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Old 05-04-2004, 04:19 AM   #281 (permalink)
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There is a huge difference between subliminal suggestion (which does not exist) and the manipulation of information during warfare.
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:09 AM   #282 (permalink)
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INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCED STUDY OF INFORMATION WARFARE
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:43 AM   #283 (permalink)
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My thoughts

I would really like to comment on two different subjects. I will be the first to admit that I was unable to read the entire thread due to time constraints. This is probably one of the best threads I have seen here. The topic has shifted several times (just seeing what I skimmed over) from the effect of mass media on daily life, the hidden meanings of commercials, to the effects of political campaigning. A little background on me (very little) I am currently a senior in college at a private university in MN. I am majoring in Political Science and Advertising. I would someday like to have James Carville's job. Currently I am writing two large papers for projects. One is the effect that negative campaigning has on first time voters (this is a research design, but the secondary research is still pertinent). The second is about news selection or news judgment (what news gets on the front page, and how).


*disclaimer* some of this might already been talked about, if that is true here is my two sense if not, then have at it


Keeping that in mind here are my thoughts on mass media, advertising, and political advertising in particular.

Mass media (TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, all the major outlets) can be a scary thing. We are bombarded by messages every day about what is going on in the world. If you watch enough CNN or Fox news you should be an informed citizen right?

I say no. Here's why. Nearly all of the mass media outlets that I described above are controlled by 10 large conglomerates who control media from across mediums and into advertising as well as many other commercial companies. This scares me because it makes me wonder how my message is being moderated. Are important stories not covered because they might hurt the company? Are some asinine stories covered because they will help business? That is one issue, international coverage is another one. Overseas news desks have been closing for a long time because they aren't as profitable as they used to be. How well do you think an earthquake or riot in southern Chile is covered by a guy manning the news desk in Mexico City? Not that well, you can't get the emotion that someone immersed in that areas culture would. At risk of being clichéd I often feel that we are giving in to the man. We are lying still while the message is getting narrower and narrower.

The way to combat this I believe is two fold. One, forget impartial news. No one by definition of having thought can be impartial. Just be upfront about it. I am not for the life of me saying that you should misrepresent the facts or not tell certain ones, but instead tell us why you believe what you do, what motivates you on a particular issue. Bring some passion back into journalism. I believe that you can do this and have both sides represented. People need to venture out of their TV room caves and start to have critical thought. This brings me to my second point. Be informed; know where your media is coming from and what how that shapes the way it looks. You can't be an informed citizen without knowing where your message originates.


The same thing can be argued about advertising (that you need to be informed). Ads in other countries are much more suggestive and often quite lewd. The difference I feel is that we get offended when someone uses our own perceptions to sell us things instead of realizing it for what it is. An advertisement. It is designed from day one to sell us something. To use what our brain says, and how it works in order to get us off our couch/rocks and out of our TV room/cave in order to purchase their products. I honestly believe that if someone can see the motivation behind the act (say advertising, PR, or journalism) they can look at it in a very different, more lucid light. This again comes back to being informed. This time however we need to become informed consumers.


This brings me to politics. The bane of living free right? We pick a middle of the road candidate who half represents what we believe to make decisions that affect the lives of everyone including us. Being radical and bucking the norm is a great thing, it spurs discussion and thought. Unfortunately it also doesn't create immediate change (usually, on the grand scheme of things it does not). Work within the system and make one change at a time. My example would be Nader. He's great, he represents a large group of people who don’t' agree with either side of the political coin. However *disclaimer liberal views ahead used to make a point* I believe that if he truly believed in his cause then he should bow out of the race and send his support Kerry's way. Kerry will be much more environmentally conscious then his opponent. Well, I digress.
The main issue here to me is being informed. Here, with politics its being an informed voter. many people, and this is what keeps me up at night, see the commercials and use political messages (sound bytes even, grrr) to decide whom to vote for. Political advertising can be a wonderful thing. It can inform and enlighten, but it can't be used alone. A voter must find issues that move them and look into it. What does the candidate really feel? What does he plan on doing about issue X?
People also then get mad at negative campaigning. They say that it ruins the race; it makes people disillusioned about the political process. You have to realize though that it does exactly what it is designed to do. It creates free press, and motivates people to pay attention. Even if this attention is caused by outrage towards the negative ads, they are still sitting up and being accounted for. Maybe then the result of their actions will be one of intrigue into what is really happening.

The key through all three of these issues (media, politics and political ads) again is being informed. The issue why we are not informed, even when compared to the rest of the world is a completely different issue (I could rant on the apathy of society for just as long, lol). My point tying all of these together is STAND UP, BE CURIOUS, ASK QUESTIONS, and BE INFORMED.


