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Television Occupies An Important Place In Our Life Media Essay

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

Today, television is considered as a major source of entertainment and learning for many people, especially the youth. All television programmes such as commercials, news, documentaries and cartoon, affects people of all ages in different ways. The youngsters constitute one group in society who spend a lot of time watching television. The youth always will be attentive about the most attractive things. A television channel of various types provides first-class and shocking impression on the viewer brain. Keeping in mind the youth, lots of T.V shows are aired. But the universal belief in the society about the television is that which disturbs the mindset of the youth.

Television occupies an important place in our life. Television sets has become a part of an essential household item. Mass communication has become an essential ingredient in the modern and dynamic society. Mankind has always been endeavouring to improve devices of media communication. History reveals that man has made tremendous progress in the field of mass communication. Man’s ability to over-come barriers of time and distance is greatly achieved by innovation.

The phenomenal expansion of Indian television has influenced the people in two ways, firstly those living in remote corners of the national mainstream. Secondly, television has contributed to an unprecedented explosion of information. It has provided people with a perspective to bring about unit in our social and cultural life. In other part of the country, the constant exposure T.V. has generated cultural and artistic expressions of our people, belonging to different religious and socio-economic background.1

Television is one of the most effective medium of communication. In today’s world whether it is a child or an old man, everyone has some or the other favourite show on television. Also due to the up gradation of technology television is no more a commodity which is owned by only the urban sector. Even rural families have access to television. Since it is reaching such large number of people thus it has a major impact on the lives of these people. Initially when television was launched one of the major impacts of television was that it brought a family close to each other. But slowly and steadily with the advent of technology and more and more choices available catering to the demands of every sector of the society television sets reversed the above concept entirely. Now each room of a house may have a separate television set. Thus kids sit, watch, eat, drink and play in their room and parents do the same in their room.2

The television play a crucial role in offering communication support for social and cultural development of masses, including school going students as they are considered the most important human resource for the development of a country. The exposure to television is no doubt an easy source of acquiring knowledge and information. It also enables a person to acquire skills relevant to ones well-being. The expansions of television in terms of content of programmes to people from all walks of life have made it useful for people in improving their quality of life. Now, a child is exposed not only to film exclusively designed and produced for children but too many other programmes shown on television.3

Television has profound impact on our society. It has changed the life styles of the people. Television has taken an important position in homes and therefore, it is clear to make an impact on the individuals and the society.4When children watching undue sex, violence and adult themes and glorified affluent lifestyles. This raises undue expectations among children and thereby pressure on the family. There is no programmes left on television schedule which could be exclusively called children’s programmes, except channels like cartoon’s which again take children in to fantasy world.5

Television has become a very important part of our life. And the truth is that we cannot stay without it. Also television has had a major impact on the youth. In terms of violence, health and sex related issues. Some third world researchers look upon T.V. as a mean of ‘leap flogging’ some of the stages of development which developed world went through, where as some others view T.V. as a mean of ‘cultural imperialism’. Other thinks T.V. as agent of development and progress. However, a serious analysis would reveal that T.V. has deep psychological as well as cultural & sociological impact on people in general.

Children and adults remain completely immobile while watching the idiot box. Most viewing experiences are both quite and non-interactive. Children absorb millions of images from the television set in just one afternoon’s session. And what are they watching? If the child’s television has access to cable, his choice can range from 10 to 70 different channels all of them showing different programmes. A violent image seen by young children, unaccompanied by parents, without commentary by a third party and without being reframed through an inter-subjective relationship, has a more traumatic impact than one seen in an environment allowing exchange and a different focusing.6

Children in the family are likely to be the most vulnerable population to be influenced by the contents of television transmission. Television acts as a source of information, education, entertainment and consumerism and it is through these functions that it is likely to influence the viewer. Children are now better equipped with knowledge regarding different places in India and other nations. They have come to know about different styles of life and have learned to develop greater tolerance towards people of other faiths. A majority of the respondents of the upper and middle classes felt that their children learnt many new things from television contents and become more aware about realities of life.7

