Team D 1 THE CULTURAL AND POLITICAL IMPACT MADE BY TELEVISION Culture: The invention of the television and its emergency into American society in 1959 has radically revolutionized the American way of life. The original foundations of the television resort back to Ireland in 1973, where a telegraph operator, John May, discovered the photoelectric effect. He found that variations in light intensity on selenium bars show resistance which can be transmitted into electrical signals. In other words, they can be transmitted. The earliest broadcasts were in Berlin for the Olympic Games in 1936 and 1935 in Paris. The first American broadcast was in 1939 from New York.

It is hard to pinpoint who actually invented the television, because many men made significant contributions. Two defining moments in the realm of television technology was the invention of color and digital television. A study conducted in 1998 indicated that 98% of U.S. households owned at least one television. Television connects Americans to current events, such as the landing on the moon, the O.J. Simpson trial and the beating of Rodney King during the L.A. riots. Before television people living in different parts of the country or the world would not have been able to share cultural experiences. Team D 2 Even statistics of the most commonly watched programs in America indicate a great deal about our culture.

Shows such as NYPD Blue receive top ratings, can we assume that Americans are fairly passive to such violence. Do people literally assume that everything they see on the television is right and there is no other truth, or have people learned to distinguish real life from simulated television incidences? This is a subject that causes great debates over the moral implications that television has had on our American culture. Television broadcasters study trends in American interests - the Super Bowl is a perfect example.

Broad-casters allocate air time to market their programs to the most television viewers. Programs are also chosen with current interests and morals of the American people in mind. The trial of O.J. Simpson was in the top ten programs every viewed by the American people. As a result of technical advancements we were able to watch coverage of the war in Iraq as it was occurring. Political - Legal Impact: Legislators have recently made increasing efforts to regulate the level of violence viewed each day by children. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, passed under the President Clinton administration, to Team D 3 promote parental constraints on the subject matter viewed by children.

As a direct result of the Tele-communications Act, a V-chip is required in all newly manufactured television sets. The V-clip allows parents to block any program from being viewed by their children. The primary goal of the Tele-communications Act is to encourage parents to take an active role in what their children are viewing. Provisions have been made that require a uniform rating system be used by all broadcasting networks. In 1996 the White House, the National Association of Broadcasting and the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX) agreed to support a new proposal to require broadcasters to air at least three hours of quality educational programming each week.

There is also a nation-wide movement sponsored by the TV-Free America Group. Each year this group sponsors the National TV-Turnoff Week, which is intended to promote less television watching, in hopes of encouraging one's children to read, talk, play and create things. Parents are also encouraged, if the child is mature enough, to discuss political and social issues with children.