era advances, people are gravitating closer to a television where as reading a newspaper is considered an interest from the past. The television audience is failing to realize the main point of T.V., including news programs, is to keep people watching so that sponsors and others can make more money through ratings and increased interest in products. In “How to Watch T.V. News”, Neil Postman and Steve Powers state “Anyone who relies exclusively on television for his or her knowledge of the world is making a serious mistake” (x), This statement is true, for television news is not solely reporting what actually occurs. Rather it is reporting what T.V. stations thinks is worth reporting. When comparing television news to news written in the LA times, it is apparent that television uses the news to entertain while the newspaper uses the news to inform the public. Dissecting the news making process, "How to Watch TV News”, provides insights regarding how America’s news network functions. The nature of news itself, the roles of people who produce the news, and the language, pictures and commercials that are used during the news, are all examined. The fact is that television not only delivers programs to a home, it also delivers a sponsor. Television is meant to manipulate…show more content…
Television, because of time constraints dictated by the profit motive, rarely explains issues in depth. Polygamy in Texas, Record High oil, Souring Prices, Free Trade in Canada and Mexico, Mexican Drug Cartel, Earth day, Russian Capsule, UFOs, and Cancer are all the topics reported in one 30 minute episode of “ABC World News” with Charles Gibson April 17, 2008. Nine topics divided into 21 min (allocating nine minutes for commercials) will allow only 2.3 minutes for each
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