Sorry for my rant and how completely random it is but I got on a roll and thought it best to go with it. My only hope is that it spurs discussion and insight. Feel free to rip me a new one if you so choose, or agree with me. Either decision is your right, so USE IT! Lol
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:56 AM   #284 (permalink)
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This was recently in the news
from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3682773.stm


Made up

So is mind control myth or reality? "'Mind control' is a made-up term", says Professor E Mark Stern of Iona Collage in New York, author of The Other Side of the Couch. "But yes, it is possible to totally influence a person's inner world."

According to Stern, there can be good mind control and bad mind control. "In its best sense, mind control is akin to self-control, often used as a product of meditation. This can be helpful for pain management.

"But then there are things like cults - there, mind control happens when a cult wins over another person's consciousness through hypnotic-like inducements including 'love bombs', a form of praise, overseeing an inductee's every action, and eventually using shame and the threat of being expelled by the cult as a means of controlling them."

Mind control is a relatively recent concept. It first emerged in the aftermath of the Korean war, when it was claimed that the Chinese had carried out mind control experiments on US prisoners of war, as depicted in the 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate.

Since then mind control, or "brainwashing", has been used to explain many different phenomena, from our ad-led consumer culture to some people's willingness to ditch everything and sign up to weird millenarian cults.

There are various hypothetical techniques of mind control: among them

  • the use of drugs, such as "truth serum", to induce a more relaxed state of mind;
  • hypnosis, where an individual is put into a trance-like state usually in order to recover memories;
  • Pavlovian conditioning, named after experiments carried out by the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov in the early 20th Century, where he described how we are "conditioned" into certain types of behaviour; and
  • indoctrination, where an authoritative body uses propaganda or the threat of force to shape individuals' minds and belief systems.

Yet among sociologists and psychologists mind control is a bitterly contested theory.

Some do not believe the human mind can ever fully be controlled by outside forces. While they accept that individuals can be made to behave in a certain way under duress or threat of force ("What wouldn't you do with a gun pressed to your head?" asked one recent article on the subject of mind control), they doubt that individuals can be manipulated against their will by sexy advertising, hypnotists or even cult leaders.

Massimo Introvigne, founder of the Center for Studies on New Religions, believes that mind control theorists leave out one important thing - free will, our ability to think for ourselves even under extreme circumstances.

Discredited

According to Introvigne, mind control, or "mental manipulation" or "mental destabilisation", are merely more scientific-sounding terms for the brainwashing.

"That label has been discredited by mental health scholars", he says, so now we say "mind control" to explain away behaviour we "don't quite understand".

Perhaps a beady eye should be kept on developments within the worlds of memory-controlling medicine and hypersonic messaging, but it might not be necessary to don Aluminium Foil Deflector Beanies just yet.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:17 AM   #285 (permalink)
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Yes. These points have been made elsewhere in this thread (page 6, among others) along with ensuing discussion regarding other perspectives from various members. Nearly no one has attempted to prove or disprove anything.

The consideration of various points of view is what this thread, this forum, and this site is about. It is here for the edification of everyone.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:19 AM   #286 (permalink)
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It's a NEW article from the BBC here for everyone's consideration. I should also point out that on page 7 you declined discussion about my points.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:23 AM   #287 (permalink)
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ART, my apologies. The thread moved me to make my case and I made it even if its late. I was not looking to be proved right or struck down, merely stimulate debate. And what you said about this site is why I love it. Thank you for the space to put my soapbox down.
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:45 AM   #288 (permalink)
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from slate.com
Quote:
Alphabet Soup
Now what does KFC stand for?
By Seth Stevenson
Posted Monday, May 3, 2004, at 10:22 AM PT



Finger lickin' fresh food

The recent KFC ads are unremarkable. Mostly the usual stuff: shots of hungry men digging bicep-deep into a bucket of wings. But there's this strange little phrase—"kitchen fresh chicken"—that keeps popping up in the ads.

Well, I'm no Jacques Derrida. But I feel I may have deduced a semiological link here, between "kitchen fresh chicken" and "KFC." It sure looks as though someone wants to sneakily breathe new life into a tired, fading abbreviation*. The question is: Will they get away with it?

You'll recall that KFC at one time stood for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Right up until 1991, when they ditched all the actual words and just went with a monogram. Dieting trends had made "fried" a dirty cuss, and the plan was to banish it from view. Voila: KFC.
It wasn't the only time a brand name devolved into a jumble of letters. In 1985, the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network became just ESPN, with no reference to the original meaning. In 1999, the American Association of Retired Persons (seeking to reflect the fact that their members needn't be American, or even retired) became AARP. Officially, those are just letters—not an abbreviation at all.

