How TV is Saving the World, One Village at a Time

The benefits of television have been argued and talked about for almost a century. In most cases it seems that people enjoy television but remain skeptical of the effects it has on health and the community. In the article “Revolution in a Box” by Charles Kenny, many of these benefits are discussed and proved with the help of some scientific research.

Studies have shown that television has positive affects on politics, health, and equal rights. Television can help political candidates inform potential voters and even get more people involved in the voting process. Women who watch television in developing countries stopped having as many children and women who watch television are more likely to see what is out there for them and expect more equality. Finally, Kenny states that children in developing nations that have television access are “Considerably less likely to do drugs”.

Politicians use the television to reach voters. In many cases the televised commercials and campaigns help people to know who to vote for and even help get them motivated to vote. However, as mentioned in the article by Charles Kenny, it can also be used to bribe candidates and other influential people. One thing Kenny specifically mentions is the fact that a crooked politician can pay off many people but to pay off the media takes a lot of money.

“The good news here is that competition in the electronic Fourth Estate can apparently make it more expensive to run a country corruptly”

With regards to women in developing nations, television is a very important tool. According to the article by Charles Kenny, women in villages that have cable or satellite television have higher education rates and more autonomy. This means that by watching television women are becoming more empowered. Seeing the women, in soap operas and other television programs, that are so empowered and have careers and the choice of whether or not they want to have children is changing life for women all across the world.

“And they prove to be extraordinarily powerful role models: Simply giving a village access to cable TV, research by scholars Robert Jensen and Emily Oster has found, has the same effect on fertility rates as increasing by five years the length of time girls stay in school.”

This is a powerful statement of the affects television can have on women and the world. Five years of schooling as we all know is a long time. To have television effect people so drastically is a major step for the benefits of television. If you are for less children on drugs, more honest politics, and women’s rights, then turn your television on and say “Hello Friend”.

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