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Culturally Sensitive Television Programming

The vast reach of the television medium, and its high visual impact, has led to a great deal of debate on the influence of television programming content in molding cultural and societal values. The controversy is particularly heated in countries such as the United States, which has a large migrant population from all over the world. While commercial television has developed into offering different population segments a choice of ethnic channels and programming, the fact still remains that an eclectic mix of culturally and linguistically diverse groups view mainstream television. The aforesaid fact, along with the current, important social agenda of eliminating all racial and ethnic discrimination, has raised the question of whether mainstream television has a responsibility to restrict its language and content in response to cultural sensitivities. Social activists contend that television has the power to communicate the norms and values of a society and to that extent, the medium must play its due role in bringing down social barriers by influencing Americans to become more open and sensitive to other cultures. Pro-choicers, on the other hand, point to the principles of freedom of thought, speech, and expression in a democratic society. Thinking about the issue, it is my personal view that both sides of the argument has its own merit, and the answer probably lies somewhere in between such polarized views. For after all, democracy works precisely because it expects its institutions, commercial enterprise, and citizens to be guided by a social conscience and sense of responsibility in exercising the freedom it offers. The argument of social activists stems from the belief that television media messages tend to reinforce existing cultural values and social differences by, for example, the stereotypical portrayal of culturally and linguistically different groups. While, some of the portrayal coul...

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Culturally Sensitive Television Programming. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 14:17, July 02, 2015, from