But it gets more nuanced when the abbreviation stays put while the meaning shifts beneath it, like some sort of signifying shell game. Way back during the mid-1980s frozen yogurt wars, there was a chain called I Can't Believe It's Yogurt, which sued competing chain TCBY because the letters stood for This Can't Be Yogurt. Unperturbed, TCBY deftly shifted its underlying name to The Country's Best Yogurt, kept the well-established abbreviation, and went on its merry yogurt-peddling way. (Few of us now remember the third fro-yo warrior, YSCCMTTIIFY, which stood for: You Simply Cannot Convince Me That This Is in Fact Yogurt!)

A few companies have rejiggered their abbreviations to shed regional links. TNN was once the Nashville Network, then became the National Network when it deep-sixed its hootenanny programming. (In a sequence I'm still not quite clear on, the channel later became—at various times—just plain TNN, the New TNN, the New National Network, and Spike TV.) And then there's the classic case of remembering where you came from, then forgetting, then remembering again when it becomes advantageous: Stewart Brothers Coffee turned into Seattle's Best Coffee; then became just SBC when it was expanding nationwide (and feared the name made it sound too parochial); then quickly reverted to Seattle's Best Coffee (when it realized that Seattle roots were not such an awful thing for a coffee brand to have).

Sometimes, the abbreviation is so recognizable that the company can't get rid of it, even if they can no longer find any worthy words to match up with the letters. YM magazine was once Young Miss, then became Young and Modern, and is now Your Magazine. Frankly, those all suck—the last just as much as the first. Your Magazine? Could there be a blander title? Why not call it Hey, Here You Go, Have a Magazine?

Anyway, the key in all this is keeping the brand identity strong, straight through the name transition. That's what KFC is banking on as they take those three famous letters, stripped of their meaning 13 years ago, and attempt to reinfuse them with a nearly opposite meaning. It won't work unless the consumer goes along for the ride.

This wasn't so much of a problem when Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC—lots of us already called it that. But just to make sure, KFC boosted the profile of Colonel Sanders, their familiar brand icon. The Colonel became more prominent in the KFC logo. In one unfortunate campaign, he even became an animated character—with the voice of Randy Quaid—and, in a dark chapter in KFC history, launched into a hip-hop dance while chanting, "Go Colonel! Go Colonel!"

Still, the KFC brand identity stayed intact. Will consumers follow again as they're asked to believe in "Kitchen Fresh Chicken"?

Of course we will, if we hear it enough as it blares from our televisions. Branding is at times a delicate alchemy. And at other times it's just spending lots of money. (Like when KFC tried to convince us fried chicken was a health food.) You hammer away at us with your insultingly wrongheaded message until our resistance wears down and we throw up our hands and we accede that yes, we suppose this chicken does come from a "kitchen" of sorts and, OK, by some tortured definition it could possibly be referred to as "fresh." It's all so finger-lickin' sad.

Correction, May 3, 2004: This piece originally referred to KFC, TCBY, ESPN and YM as acronyms. Linguistic sticklers have since pointed out that these abbreviations are not, in fact, acronyms. An acronym is a pronounceable word that consists of the first initials or syllables of the words in another phrase—think PAC for "political action committee," or snafu for "situation normal all f----d up." Only if the chicken-eating public regularly pronounced the name KFC as "kuffick" could Slate safely term it an acronym. We stand corrected. Return to the first corrected instance.
I'm glad that someone else told them that acronym rule.
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Old 05-08-2004, 08:50 AM   #289 (permalink)
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Thanks, Cynthetic.
memorable memes are viral.
....

Here's a story that may hold interest for those of us who believe it is advantageous to question our perceptions - and more importantly, our faith in the accuracy of our perception vis-a-vis our susceptibility to being tricked. The experiments also call into question the conclusions we draw from our perceived and recalled experience.

...

A gorilla in the midst: how our brains deceive us

May 8, 2004

Science is beginning to understand mayhem and mishap in everyday life, Roger Highfield writes in London.

Look around, and you could be forgiven for believing that you can see a vivid and detailed picture of your surroundings.

Indeed, you may even think that your eyes never deceive you. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for your brain.

Scientists have gathered some remarkable evidence that shows it is possible to see something without observing it, in research that sheds new light on traffic accidents that occur when a driver "looked but failed to see".

The amazing lack of attention we pay to our surroundings has been highlighted by researchers Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois and Daniel Levin of Vanderbilt University.

In one experiment, people who were walking across a college campus were asked by a stranger for directions. During the resulting chat, two men carrying a wooden door passed between the stranger and the subjects. After the door went by, the subjects were asked if they had noticed anything change.

Half of those tested failed to notice that, as the door passed by, the stranger had been substituted with a man who was of different height, of different build and who sounded different. He was also wearing different clothes.

