Television's Impact on American Culture

By William Y. Elliott | Go to book overview

accomplished. Many educators are interested in the possibilities of television as an instrument of education but their experiences and abilities have not yet been utilized.

A few college professors have ventured into the medium as performers and have risked the general disapproval of their associates. Most of them have later discovered that advancement in their respective departments has not been helped by their appearances on television unless their deans had originally taken the initiative in requesting them to participate. A few, motivated by a personal feeling of gratification, have continued to give up their free time to television. Most of the professors realized early that they would have to give their free time in order to participate. They reasoned that this free time could be used to greater purpose and the esteem of their associates and superiors would not be in jeopardy. There has been no general movement of significance on the part of academic administrators to reduce teaching loads for those staff members who appear on television and in most cases, the stations have not arranged additional compensation for school personnel who are involved with the stations' programming. The present indifference and even outright hostility of the faculties toward educational television should be changed to interest and enthusiasm.


SUMMARY

It is difficult at this stage of educational television to generalize on the problems of the stations for many of the problems vary with the several local organizations. The problems tend to fall into general headings but there are many deviations in each station which bear little similarity to the same general problems in other stations.

The educational television station of today operates in practical isolation from the other ETV stations. With the exception of a few scattered news items furnished by the original catalysts of the educational television movement, exchange of a few programs through a central clearing house, and infrequent national meetings which have not always drawn a full representation of the stations, the personnel of the stations are left to face all of the practical problems of daily broadcasting with no place to turn for assistance.

A strong central organization, completely removed from the fund-raising and promotional scene and entirely dedicated to continuing objective analyses and interpretations of the continuing problems of station operation, could make significant contributions to educational television's future. An organization of this nature should add the unity which is needed between the various stations and which ceased to exist after the needs were realized for the building of studios and the acquisition of equipment.

A national service to the stations could include the gathering and tabulation of all important operational data with recommendations of future

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