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Synthesis Essay

1346 words - 6 pages

Kelly Vick
Synthesis Essay
The Effect that Television has had on The Delivery of News

Today our world is dominated by technology. With the use of it people can access the weather and breaking news in a matter of seconds. This information is available to us in the palms of our hands. For the most part people think that this is great, but there are others who are skeptical and believe that technology and the multimedia has a negative effect on society. In Neil Postman's book, "Amusing Ourselves to Death", he describes the consequences of living in a society that is dominated by television and the multimedia. Postman (1985) believes news on television is uninformative and only used for ...view middle of the document...

" Postman (1985) has not gripe with "junk television" because he feels that "serious television" is an oxymoron. As his claim that television as a medium is a dangerous and pernicious in not substantiated, perhaps a more relevant concern is whether or not we are using the relatively new medium properly.
Postman (1985) and Mark Kelley (2012) both believe that television is shortening our attention span and is taking over our lives. Kelley (2012) wrote an article entitled "An apology to the 4G generation" apologizing to society about how much technology has taken over and is shortening our attention spans. The article opens up with " I really am sorry, the portable technology we've lured you into using laptops, cell phones, iPods', iphones and etc.- have shrunk our attention spans so much that you probably can't focus long enough to read this apology all at once". Postman (1985) believes that television is only at its best when it provides people with its so call "junk" and at its worst when it displays itself as a provider of important information. He states, "The new focus on the image undermining traditional definitions of information, of news, and, to a large extent, of reality itself" (Postman, p. 74).
Even though Postman (1985) and Kelley (2012) have very similar views on the television and how it has brained washed us and shortened our attention spans, their views are not exactly the same. Postman (1985) believes that Americans utilize the television in more ways than entertainment; Kelley (2012) believes that society has a larger issue at hand other than television being bias. Postman (1985) in 1985 predicted that technology and television would brain wash us and shorten our attention spans, where Kelley (2012) is stating that television and technology has shortened our attention spans because of an addiction society has. Because Kelley (2012) states we have an addiction and just like any addiction it can be corrected. He thinks if Americans learn to use technology in moderation, it can be corrected but it will not be easy. He asserts the road to digital society is fraught with withdrawal, as it is with any addiction.
In the modern day, televisions have interfered with logic by placing more emphasize on image using technology and not the message or issue in the message. This is a claim that the author Matt Quayle supports in his article “The Method of the Medium is in Motion” where he states that television news has the potential to support or affect higher public discourse level. In many cases visual imagery in television is largely responsible for conducting discourse (Quayle, 2010). Quayle agrees with Postman that television offers discourse using images rather than words by arguing that looking at the evidence gathered from broadcast and cable news which was not available at the time Postman wrote “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, the method in television medium including its production is in good motion in addition to a hope in the...

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