Although the subjects had talked to the stranger for 10 to 15 seconds before the swap, half of them did not detect that, after the passing of the door, they had ended up speaking to a different person. This phenomenon, called change blindness, highlights how we see much less than we think we do.

Dr Simons came up with another demonstration that has now become a classic, based on a videotape of a handful of people playing basketball. They played the tape to subjects and asked them to count the passes made by one of the teams. Around half failed to spot a woman dressed in a gorilla suit who walked slowly across the scene for nine seconds, even though the hairy interloper had passed between the players and stopped to face the camera and thump her chest.

However, if people were simply asked to view the tape, they noticed the gorilla easily. The effect is so striking that some of them refused to accept they were looking at the same tape and thought that it was a different version of the video, one edited to include the ape.

In the past few days, two teams have reported complementary studies that underline our limited capacity to hold a visual scene in short-term memory, such as a passing gorilla, revealing how our "visual scratch pad" is controlled by a region of the brain, about the size of a 20 cent coin, called the posterior parietal cortex, near the back of the head.

The studies were published in the journal Nature by Dr Edward Vogel and Dr Maro Machizawa of the University of Oregon. Subjects are good at recalling all of the objects in scenes containing four or fewer objects but frequently make mistakes describing displays containing a larger number of objects.

"Though we have the impression we are taking in a great deal of information from a visual scene, we are actually very poor at describing its contents in detail once it is gone from our sight," the researchers said.

In the case of the door experiment, it seems the limited visual short-term memory capacity of the subjects meant they did not retain enough details to spot that they were talking to a new person.

This memory limitation could contribute to traffic accidents because it "allows us to maintain and monitor information about the objects - other cars, bicyclists, pedestrians - in our immediate vicinity so we can avoid colliding with them", said Dr Vogel.

"It seems highly plausible that racing drivers have higher short-term memory capacity than normal drivers which would allow them to monitor more cars."

As far as our brains are concerned, the studies suggest the adage "out of sight, out of mind" may be true.

The Telegraph, London
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Old 05-08-2004, 08:58 AM   #290 (permalink)
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nice.

it's one of the reasons that people are truly bad witnesses.

I remember the ABC 2020 where they had someone take a teachers bag while in a seminar. The students were asked to describe the suspect and they couldn't do a very good job.
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Old 05-08-2004, 07:03 PM   #291 (permalink)
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I have always felt that we subjectively 'file' information based on importance. The greater the importance, the better we 'store' that information, the lesser the importance, the more we tend to filter or 'white noise' it out.

I, personally, do not notice the clothes that people wear. I could meet you and 2 mintues later, I would not be able to tell someone what you were wearing. I think that this lack of recall is due to the fact that I do not place any importance on clothing. I just do not care much about 'style'. I CAN tell you the make and model of the car that most people that I know drive. I like cars and sometimes restore them, so I pay attention to them. I can recite comic book character appearances and issue numbers because I deal with that information routinely.

We see what we want to see, or at least what we think we want to see.
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:37 AM   #292 (permalink)
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continueing with the changes with the FCC indecency... it ripples to even PBS.

Quote:
Eye on F.C.C., TV and Radio Watch Words
By JACQUES STEINBERG

he reverberations from this year's fiasco of a Super Bowl half-time show are reaching every corner of the broadcasting world, and not even the viewers of "Masterpiece Theater" are immune.

The producers of "Masterpiece Theater," intent on staying in the good graces of a Federal Communications Commission increasingly vigilant for instances of indecency, took a step last month they never had before. They chose not to make available to PBS member stations an unexpurgated version of the critically acclaimed British series "Prime Suspect," and instead sent out two edited versions: one with all of the salty language edited, and another with only some of the possibly offending words excised.

Taking similar cues from regulators, an Indianapolis radio station pre-empted words like "urinate," "damn" and "orgy" from going out over the air during a recent broadcast of Rush Limbaugh's talk show.

And classic rock radio stations have felt compelled to prune their playlists, striking songs like Elton John's "The Bitch Is Back" and "Bitch" by the Rolling Stones.

Television and radio broadcasters say they have little choice but to practice a form of self-censorship, swinging the pendulum of what they consider acceptable in the direction of extreme caution. A series of recent decisions by the F.C.C., as well as bills passed in Congress, have put them on notice that even the unintentional broadcast of something that could be considered indecent or obscene could result in stiffer fines or even the revocation of their licenses.

"If you're asking if there has been overcaution on the part of broadcasters today, I think the answer is yes," said Jeff Smulyan, the chairman and chief executive of Emmis Communications, which owns 16 television stations and 27 radio stations in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other cities. "Everyone is going to err on the side of caution. There is too much at stake. People are just not sure what the standards really are."

