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Thread: TV News

  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    TV News

    Sometimes I think TV networks have absolutely no clue.

    We are all sitting together, me, my wife and my youngest daughter (8 yrs. old) with the TV going. "The Lion King" is playing. At commercial time, right before the show comes back on (a family show, remember?) a news teaser flashes on, nice and loud: "Shocking attack kills one child and injures another. Details at 11."

    Thanks for putting fear and dread into my child. Such ignorance.
    No worries

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    Sometimes??
    Thanks for putting fear and dread into my child. Such ignorance.
    That's their job, and don't you forget it. I have to go worry about SARS now.

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    Almost Immortal The Rob's Avatar
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    This is what happens when media become 'for profit' institutions. The needs of the community are side-stepped in favor of the demands of the corporate entity.

    And yet in the end it's we the people who must take responsibility, for we line up for the shock and awe, mouths agape at the sheer spectacle of it all.
    "Ignorance begets confidence more frequently than does knowledge." -Charles Darwin


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    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobCat
    And yet in the end it's we the people who must take responsibility, for we line up for the shock and awe, mouths agape at the sheer spectacle of it all.
    That is actually a valid point. I was at a bar-be-cue last night where the topic of celebrities "assaulting" intrusive media photographers and so on. The general consensus seemed to be that the media should respect the privacy of these "public" people more. I then offered the suggestion that perhaps the people who buy the "celebrity" magazines and so on should take some of the blame. Silence. Somebody decided to change the topic of conversation.

    It continues to amaze me the way people can complain relentlessly about a situation, yet at the same time continue to provoke it.
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    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    cat: when have the media not been "for-profit" institutions?

    lbm: it's nice that you want to keep your kid sheltered from awful reality. however, even in prime time, when tv is showing a kidflick, the world -- and the media -- does not revolve around children. if you want to keep your kid sheltered, homeschool him and rent dvds.
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    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipedio

    the world -- and the media -- does not revolve around children.
    I agree that the media may not revolve around our children, but I take exception to the notion that the World does not. It most certainly does revolve around our children. Why are we here, but to keep the species going? Our children are our future. What we hand them is up to us. Protecting them from the awful and hideous does not serve them well. Along with the fun times of reading silly stories with happy endings, it is our responsibility to arm them with the knowledge that the World is a dangerous place. Maybe by showing them early that Life is not fair and that what happens to people is not always just a skunned up knee may arm them better to handle the ugliness all will experience to one degreee or another once they are adults.

    That said, the media's tendency to sensationlize has gotten out of hand. But as someone said in an earlier response, we seem to lust for all the gory details. The media is only giving us what we asked for.
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    Almost Immortal The Rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipedio
    cat: when have the media not been "for-profit" institutions?

    lbm: it's nice that you want to keep your kid sheltered from awful reality. however, even in prime time, when tv is showing a kidflick, the world -- and the media -- does not revolve around children. if you want to keep your kid sheltered, homeschool him and rent dvds.
    I won't speak for LittleBigMan, but I don't believe the real issue is about 'sheltering' anyone. It would be equally as bad if the media steered us to the positive stories while shading over the harsh events in the world. That scenario would be potentially more destructive to society.

    What is objectionable is the practice of baiting the viewer with vague hints of mayhem and carnage, expecting we the sheep to parade forth obediently in anticipation of the horror show. And by and large (gods help us) we do, else the media market research is woefully inaccurate. In effect, they wouldn't sell us what we don't want. If we insist upon seeing the lurid aspects of life as entertainment, that is what we will get. The media are nothing if not good vendors of product the public demands.

    Look at your television, the box that beams to you your daily dose of infotainment. That's a mirror, folks.
    "Ignorance begets confidence more frequently than does knowledge." -Charles Darwin


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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipedio
    lbm: it's nice that you want to keep your kid sheltered from awful reality. however, even in prime time, when tv is showing a kidflick, the world -- and the media -- does not revolve around children. if you want to keep your kid sheltered, homeschool him and rent dvds.
    Velocipedio, I didn't say I wanted to shelter Angela from reality. The reality is that kids are slaughtered by the thousands in car crashes, but highly-publicized acts of violence happen very infrequently by comparison.
    No worries

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    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUM
    Along with the fun times of reading silly stories with happy endings, it is our responsibility to arm them with the knowledge that the World is a dangerous place. Maybe by showing them early that Life is not fair and that what happens to people is not always just a skunned up knee may arm them better to handle the ugliness all will experience to one degreee or another once they are adults.
    Yes, to a point. Children must learn about these things, but not before they are ready for it. There are many things they need to learn before they are ready to become aware of the worst the world has to offer. I would prefer that this timing be up to me as a parent, not some suit with dollar signs in his eyes.

