Potential of Television as a Medium

Potential of television behavior:
Television is an audio-visual medium and has a tremendous potential to influence its viewers to a maximum level. Its mode of persuasion distinguishes it from the rest of the media. The history of television in Pakistan shows that it was introduced as an entertainment educative and informative gadget.
The mode of education through television differs in its manner and organization. As Marshall Mc Luhan puts it, it is a cool medium on has to present things softly and pleasantly, if one wants a maximum impact. That’s why education information and guidance must be presented in an entertaining manner. The more it is light and indirect, the more it would penetrate deeply into the minds, something which we in Pakistan badly need for maximum awareness among the masses. We also need to know that tremendous potential that TV has for educational purposes. It is ironical to note that the government and the masses both are unaware of the remarkable role of TV. The unchecked use of television for personal ends by successive governments had marred the credibility of television to a disastrous level. They have never considered television more than an entertainer. This has created a distorted image of television in the minds of the viewers. This hinders the mass education revolution which can transform our society from illiterate to literate.
There is need to systematically arouse expectations of the messes as without their consent, nothing useful could be imparted. At the same time the government must loosen its grip on public television and make proper arrangements to recover the lost credibility of the medium and use better minds for arranging its policies. This must always be kept in mind that without the informative credibility, the medium would never gain the status of a guide and educator and would remain as an entertaining juggler with less positive utilization.
Extensive research has been conducted and is continuing to determine how and to what extent, watching television influences human behavior. It is matter that concerns social psychologists as much as media theorists.
The youth audience is television’s most eager and impressionable audience. According to studies audience aged up to 18, spends more hours watching television than in the classroom. Children 3 to 4 years old spend 20% of their working hours on television. School of Public Health suggests that children watching programmes on Superman, Batman or about Jennies, during the early childhood year develop sleep problem and aggressive behavior.
In a 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in Policy Statement on media violence that watching violent television increases the likelihood for aggressive behavior in youth.
Television is also considered as reason for the drop in student’s reading skills. TV advertisements has been considered as health hazard for children of 2 to 8 years age.
However, no research has ever recommended to stop television as a medium, but its systematic and judicious use has always been emphasized. its potential and impact as a very persuasive, convincing and positive medium has been recognized without any doubt.

    Impacts of Television:

  1. Cultural Impact:
  2. Television do have culturally effect. Media theorists believe that a new global culture is emerging through television. Fashion, dress, decoration and food are under influence. Pop music is now considered as a universal music. It is imperative to safeguard the local culture and traditions by depicting right perspective and true representation of the local customs and cultural heritage. The positive cultural values can be easily made clear through the audio visual medium of television. In the same way, the negative and destructive tendencies can be shown in an evil shape. Thus making the task of harmonizing the culture on cultural and sub-cultural level easy.

  3. Political Impact:
  4. The Pakistan political culture is in its development phase. It is developing its democratic institutions. Television can play a vital role in the development of political culture. Television has now become an integral part of political system. It role starts well before election and it continues till the political activities of next elections. It is an established fact that television has elevated the level of politics. It plays an important role in making democracy more rational and responsible. Politically speaking, television accentuates the image of leadership. This exaggeration of the leadership potential can easily be used to support the fragile leadership structure which has never got its due respect due to weak political consciousness. Although the political consciousness is a task within the dominion of education for a transitional phase, it can help to build a stable system.

  5. Economic Impact:
  6. Apart from giving life information about the economic activity imparting economic education, television creates. Consumerism. Advertisements on television are so fabulous that almost all with capacity to buy, go for it. This also affects the saving capacity of the society. With the decrease in savings, the institutions of social welfare also diminishes because with increased in demand the people are not left with much to invest.

  7. Social Impact:
  8. Television directly affects the social relationship with bind individuals to each other. It shows the nature and patterns of a nation’s cultural structure. It also shows the interactions among different subcultures. The Fusion of local cultures into a national culture is also depicted on television. These are the patterns which govern social relationships.

Television has made people captive in their homes. They spend more time before TV. They prefer watching their favorite programmes than visiting friends. Before television, evenings were free and social contacts were more. TV has affected the social get together. Children spare less time for games than watching cartoons programmes and other favorite programmes. TV has made people passive than before.
Potential of Television as a Medium:
Television has an immense motivating capacity for change in a society which occurs imperceptibly i.e. change through drama and fiction.
Television has enormous potential. It is a live medium. It transmits visuals and information almost instantly from any part of the world to any place. It provides enlightenment, leisure and pleasure to hundreds of millions of families in their homes, workplaces, and far flung destinations. No other medium matched to its reach. This very potential of TV distinguishes it from other media.
If used properly, television has the potential of bringing about political, economic and socio-cultural change. It can educate most powerfully through its audio-visual capacity. The mimic make the linguistic barrier obsolete. For making this useful, there is a great need for a survey of all the target viewers to know their strength and weaknesses, to learn their needs and prepare programmes accordingly. Unfortunately, this has not yet been done. As such, the potential of television as a medium has remained utilized.

You may also like