The uncertainty over standards, Mr. Smulyan said, has convinced station executives to hire at least two paralegals whose responsibilities will include deleting potentially offensive material on live broadcasts before those words can be heard by the audience, using technology that delays the airing of those programs by an interval of several seconds.

Among those who will be subject to that legal backstop is the Chicago radio host known as "Mancow," who mixes celebrity interviews with racier fare.

Michael J. Copps, an F.C.C. commissioner who has been one of the strongest critics of media companies, acknowledged that some broadcasters appeared to be overreacting. But, he said, "I applaud the effort at self policing."

He also disputed the notion that the commission's standards on indecency were too vague. "I think most of the things we're dealing with right now are pretty clear, from the standpoint of being indecent," he said. "There's enough stuff out there that shouldn't be on."

Still, Mr. Copps said that the broadcasters themselves could resolve any ambiguities they perceive by drafting and adopting what he described as a "voluntary code of broadcaster conduct."

James P. Steyer, founder and chief executive of Common Sense Media, a nonpartisan organization that advocates better programming aimed at children and families, said that "a few extreme, silly examples" of media companies being perhaps too cautious were far preferable to what he considers the "completely unregulated environment" of the recent past.

Complaints about indecency on the airwaves are not uncommon in election years, although they often grow fainter once the first Tuesday in November goes by.

This year, the exposure of Janet Jackson's right breast during a Super Bowl halftime show seen by tens of millions of viewers provided something of a gift to a Republican administration seeking to shore up its standing with conservatives, as well as with those who complain that media companies have grown large in recent years while facing little government scrutiny.

Two recent rulings by the F.C.C. have had a particularly chilling effect on broadcasters. Last month, the agency proposed levying nearly $500,000 in fines on six radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications for broadcasting a 20-minute snippet of Howard Stern's program dealing mostly with sexual talk. (Clear Channel has since stopped carrying Mr. Stern's program.)

And in March, the commission overturned an earlier ruling and found that NBC had violated decency standards by broadcasting a single vulgarity uttered by Bono, the lead singer of U2, during the Golden Globes in 2003.

Meanwhile, the House passed a bill in March that would increase fines on transgressing broadcasters to $500,000 a violation, up to a maximum of $3 million, from $27,500 a violation.

In a petition filed last week with the F.C.C. protesting the Bono decision, PBS and its stations argued that the process of determining what might run afoul of the F.C.C. was both costly and time-consuming.

For example, on an internal Web site used by PBS executives, a station manager posed the question last month of whether WGBH, the public television station in Boston, should edit an episode of "Antiques Road Show." The station manager was worried about displaying a photograph of a nude celebrity — in this case, Marilyn Monroe, as depicted a half-century ago. It was only after reviewing and debating the footage that the show decided to let the image remain.

But in the case of "Prime Suspect," the mystery series with Helen Mirren on PBS, the producers of "Masterpiece Theater" believed that more extreme action was warranted.

In the past, "Masterpiece Theater" has occasionally sent stations two versions of an episode — one as it appeared on British television, and another that deleted a particularly strong expletive, said Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of "Masterpiece Theater."

But in response to the recent commission rulings, Ms. Eaton said, the producers decided to create a version of last month's episode that was more heavily edited for profanity than any in the past, as well as a version that received some lighter editing.

In a petition filed last month with the F.C.C., a group representing other media organizations objected to a portion of the Bono decision in which the commission said it would now consider any use of the vulgarity in question to have a sexual connotation, regardless of the context. (Bono used that graphic expletive as an adjective in accepting an award.) That directive, the petitioners wrote, had sent radio stations scurrying to remove or edit songs with profanities that involve "neither sexual nor excretory references."

A similar scouring has been going on at WABC Radio in New York, home to a stable of politically conservative talk-show hosts — including Mr. Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Phil Boyce, the station's program director, recently posted a sign on the control room door that urged his technicians not to resist the urge to press the so-called "dump" button, in which a host's words are pre-empted on tape delay before the audience ever hears them.

"You will never be criticized for dumping something that may not have needed to be dumped. But God forbid we miss one and let it slip up," Mr. Boyce wrote.

Last week, a WABC technician heeding that warning used the "dump" button to prevent the word "parachute" from being heard. The technician did so because a host had tripped over the second half of the word in a way that made it sound as if he had stepped in something offensive, Mr. Boyce said.

A similarly vigilant technician had his finger on the "dump" button at WIBC-AM, an Emmis station in Indianapolis, during its broadcast of Mr. Limbaugh's syndicated program on March 3 — one day after Emmis informed its employees that the broadcast of material it deemed offensive could result in their suspension or firing.

