Television's Manipulation of the Facts

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Television's Manipulation of the Facts

One of the main activities that American's participate in during their free time is watching the television. Since its invention over sixty years ago, the television has been a source of enjoyment and information for the American citizen (Pember, 1981). Though what one sees on the television is not what one should always believe. Many people look at television with the "camera never lies" attitude, and are easily manipulated by this medium. People are manipulated by television because most television programming is controlled by a small number of companies, this is a main source of information, and people all too often trust what they witness in the media. Because television is controlled by an oligolistic market, the few companies that do control television programming are able to benefit from a great deal of selectivity, and would not put something on a news cast that would harm their business. The media is also able to manipulate people because television is one of the main sources of information in this country; from local news casts, to news related magazines like 20/20 and Dateline. These programs show a very limited view of the facts due to time restraints and company wide bias (Kaufman, 1998). And many people do not question what they witness on news shows, which can be very detrimental the their own knowledge of the facts. These three causes promote a society where the media many times has the upper hand in directing people's decisions, and therefore manipulating society as a whole.

In the modern era, with cable and satellite television there is wide array of programming to choose from. A television connected to the latest technology can receive over 200 channels. Many pe...

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...dia significantly effects many of the decisions that we make in our lives, and the media has learned to control how American citizens think and behave. There is no wonder that what we see on television is called "programming."

Works Cited

Bagdikian, B. (1983) The Media Monopoly pp. xv, 4, 187

Kaufman, R. (1998) "Review of Jerry Mander's Four Arguments For The Elimination Of elevision"

availible online:

Mander, J. (1977) Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television

Review by Kaufman, R. availible on line:

Mann, J. (1982) "What is TV doing to America," Impact of Mass Media pp. 25-27

Pember, D. (1981) Mass Media in America pp. 178, 181

Stevetwt (1998) "Media Watch" availible online:

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