    If a program is rated G, then all advertising and newsbreaks aired during that program should likewise be rated G. Anything else is irresposible and hypocritical.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister
    If a program is rated G, then all advertising and newsbreaks aired during that program should likewise be rated G. Anything else is irresposible and hypocritical.
    Agreed, although wasn't the Superbowl supposed to be rated G? However, a point made above (possibly by CRUM) refers to skinned knees and so on. When I was a kid, my parents had a simple solution to the TV problem. Turn off the television and send me outside to play. Skinned knees don't seem so bad by comparision after all.
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  11. #11
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister
    I would prefer that this timing be up to me as a parent, not some suit with dollar signs in his eyes.
    I would prefer that also. But as a parent, I know the timing is not always up to me. I have to be ready to explain the unexplainable at a moment's notice. And kids need honesty more than protection from the truth.

    That said, your point regarding the G rating being applied throughout the program is well taken. The station that interrupted an idyllic story with a sensational teaser was, as you say, irresponsible. The station should be called on it. But, like real Life, a parent should be ready to help their kids through these ugly interrutptions into their lives.

    I sometimes wonder if parents who want to protect their kids from the ugly side of Life are not also protecting themselves. By avoiding the issues, they are able to remain in denial. Living vicariously through the innocence of their own children.
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  12. #12
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    Agreed, although wasn't the Superbowl supposed to be rated G?
    Probably a bad example.

    a) I don't have a problem with my kids seeing a breast. They see them at home all the time. Any parent that does have a problem has more problems than tv content. b) The word MTV is enough to warn me that material inappropriate for a 5 and a 2 year old, and probably a 34 year old is iminent. and c) the ultra competetivness of professional sport, especially the superbowl, doesn't convey a healthy attitude to team sports, so even if I'd known it was on, we wouldn't have been watching it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    However, a point made above (possibly by CRUM) refers to skinned knees and so on. When I was a kid, my parents had a simple solution to the TV problem. Turn off the television and send me outside to play. Skinned knees don't seem so bad by comparision after all.
    We take the same approach at home. Even when they do watch tv they are still at the age when the ABC usually provides enough entertainment for them. And they have enough sense not to put gruesome news reports in the middle of Play School. Otherwise we have a reasonable video library.

    Regarding the point abould shielding children. I don't believe in that either. Like I said, it's in the timing. Even then events can overtake you. Some friends of ours lost their 18 month old daughter in a car crash. Dougal was 4 at the time, old enough to accept an explanation, and yes we did have to explain it to him, and he took it well because we could explain it gently to him and answer his questions, and it was something he could relate to because it was someone he actually knew. Newsmen blurting it out in the middle of his favourite tv show, with pictures, fits none of those criteria.
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  13. #13
    HomeBrew Master! Gus Riley's Avatar
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    I have to agree with LittleBIGMAn. Children are watching a Disney program and the network is so uncouth as to have to break in with a Shocking News Teaser. There's absolutely no reason I can think of for them to tease children with this type of announcement. Do the networks really expect children to stay up until 11PM to watch the crap they plan to air? This is just plain stupid of the networks.

    I'm glad my kids are grown and out of the house...but I still have to look forward to watching these type of break-ins while watching Sesame Street with my grand-kids
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    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister
    Probably a bad example.

    a) I don't have a problem with my kids seeing a breast. They see them at home all the time. Any parent that does have a problem has more problems than tv content. b) The word MTV is enough to warn me that material inappropriate for a 5 and a 2 year old, and probably a 34 year old is iminent. and c) the ultra competetivness of professional sport, especially the superbowl, doesn't convey a healthy attitude to team sports, so even if I'd known it was on, we wouldn't have been watching it.
    That was actually a poor attempt at humour on my part. Indeed, I too have problems understanding how people get so excited because a nipple was in view of the cameras for a second, yet show no reaction whatsoever to the prime-time violence and so on that often appears on the news or on other TV programs. Maybe someone can explain to me why a breast is considered more offensive or taboo than watching somebody have their head cut off.
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    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    That was actually a poor attempt at humour on my part. Indeed, I too have problems understanding how people get so excited because a nipple was in view of the cameras for a second, yet show no reaction whatsoever to the prime-time violence and so on that often appears on the news or on other TV programs. Maybe someone can explain to me why a breast is considered more offensive or taboo than watching somebody have their head cut off.
    I would guess that the attitudes regarding sex, ingrained in our national pysche back in the Victorian 1890's, are still alive and well throughout this country. But as to why we even developed this skewed attitude in the first place is beyond me. Igrew up woefully ignorant of the birds and the bees, but by age 9 I had viewed so much violence on TV, I carried play guns that shot real plastic bullets. Go figure.

    Anyone remember those Mattel guns that shot real plastic bullets? For awhile I was the only kid around with a double holster. I kicked serious butt when we played cowbys and indians. Anytime I see that Xmas movie with the kid who wanted a BB gun for Xmas, the term, "You'll shoot your eye out kid" reminds me of those guns.
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    X-Large Member Istanbul_Tea's Avatar
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    Write to your local TV stations, the major networks, vote for politicians who have like-minded concerns...

    not trying to be negative but... coming here and talking it over isn't going to accomplish anything with regard to change.

    And yes, children are EVERYTHING about the future. Anyone who says otherwise is either a crappy parent or isn't a parent yet (and hopefully won't become one).

