While not all that is said is true, not all that is truth is told.
If television is the main transmitter and trader of culture in our society – as many claim it is – a great chunk of us are being feed a distorted and partial reality. As the small screens deprive us from the real big picture, we are continuously alienated and isolated from the rest of the world… and that’s the way it is.
Television: Main source of news for all age groups in the US. By Fernando Andres Torres. July 14, 2013. LatinOpen
According to a recent study by the Gallup pollster (July 8, 2013), television is the main source of news for all age groups in the United States (55%) followed by far by the Internet at 21%, printed media at 9% and radio at 6%. The results of the study are shocking if we take into account that US television prioritized news by image over content, sensationalism over information and, beyond question, local and national over international news.
Further, the amount of news in main stream television is way down compared to other industrialized countries around the world. The percentage of news broadcasted in all TV programming in the US is at 2%. A mouth-dropping number compared with Denmark 43%, Sweden 35%, Canada, 32%, Netherlands 25%, Germany 20%, and The United Kingdom at 17% (Where We Stand, Bantam Books).
Gallup based its conclusions on a national poll of over 2 thousand adults. They were asked “what they consider to be their main source of news about U.S. and global events.” 26% said they watch television or TV news, 4% watch local TV news, and 2% watch the evening news. The cable news channels CNN got a 7% and Fox News an 8%. Less than 1% mentioned MSNBC, PBS, and BBC.
“The vast majority of those citing the Internet, 18% of all Americans, either mention the Internet generally or say they get their news online.” Two percent identify Facebook, Twitter, or social media as their source, while 1% mention a specific online news site.” (Gallup). The study also confirmed Republicans tend to watch Fox News, Democrats CNN and youth rely more on the Internet for news.
A quick channel flipping reveals a US television programming infatuated with repugnant crimes shows, human demeaning comedies, sex, and the most deplorable sensationalism over the dirtiest human behaviors. Nevertheless we have the world’s second highest average of hours spend in front of the box per day (7 hrs) surpassed only by Japan at 9:12 hrs a day. Canadians spend and average of 3:24 hrs. in front of the tube, British 3:10 hrs., Germans 2:13 and Swiss 1:34 hrs. (Where We Stand, Bantam Books).
If television is the main transmitter and trader of culture in our society – as many claim it is – and if Gallup’s numbers are real or close to reality, a great chunk of us are being feed a distorted and partial reality. A reality vulnerable to a capricious and erratic editor racing for ratings; an abstract, a sound bite that is definitely out of context. As the small screen deprive us from the real big picture, we are continuously alienated and isolated from the rest of the world in a great part thanks to television. As Cronkite arrogantly put it – pretending to have informed us about everything “and that’s the way it is.”