In an e-mail message to the station's program director, the assistant program director wrote that the delay was used 11 times that day for Mr. Limbaugh's program. "I can only guess we are erring on the side of safety given that I don't know of any instance a licensee has ever been fined or cited for airing Rush unedited," the assistant program director wrote, "but we'll continue to do these cuts until we're directed otherwise."
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:41 AM   #293 (permalink)
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Notwithstanding the tired old saws about "free expression" when it comes to the airwaves, I see this as a hint that media organs are trying to come to grips with what decency and responsibility may, in fact, mean.
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:41 PM   #294 (permalink)
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While these mainstream media-national broadcast networks, radio conglomerates, etc-may be trying to take greater responsibility in their decisions on what to air, there will always be those that 'push the envelope' a little more. It is embarrassing to be sitting in front of the tv with my child and seeing a music video come on with bouncing women just this side of nude, as the 'musicians' leer and react in less than gentlemanly fashion to them. One song in particular, a rather good tune in many respects, has the verse, 'I want to make you come all night'. as the singer is hovering over his naked lover. I was rendered speechless, watching it with my daughter!! Will these 'media organs' render those videos obsolete? Will anyone who wants any kind of music video have to pay a premium to view them?
As an adult, I have to right and the knowledge to choose what I want to see. But children are not equipped to make rational decisions, yet are bombarded daily with conflicting ideals as to decency and responsibility. And, as mom and dad are saying, 'that's not good'. too many portions of media are saying, 'there's no harm in it'.
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:48 PM   #295 (permalink)
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Originally posted by ngdawg
While these mainstream media-national broadcast networks, radio conglomerates, etc-may be trying to take greater responsibility in their decisions on what to air, there will always be those that 'push the envelope' a little more. It is embarrassing to be sitting in front of the tv with my child and seeing a music video come on with bouncing women just this side of nude, as the 'musicians' leer and react in less than gentlemanly fashion to them. One song in particular, a rather good tune in many respects, has the verse, 'I want to make you come all night'. as the singer is hovering over his naked lover. I was rendered speechless, watching it with my daughter!! Will these 'media organs' render those videos obsolete? Will anyone who wants any kind of music video have to pay a premium to view them?
As an adult, I have to right and the knowledge to choose what I want to see. But children are not equipped to make rational decisions, yet are bombarded daily with conflicting ideals as to decency and responsibility. And, as mom and dad are saying, 'that's not good'. too many portions of media are saying, 'there's no harm in it'.
The rules for Cable are totally different than that of broadcast or Over the Air. This does not mean or imply because you get your local channels CBS/NBC/ABC via cable that they get to adhere to cable standards.

The Basic cable tier has your broadcast channels where MTV/Comedy Central are located in the standard tier. My parents didn't want us watching cable, so there was no cable in the house. I had to go to my friends in order to watch any HBO, MTV, etc.

Hopefully the same model will pan out for radio with XM and Sirius, which already has some adult content via Playboy.
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Old 05-10-2004, 07:46 PM   #296 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Cynthetiq
.

The Basic cable tier has your broadcast channels where MTV/Comedy Central are located in the standard tier. My parents didn't want us watching cable, so there was no cable in the house. I had to go to my friends in order to watch any HBO, MTV, etc.

.
Kinda my point here-having to go elsewhere to see what wasn't allowed at home means it's still available though forbidden. While cable tv is a paid-for service and not held to the same standards of 'decency' of the 'free' national broadcasters, it has become second nature to most of the families now to have it.
Another point-PBS is now policing itself more in terms of what they feel is acceptable. Having shown such fare as "Moll Flanders" and "Henry the 8th", both considered classics, may we now expect not much more than 'This Old House' and the oldies concerts?
Satellite radio is a bit different in that it is unlikely the more 'adult' stations would be on when children are in the car (can't say the same if it's in the house though).
I suppose the point of all this is-it is almost impossible to completely rid the media world of what's considered 'decent' since-with some obvious exceptions- that can very well be a matter of opinion.

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Old 05-10-2004, 07:58 PM   #297 (permalink)
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it has become second nature to most of the families now to have it.
and do you buy anything without knowing what it is?

the fact is that most americans do not wish to be bothered. they want someone else to do it for them, ala ratings and decency review.

I lived in Singapore for a stint and my family lived there for 5 years. I know all about censorship and removing "questionable" material from shows and movies. Robocop was very short. The Accused was a totally different movie because they dropped the last 15 minutes.

