Television corrupts our children, induces us to spend needlessly, and stimulates hostility and violence. Or does it? Jib Fowles sees television as a “grandly therapeutic force,” that television is indeed good for you. He examines why nearly every American regularly watches television and why viewing is beneficial. Updated and jargon-free, Why Viewers Watch describes the overall effect of programming on the population. What do viewers get from television? What does it do for them? Why do academics negatively judge television? Using recent research reports, overlooked past studies, and fresh survey data to substantiate this positive role, Fowles first reviews the history of television and programming. After discussing what people expect from television, he explores how different types of programs satisfy different needs. Fowles also debunks many of the myths propagated by media scholars and “television prigs.” With an easy-to-read style that is both entertaining and informative, Why Viewers Watch suits both the scholar and the student, the specialist and nonspecialist alike. As such, it is the perfect companion volume for courses in communication, journalism, sociology, and psychology. “The author does present another side to the complex effects debate--a side of which we should all be aware.” --Et cetera from the First Edition: “An interesting--and challenging--book about television. So good it is surprising it has not received more attention…. There aren't many really good books about television, and [this] is one of the best.” --Peter Farrell, The Sunday Oregonian “I would recommend this book to interested television viewers, media scholars, and professionals. Fowles' arguments are thought-provoking and sometimes compelling. The book is very readable and easily accessible to lower-division students. For those of us who spent our childhoods glued to the screen and believe we still turned out all right, this book will help alleviate our nagging guilt when we watch television. The book should help scholars reexamine our views on the impact of television's content and our suggested changes. Media professionals should find the book a testament to the positive aspects of their medium.” --The Southern Speech Communication Journal
Television Is Good for Spleens
Television Is Good for Spleens
Fifteen-year-old Ronnie Zamora of Miami, Florida, was a devotee of violent television programs like Kojak; he also shot his elderly next-door neighbor to death. The connection between these two facts remains tenuous, debatable, and of the utmost importance. If television shows can be proved to broadly set off violent behavior, then we would have the elusive key to many of our most obstinate social problems.
As seen, Ronnie's lawyer asserted there was a cause-and-effect relationship, that exposure to television violence had precipitated murder. But the contrary point of view, that video brutality had little to do with real-world crime, seemed more reasonable to the jury, and they convicted Ronnie. Whether they cared to or not, the ...