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Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985)by Neil Postman - Book Report/Review Example

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business: A Book Report Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business was originally published in 1985 and was written by Neil Postman…
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Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985)by Neil Postman
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Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985)by Neil Postman

Download file to see previous pages... His son reports that this average still holds true, meaning that by the time someone reaches the age of 65, they have spent twelve years watching television. Television is an important aspect of communication, creating imagery oriented transmissions that have finite meanings in which the public can become informed. This limit has created a world that runs on the ‘branding’ of an issue rather than a meaningful understanding that allows for informed opinions to be made. As a medium for communications, the television is unique because it gives conversation through images. Imagery is the primary form of communication that is created, making what is seen by the viewer the foremost convincing agent of the transmission. Postman gives the example of President William Howard Taft who carried three hundred pounds of weight. If he were to attempt a run at the Presidency in the age of television, the entire discourse in seeing him speak would surround the way he looked, getting in the way of what he would say. News media as it is translated for the visual medium of television becomes commercialized, primarily relevant to its visual translation. The context of an event has a far greater impact than the content as the viewer is impacted by its imagery at a far greater level than by the words that are used to describe what is seen. According to how Postman frames the event of daily news via television suggests, then that it is now a commercialized event. News is advertised, framed by the way in which editors put the visual content together to create the highest entertainment value. The news of the day is promoted, rather than simply informative, making it a commodity for its entertainment value. However, televised news is given in fragments, conveyed in such a way that it can provide a source of titillation, but without any meaningful exchange between the broadcast and the viewer. The viewer cannot truly act upon the information, thus is left impotent in the wake of its impact upon his or her life. The length of a news item has been reduced until it fits within an approximate paragraph of information, limiting the truth to its barest bones and then limiting the way in which the viewer can perceive the information. The few minutes of broadcast imagery and paragraph of auditory information means that the viewer must assess and process information very quickly, most aspects of life reduced to merely sound bites of relatable information. The result of how both news and entertainment affect the viewer has resulted in a life that is primarily about its entertainment value. Postman discusses that the entertainment value of an event is of primary concern to the choices made by both broadcasters and viewers. A modern example can be made between the nature of current war coverage in comparison to that of the Vietnam Conflict. The Vietnam Conflict was placed at the center of news coverage throughout its duration. The American public was inundated with powerful imagery that sent them into action against what some perceived as an injustice in the world. The news outlets created an advertisement of the war, framed to have the highest emotional impact on the viewers through incendiary imagery. However, the current conflict that has been raging for ten years is barely a footnote in the daily news, the events occurring in Iraq held separate from the daily visual discourse of the average American. The differences between reading news and reading a book and watching television is defined, primarily by the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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