I get some of the idea that you are trying to pass, but I'm not understanding it truly.
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:19 AM   #298 (permalink)
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My point (if I have one) is twofold: 1) 'decency' is more a matter of opinion than anything so that, with the exception of obvious deviant behaviors I won't bother to mention,it is open to interpretation and standards set by the conglomerates and federal agencies. 2) No matter what is set in place as rules of 'decency', someone somewhere at sometime WILL decide to break them or at least push them to their limits.
Footnote: In the early 30's a movie called "Ecstasy" had a scene with an obviously nude Hedy Lamarr swimming. It was not the first movie at that time to show some sort of nude form ( Maureen O'Sullivan swam partially nude in a "Tarzan" film), but it WAS enough to set the groundwork for the motion picture studios to adopt a 'practices and standards' guideline. But, though it took maybe 40 years, those standards were pushed and pushed to their limits, resulting, in the mid-60's, to the basics of the ratings system now in place.
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:28 AM   #299 (permalink)
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sure and they were adjusted in the 80s after Temple of Doom was released and the furor that followed after it.

Which reminds me, where is Mrs. Tipper Gore with all this? She championed all the record stuff in the 80s, and today it's FAR worse than ever before, all because to fit in all they have to do is put the Parental Guidance warning sticker on the outside of the CD.
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:03 AM   #300 (permalink)
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>>where is Mrs. Tipper Gore with all this?...

I expect that she doesn't have children of the 'impressionable' age anymore so it isn't her concern any longer.

Apparently her efforts were in vain as I believe that Al Gore III was 'corrupted' by all those dirty words and was arrested in Dec. 2003 for Possession of Pot. Before that he had been arrested for DUI at age 19, and at age 13 he was also found in possession of Pot.

See what those corrupting Rock Stars and Movies are doing to our kids! Damn them!
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:18 AM   #301 (permalink)
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>>Apparently her efforts were in vain as I believe that Al Gore III was 'corrupted' by all those dirty words and was arrested in Dec. 2003 for Possession of Pot. Before that he had been arrested for DUI at age 19, and at age 13 he was also found in possession of Pot.

See what those corrupting Rock Stars and Movies are doing to our kids! Damn them!
oh look at that well at least we know he's still got a shot at being in the white house... considering the GWB past.

thanks for that update.
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:32 AM   #302 (permalink)
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Some of the previous posts remind me of a study once done where a university basically "implanted" false memories into their subjects.

From what I remember, the subjects watched a short video of a vehicle driving down the road. After watching the video, they were asked to fill out a short form involving the video. The very first question asked to approximate the speed of the vehicle when it was closest to the barn - however, there was no such barn in the video. However, once it had been established in the subject's minds, one of the latter questions asked them to describe the barn. The results were that an incredibly high percentage of subjects described the barn, I can't recall if it was very few or none at all that stated that there was no barn.

I think that the study was to show that people made extremely poor witnesses, and that police questioning techniques may actually destroy any actual remnants of memory that may have existed about the crime by phrasing their questions a certain way.
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:44 AM   #303 (permalink)
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My Personal Experience: Growing Up in a Mass-Media World

I felt overwhelmed by my parents and wanted to feel like a free and separate being.
I was rebellious and developed an attitude.
I was primed for outside influences.
Popular mass-media culture was an escape from my daily life.
I internalized the rebellious attitudes that were being promoted and sold as mass-media products to my demographic.
They were designed for me by huge corporations that had spent millions and millions of dollars figuring me out and they had an influence on shaping my attitudes toward the world and my self image.
…….

I mean, my self-image was pretty significant, since it’s who I thought I was.
I would look in the mirror and try to emulate the look of my favorite pop stars and actors.
The lyrics of popular songs filled my head. I listened to pop music and then after that I thought I was going beyond that by listening to alternative types of music – often the more obscure the better. That way, I felt I was being more unique, original, and creative in my tastes. I felt I was above the types of more mass-produced music that were more popular than the type of music I was listening to. Whatever it was at any particular moment, I played it very loud. Playing it so loud was a sort of aggressive, assertive, attitude-type thing.
…….

A big part of my self-image revolved around the type of clothes I wore.
They were defined for me by advertising campaigns and peer pressure.
It was important to me to fit in to the group(s) I had fallen in with.

It’s hard to draw the line between my own internal projection of the adolescent rebellion I was experiencing and the way I externalized that into my social and political attitude and views. They were connected in a very direct way. The types of fashion, music, TV, and movies that I liked directly fed the attitudes I incorporated into my self-image.

Above all, it was important to think of myself as a freedom loving, cool, fun, risk-taking, unique, interesting, and creative person who was different from adults who looked staid and boring as they lived their lives around me. It was important to believe I would not become like them because I was not like them. All of these ideas were marketed to me by commercial entities. I can’t really tell which ideas were my own and which ones I simply picked up from the media and the products it advertised and I consumed.
…….

My parents were, by all accounts, good people whose only fault may have been that they tried perhaps too hard to be good parents. They were involved in a positive way in my life to the degree that I felt the need to rebel. If there’s something to blame there - for me developing adolescent rebellion - I’d have to blame myself for having a lot of intelligence but no maturity. I worked on my family’s farm and later in business and several other venues for years by the time I was 16. So, it wasn’t life experience I lacked – more just perspective. To tell you the truth, relative to the lives of my peers, I’d say I was a normal adolescent.

