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Culturally Sensitive Television Programming

  • Word Count: 881
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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 11:51, July 29, 2016, from