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    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRUM
    I sometimes wonder if parents who want to protect their kids from the ugly side of Life are not also protecting themselves. By avoiding the issues, they are able to remain in denial. Living vicariously through the innocence of their own children.
    Interesting point. Yet I'd like to flip that one on the other side.

    I believe that many adults in our modern society live in a world of excessive fear where some dangers are magnified unnecessarily, while at the same time, other more imminent dangers are played down so that we are numb to them. A clear example of this is the liklihood of being killed in a car crash, as opposed to the chance of being raped/robbed/murdered/blown up by a terrorist. Any of us are far more likely to be killed by a motor vehicle, but is that what we fear? I dare say that "reality" is a very distorted picture in the minds of many adults.

    Children are more susceptible to distorted images of reality than adults, since adults have at least some experience with which to analyze what they are told.
    No worries

  18. #18
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Children are more susceptible to distorted images of reality than adults, since adults have at least some experience with which to analyze what they are told.
    And that's the problem. Children don't analyse. They accept everything they are shown and told as being the truth. They don't filter, they don't judge, and they don't reject anything. They don't see any version of reality that's presented to them as 'distorted'. It's all real to them. It all goes in and becomes part of their moral education.

    So it's fairly important, if we want adults that make wise choices, that we carefully moniter what they see as young children, and to ensure they only receive the best. They can learn about the rest after they've got a sound moral foundation to work with.
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  19. #19
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    I agree that the media may not revolve around our children, but I take exception to the notion that the World does not.
    i guess i'm not quite so much of a biological determinist than you. i would have thought that the goals of our civilizations grew well-beyond the narrow interests of procreation a long time ago. the way i look at it, children serve the interests of [adult] society by becoming productive members of that society, rather than society serving children parents serve their children. if they want to protect them from the boogeyman, then they should do it themselves instead of expecting the rest of us to do it for them. if they insist that it "takes a village," then the village should have some say in whether or not they actually have the kids in the first place

    What is objectionable is the practice of baiting the viewer with vague hints of mayhem and carnage.
    it's news. it's not like they showed the carnage, they merely mentioned that there would be coverage of the carnage during the news, and if you were so inclined, you could see the carnage then.

    The reality is that kids are slaughtered by the thousands in car crashes, but highly-publicized acts of violence happen very infrequently by comparison.
    and that's exactly what makes it news [the infrequency, that is]. the mundane is not news, nor should it be.

    look, i worked in the news business for more than a decade, and i taught at journalism school. i have always been annoyed at how news consumers [viewers, readers, etc.] ***** and moan about what news organizations cover, and then ***** and moan when they don't cover enough of it. if you don't want to see bad news, don't watch the news. if you have kids so young that they might be horribly traumatized by hearing about suggestions of violence, then be warned that prime-time after 8:00 pm is no longer the childrens' hour, no matter what the program on television is. be prepared to cover your childrens' ears.

    the responsibility is the parents', not the networks and not the rest of society.
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  20. #20
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Some interesting and well stated points on this thread. I am impressed.

    Velocipedio - Certainly the goals of civilization have matured from the basic life and death ones of our knuckle dragging ancestors. But the basics still rule. Biology still determines our fate. Until such time as we can dump our pysches into some sort of astral holding pen, biology will be a major player. Society owes nothing to any individual. Society (the villiage) is nothing but a device by which individuals can live in close proximity to each other. How much of a device is determined by those individuals. And your question regarding the villiage and how much say it has in procreation is well taken. But ultimately it is up to the individual to ensure their own replacement. Not the Villiage. So, while the goals of civilization may reach for loftier heights than pure procreation, the first and foremost goal of most individuals is procreation.

    Allister - You are right. Children do not analyze. They tend to take literally everything around them. A responsible parent/custodian will guide them through the process. But when do you start the process? With so much sensory overload these days, it is hard to determine IMO. I am not much of a believer in filtering. I did not filter much from my daughter. When she had questions, I formed answers I thought she could understand. When I had no answer, I told her that also. But most of all, I was honest. But that isn't to say another approach is wrong. We have to feel comfortable with the methods we choose to raise our children. They can tell when we are not being honest to ourselves and will most likely not place much weight on what we say if they get that feeling. The biggest problem concept I had imparting upon her was the idea of death. Since I am still unsure what it is all about, my explanation to her at the age of 4 or 5 was interesting to say the least. But at least I was able to help her form a rational tool by which to deal with it.

    Littlebigman - Point well taken. Even as adults, we tend to build upon the irrational fears more than the mundane ones. Some adults do it more than others. I wonder if it may be due to some of the overprotective methods used on them as children.
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  21. #21
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velocipedio
    the responsibility is the parents', not the networks and not the rest of society.
    This is the bottom line, Velocipedio. But while our primary responsibility is for our own children, the fact is that we are also responsible for our actions that affect those outside our families.

    All you have to do is look at the billions of dollars spent on TV advertising aimed at influencing children to see that it's a well-known fact that children can be influenced by others besides their parents. You acknowledge that children grow up to be members of society, for good or ill. But at the same time, you suggest that parents alone bear any responsibility for the influence exerted upon a child, and hence, the influence that child, when grown, exerts upon society.
    No worries

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