Most of the articles have the overall theme challenging us to think about how important television really is to us as a society, as individuals, and as a world. As a person who spends multiple hours in a newsroom, I know first hand there is a lot of crap out there. There has been a huge shift in focus for news stations in the last twenty years from “what is the best news to report?” to “what will get the most ratings?” The network stations they belong to spew out shows that do not require the viewer to think, shows that are for pure enjoyment and mindless watching. Which makes me think, how is TV doing anything except making people happy?
In the article “Revolution in a Box” by Charles Kenny it says women in television are role models for women in third world countries “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.” I think that it isn’t the women in TV that become role models; it’s the idea of something greater. Yes there is crap out there but let’s not forget that it’s all fake. Even reality shows have plots schemed out. TV shows aspire to inspire (but how inspiring can a telenovela be?).
This leads me to my point that I think it is more of the desire to be informed that is this “role model”. These women feel they are informed and reap the benefits. In America we are fortunate to have many different media, and informative, outlets. We don’t need a television to have this sense of belonging. We just take whatever we can get that makes us feel a part of the bigger picture. I can watch the news to see the recent “Miami Heat” celebration after winning the NBA Championship. I wasn’t there, but I still felt a sense of pride and excitement. Thus giving me a connection to the rest of the world that is feeling those same things. It is a choice we, as people, make. We want to feel connected to the rest of the world. That is worth more to us than “Jersey Shore” or “The Bachelor”. That is why TV is so important to the world.