My mind was on other things in the lecture the other day. Writing this blog post is gonna be a struggle >.<

Exhibit A – not listening in class

But okay, I sit here thinking about what “television” is. And suddenly my scrawled notes from Friday are looking a little more coherent.

When I think of “television” I don’t think of the concept of TV as a medium: I think of a square box with images flashing across the screen. I think of TV as a ‘thing’, as an object, not as an idea or a medium. This would largely have to do with my personal association with TV, as I wasn’t around to see it develop and become prevalent in society. It was always just there.

But I find it interesting how Brian made the point that television didn’t have to become a ‘broadcast medium’. TV could have just been a thing of entertainment, used solely for watching movies and shows. Surely people were already considering watching movies in their own homes around the time TV was created. Surely SOMEONE saw a future in which people gathered around a box in their living rooms and watched motion pictures.

So why did it have to become a “broadcast” medium? Why was its primary purpose to share news with the public? Why were people immediately comfortable with letting someone else decide what would be played on their television sets?

I suppose this comes down to TV’s use as a “colonising technology” – an extension from radio. It was an amazing way of communicating audio and visual information.

There are issues in analysing television, which I am having difficulty with. In their book Reading Television, John Fiske and John Hartley state:

“it is television’s familiarity, its centrality to our culture, that makes it so important, so fascinating, and so difficult to analyse. It is rather like the language we speak: taken for granted, but both complex and vital to an understanding of the way human beings have created their world”.

 

I realise that this post has been mostly me asking questions (which I never really get around to answering), but alas that is all I can manage for today. There will be more to come! I plan on watching a few TV series over the next 12 weeks to get a taste for some different things out there on the TV. The End.

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