Televisions among all the mass media has a unique place and has enormous potential for suggest change. But the effects of television are not without any loop-holes. The use of television in the form of technology has given rise to some controversial issues. Television viewing has, no doubt, brought the family members physically together and provided the members of the middle class a subject for discussion. However, physical proximity has failed to bring about social togetherness as during the transmission of programmes there was no conversation among the members of the family. On the other hand, conversation of any type during the programmes was discouraged. 8

At present we are living in the age of science and technology which has given us many wonderful inventions out of which television is one of them. As compared to the impact of other media, television leaves it impact deeply on the school going students. Television is perhaps the most widely debated medium of communication all over the world. The developed world is concerned with the public addiction to it and the developing world is fast catching up with the fantasies of the small screen which brings news and views, triumphs and traumas celebrations and tragedies, live or recorded to the living room from every corner of the globe. 9

Television has entered at home, it has also created new problem. People are worried because T.V. has intruded their privacy. Earlier at home, they enjoyed certain autonomy. Our primary source of education-cum-information-cum-entertainment for children was the home. So far a child of present generation television is acquiring a great importance. It has weakened the influence of parents and teachers. Television has become a major socializing agent for the young. This is being viewed with alarm; children have no time now for listening to their parents in their home. Thus, T.V. has emerged as a formidable rival to the authority of the parents over their children. Before this new medium becomes a threat to the personality of young, as experienced by advanced countries, it would be prudent to give a serious thought to the positive potentialities and hazards of television.

Television can foster the development of desirable values and habits in our children. It exercises its influence at a time when the child’s knowledge of rules and conventions that govern social action and moral behaviour is incomplete and immature. There is no doubt that television does provide opportunities for children to learn about all kinds of things. In fact, it is double edges weapon and if not handled properly, it can cause enormous damage. The outcome of a child’s spending good deal of his leisure time watching programmes that incorporate a false or distorted view of the world and using what is portrayed in them as a basis for knowledge and a model for his own behaviour can be destructive and dehumanizing. 10

The whole gamut of T.V. viewing invite serious question like- Do T.V. affect the behaviour of those who watching T.V. regularly? How do commercials affect children’s behaviour or youth’s behaviour? Does T.V. watching help youth become more literate and better informed? Does T.V. create an unreal world for the youth (viewers)? Does heavy T.V. viewing make viewer more violent? Does heavy T.V. watching imitate the characters on T.V. screen and act anti socially? Do T.V. make youth more promiscuous/licentious? Do T.V. make the youth more ape western life styles? Does T.V. help viewers toward social change?

There are several questions, all of which have a bearing, visa-a visa T.V. watching. This study of effect is an essential necessity. Can the deviant behaviour of youth today be attributed to this observation with idiot-box (T.V.) watching? At times, it is seen that the socialization process in today’s society has been appropriated by television! On the other hand, the effects of cultural T.V. like Sanskara, Aastha, sudershan Channel, and a T.V. serial on religious or mythological characters are also important. Do cultural T.V. make viewers, especially youth more spiritual or more religiously fanatic? In fact, the socio-cultural dynamics of T.V. is an important issue on which research is needed.

The introduction of each medium has affected the natural life-style and thinking of today viewers. Television as a communication media is flooding society with information, which any social system would find difficult to assimilate. This has benefited the college going youth’s mind to a great extent.

HISTORY OF THE TELEVISION IN INDIA

Television in India started with the experiment telecast starting in Delhi on 15 September 1959 with a small transmitter. The regular daily transmission started in 1965 as a part of All India Radio. The television service was extended to Bombay and Amritsar in 1972. Until 1975, only seven Indian cities had a television service and Doordarshan remained the sole provider of television in India. Television services were separated from radio in 1976. National telecasts were introduced in 1982. By the late 1980s more and more people started buying their own television sets. The central government launched a series of economic and social reforms in 1991. Foreign channels like CNN, Star TV and domestic channels such as Zee TV and Sun TV started satellite broadcasts. Starting with 41 sets in 1962 and one channel, by 1991 TV in India covered more than 70 million homes giving a viewing population of more than 400 million individuals through more than 100 channels. 12

