What if I was to tell you that there are, today, half as many art programmes as there were in 1992? What if I was to tell you that current affairs programmes have fallen by more than a third? The truth is that all television executives want to do is make money, they do not want to provide a service, and they do not want to make the world a better place. And the reason that these programmes do not make money is the change of our childrens cultures. They no longer want to watch a programme that is educational; they would rather watch meaningless rubbish that caters for the intellectually challenged. I know this because I am guilty of it. I would much rather watch the ninth series of friends than watch the news, and I would much rather watch the Simpsons than watch an art programme.
Let me describe to you a period. In this time period television is useful; shows provide a public service whilst still maintaining good ratings. In this time television has a purpose, which it lacks in this modern time. This time was when television was first produced. Its maker intended it to inform the masses about day-to-day events and problems, but this ideal has spiralled out of control.
Your children are becoming desensitised, not only to sex, regularly displayed before the watershed, but to violence as well. Children growing up will become young men, and these young men will copy what theyve seen on television. You all know what impressionable young children are capable of. It has happened recently; a trio of gangsters, barely twenty, gunned down two innocent girls at a New Year party as a result of gang warfare. These people have to get their ideals somewhere, and if they are not in a strong family they will look to other mediums for guidance, like television, like videogames, and they will think the things are idols do are alright. Let me tell you this is not the case! Just recently there has been a story running in Coronation Street of a murderer and a drug dealer, and in the final episode two people were graphically murdered with a crowbar! And this was at seven thirty, well before the watershed.
We are in the year of the couch potato. 78 % of people under sixty in the United Kingdom watch more television than read books. And if this television is of the aforementioned quality then this disturbs me. What about the literary skills that will be wasted? TV Quiz shows such as the weakest link and Who wants to be a millionaire, which value, random factual knowledge over, deeper understanding are creating a generation of vacuous teenagers, according to a leading Headmaster. Dr Giles Mercer, head of Prior park College in Bath believes that unless teenagers are fed a more demanding diet by the media they will become cynical about politics and apathetic about voting. So television is actually harming your children. So think of the children brought up to watch soaps rather than read a good book, which provides entertainment whilst also benefiting the child involved.
But as long as we are entertained, right?
Wrong! Television has pushed its limits; certainly there have been some events worthy of recognition, but in the main the programmes shown are demolishing our morals, they are making us complacent about the world around us. Not many people could argue Jerry Springer has a positive impact on our nations youth. If we were to believe everything television told us then we would all be certain that bombing Iraq is the right thing to do. The remaining factual programmes are often biased and do not show the big picture, e.g. what about the refugees, what about the children, are they part of Saddams regime?
There are people who believe, as I do, that television could be beneficial for us; Tess Alps, deputy chairman of the media agency writes, I believe that the recent dumbing down of programmes and relaxation of censorship is wrong. Television could be successful, and informative but Television chiefs just dont want to see it.