Poor Reception: Misunderstanding and Forgetting Broadcast News

Poor Reception: Misunderstanding and Forgetting Broadcast News

Poor Reception: Misunderstanding and Forgetting Broadcast News

Poor Reception: Misunderstanding and Forgetting Broadcast News

Excerpt

This book is about learning from television news. It considers the significance of news on television as a source of regular public affairs information, not only from the standpoint of what people themselves claim about its importance for them but also from the more objective, empirically verifiable perspective of how much their knowledge of domestic and world affairs benefits as a consequence of exposure to it.

The news is a prominent and routine feature of daily television schedules in the modern world. In recent years, there has been a marked expansion in the amount of news broadcast on television. The quantity of news on long-established televisio n channels has steadily increased from their earliest years to the present day, and brand-new channels have in some cases devoted most of their airtime (or cable time) to the provision of information. Annual surveys of public opinion towards broadcast or other media services provide further testament to the importance people attach to the news on television. Most people today claim that television is their major and most trusted source of news about the world.

The provision and purpose of news have been discussed in terms of the rights of individuals living in democratic societies to know what is going on around them. In a democracy, the populace are required to be informed so that they can form their own opinions about events and issues on which those opinions could eventually be sought, such as during political elections or referenda. As a right, people in a democracy are entitled to make up their own minds about how society should be run and to comment on that. But they need to have access to the relevant facts in . . .

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