Television in India is a big industry and has produce thousands of programmes in a year. As of 2010, over 500 TV Satellite television channels are broadcast in India. This includes channels from the state-owned Doordarshan, News Corporation owned STAR TV, Sony owned Sony Entertainment Television, Zee TV, Sun Network and Asia Net. Direct To Home service is provided by Airtel Digital TV, BIG TV owned by Reliance, DD Direct Plus, Dish TV, Sun Direct DTH, Tata Sky and Videocon D2H. Dish TV was the first one to come up in Indian Market; others came in later years later. 13 As of July 2011, India had roughly 35 million DTH subscribers. DTH does not compete with CAS. Cable TV and DTH are two methods of delivery of television content. CAS is integral to both the systems in delivering pay channels.13

SATELLITE INSTRUCTIONAL TELEVISION EXPERIMENT (SITE)

The Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) was an experimental satellite communications project launched in India in 1975, designed jointly by NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The project made available informational television programmes to rural India. The main objectives of the experiment were to educate the poor people of India on various issues via satellite broadcasting, and also to help India gain technical experience in the field of satellite communications. The experiment ran for one year from 1st August 1975 to 31st July 1976, covering more than 2400 villages in six Indian States and territories. The project was supported by various International agencies such as the UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF and ITU. The experiment was successful, as it played a major role in helping develop India’s own satellite program, INSAT. The project showed that India could use advanced technology to fulfill the socio-economic needs of the country. 15

SATELLITE TELEVISION

The total number of television households in India increased from 124 million in 2009 to 130 million in 2010, at a growth rate of five per cent. The penetration in India in terms of television households still remains low at 61% as compared to developed countries like the US and UK where the penetration is around 95% and 93% respectively. With changing economic conditions in India, we can expect the number of TV households increase in India in the future. As per the TAM Annual Universe Update - 2010, India now has over 134 million households (out of 223 million) with television sets, of which over 103 million have access to Cable TV or Satellite TV, including 20 million households which are DTH subscribers. In Urban India, 85% of all households have a TV and over 70% of all households have access to Satellite, Cable or DTH services. TV owning households have been growing at between 8-10%, while growth in Satellite/Cable homes exceeded 15% and DTH subscribers grew 28% over 2009. It is also estimated that India now has over 500 TV channels covering all the main languages spoken in the nation.16

These services are provided by locally built satellites from ISRO such as INSAT 4CR, INSAT 4A, INSAT-2E, INSAT-3C and INSAT-3E as well as private satellites such as the Dutch-based SES, Global-owned NSS 6, Thaicom-2 and Telstar 10. Although the government has ensured that free-to-air channels on cable are delivered to the consumer without a set-top box, DTH signals cannot be received without the set-top box. India currently has 7 major DTH service providers and a total of over 35 million subscriber households in mid 2011. Dish TV(a ZEE TV subsidiary), Sky, Videocon, Sun Network owned ' Sun Direct DTH', Reliance Digital TV, Bharti Airtel's DTH Service 'Airtel Digital TV' and the Public Sector DD Direct Plus. As of 2010, India has the most competitive Direct-broadcast satellite market with 7 operators vying for more than 135 million TV homes. India is set to overtake the USA as the world's largest Direct-broadcast satellite market by 2012.17

INTERNET PROTOCOL TELEVISION (IPTV)

IPTV launched only in some cities around 2006-2007 by MTNL/BSNL and later expanded too many urban areas and is still expanding. Private Broadband provider Bharti Airtel also starts its IPTV service in Delhi, NCR region. At present (2009/2010) IPTV in India is hardly making any impact in the market. But IPTV and Online Video Services in India are expected to expand. Screen Digest estimates broadband penetration of TV households to increase from 4.2 percent in 2009 to 13.4 percent in 2013.18

THE PROBLEM

India experienced a sudden and unregulated growth of satellite channels since 1991. The significant effect of entry of foreign channels in India is the commercialization of electronic media in the country. Television was once considered an agent for promotion of Indian culture an instrument to promote development in the country and a vehicle for development of national identity. However, it stands at cross-roads today. In fact, they are promoting alien values. These foreign channels are, in fact setting a different socio-cultural agenda before the viewers (a significant section of which is youth). The world societies at large are facing a socio-cultural onslaught via Television, India is not an exception.

The far reaching implication, especially socio-cultural implications on youth needs to be examined in depth. How T.V. has fostered different values? What kind of gender equations T.V. is triggering in youth? How T.V. is changing the attitudes of youth towards family issues? How T.V. is facilitating newer life-style and sexual norms? How a social role of Indian youth is changing? All these questions need a thorough research. Especially of Jhajjar and Rohtak district youth being in the N.C.R (National Capital Region) caught between the attraction of metropolitan life-style of Delhi/Gurgaon/Noida and the traditional value system of an agricultural society like Haryana. Moreover, industrial/corporate development is on cards with S.E.Z (Special Economic Zone) to be set in Rohtak/Jhajjar District(s).

JUSTIFACTION OF THE PRESENT STUDY

The present century, which can be described as the century of communication technology or information technology, has facilitated the growth of Mass Communication? Science and Technology has acted as the catalyst for communication expansion. Television is unique gift of science & technology which has helped realise Marshall McLuhan’s concept of ‘Global Village’. This global village with its new dimensions is obliterating the original (indigene nous) village. T.V. impacts upon the social life, cultural values, life attitudes, way of thinking, educational progress, societal and individual behaviour and a whole lot of factors. Youth is no exception in this regard. T.V. viewing is inextricably linked with the daily routine of youth. Whether at home, or at hostel(s), youth spent about 3-4 hours daily on T.V. watching, which in turn, impacts upon the youth.

The youth of Rohtak & Jhajjar, being close to Delhi a metropolitan city and Gurgaon a growing megacity- is taken up the life styles of the youth of these two cities. M T.V. programmes beaming life style of Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida youth are initiated by youth of Rohtak & Jhajjar districts. In fact, there is no escape from T.V. triggered life-styles. As they say in Tata Sky advertisement-"ISKO LAGA DALA, TO LIFE JHINGA LALA.....". This endeavour to make life ‘Jhingalala’ (exciting, interesting and fun-filled) is the life motto of youth. This study endeavours to study this whole gamut of socio-cultural impact of T.V. on youth. Youth which is the very important section of population- future of the nation and decision makers of future-need to be observed and studied so as to fully understand the socio-cultural changes in society which television has triggered and how various aspects/dimensions of social structure of society has been affected by television.

This study intends to be a useful on and provide data base for future studies/research on media-impact, especially impact of T.V. The sociological aspects of the issue too will be discussed thread base in the study.

Needless to mention, this study is scheduled at the right time when the youth of this region is poised towards a new beginning. Agricultural sector is on decline services sector and business/entrepreneurship is on rise. Youth is oriented towards a paradigm shift. The study justifiably, intends to capture the essence of this socio-cultural change.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The study focuses on the youth’s television viewing activity at home in the environment of their families where they are normally exposed to television. The study intends to find out whether viewing of television programmes influences the socio-cultural attitudes of the youth. The following are identified as objectives of the study:-

To study the relationship between of T.V. viewing and its impact on the family values.

To study the relationship between T.V. viewing and its impact on the life styles.

To study the relationship between T.V. viewing and its impact on the sexual norms.

To study the relationship between T.V. viewing and its impact on the aggressive/violent behavior of youth.

To study the relationship between T.V. viewing and its impact on the materialistic outlook of youth.

Hypotheses

There is only one major null hypotheses formulated:

There is no significant difference among the viewers of television programmes.

SCHEME OF CHAPTER

The Scheme of Chapter of this thesis is as under:

Introduction

Literature Review

Research Methodology

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Conclusion & Summary

Bibliography

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