The influence of mass media on my life was enough to create self-image and behavior patterns that were clearly reflective of what was being promoted and sold to me.

Identity and behavior are deep and essential parts of a person. Mass media and consumer culture had a major influence on my life - even more than the influence of my parents or traditional institutions.
…….

If anyone had asked me if I was shaped, influenced, and manipulated by mass media I would have denied it vigorously. I prided myself upon my individuality and my strength. Of course, as an intellectual, I saw a lot of Americans shaped by consumer culture – but they were the opposite of me as far as I could see. They were conservative and shaped by the boring supermarket and shopping mall culture of the targeted middle class. That’s what I considered to be “mass culture” – not my radical anti-everything-that-I-was-rebelling-against subculture or my alienated, cool, and in-the-know friends. We were cynical and smart, we thought.
…….

We believed because we had moved to the edge of popular culture – far away from the middle of the bell curve – that we were not the manipulated customers of the huge conglomerate multi-media and fashion giants we sensed other Americans were. Of course, it was simply a path staked out before us every step of the way by successions of thoroughly researched marketing groups who catered to the evolving, ever-changing leading edge of “youth culture.”

As a group, we had targeted economic resources. Marketers who had mapped the course of cultural movements ahead of us were tapping them. mapping them, influencing and manipulating us. When we perceived this, we claimed our favorite icons of celebrity were being “co-opted” by the consumer culture that threatened to neutralize the “authentic” voices and expressions we consumed. This tended to move us toward even more peripheral status where the patterns of co-optation reoccurred.

Rather than creating our own mindsets, we were led down predictable paths. The carts of consumerism were ineluctably positioned before our adolescent and post-adolescent horses. Wherever we stood at any moment, we were still buying things that continued shaping our minds. Music, movies, television, manufactured products and fashions still defined who we were to ourselves and to each other.
…….

How all this affected our minds is difficult to precisely define – not because it is not demonstrable in our every thought, action, expression, and presentation of self. It is hard to parse because it is nearly impossible to separate the millions of commercial images, sound bites, snippets of dialog, body postures, and attitudes we soaked up, internalized, and imitated from anything personal or interpersonal which was uncontaminated by external “entertainment” and consumer-oriented programming.

We were vulnerable because we wanted certain things and we were insecure because we felt we lacked them. These desires were exaggerated – even created - by the culture we inhabited. Our very vulnerabilities, while utterly natural products of the struggle to become oneself were also the urges, which moved us to acquire packaged solutions - advertised as having the ability to fill our needs. We felt the need to become more like the advertising we responded to because it presented icons and ideals of the qualities we admired.
…….

Our very rebelliousness was exploited by packaged messages of rebellion. Commercial interests executed the paradoxical situation of filling society with anti-social messages because they were selling to our needs and desires to be anti-social. Our rebellion became another parameter of our targeted demographic profile. We knew this, yet we continued to consume the messages as if we could separate the message from the messenger.

The recording industry sold the images, sound, and lyrics of those on the fringe of social acceptability, thereby bringing them on to center stage of the culture of entertainment we inhabited. The television and film industry, the fashion industry, and the creators, producers, and distributors of video games, books, magazines, and comic books mirrored this process.

We did not, would not, could not acknowledge the absurd situation we found ourselves in – we were trapped. To acknowledge that everything we had become had been spoon-fed to us by manipulative and exploitative individuals and corporations who, in deep ways, did not share our beliefs was too much to admit. The condition was one of dysfunction and borderline sanity. We were creatures of culture who wanted desperately to stand apart from our culture as individuals. Yet we were herded sheep-like to contribute to our own corruption.
…….

It went something like this…

I’d get up in the morning with a negative attitude and reinforce that attitude by scanning my walls for the pictures, posters, and artwork that projected the images of pop icons, rock stars, movies of the day. – or more esoteric political or surrealist visions.

“This sucks” was my mantra. This meant that the world I was forced to live in was essentially beneath my level of intelligence and taste.
Of course my root attitude was simply a product of adolescent hormones. I craved constant reinforcement from the media-saturated environment I drew around myself. So did my "peers." We exerted "peer pressure" on each other - which amounted to extra impetus to continue down this road of total vulnerability to the media-infused lives we were all living.

The books I read explained why “This sucks.” The music I listened to carried “This sucks” as it’s primary message. The rest of the embedded messages conveyed by my type of products proclaimed things like: “You are one of the few people who can express true rebellious individuality,” “This product here is different from the other products of our consumer-oriented, mind-dulling world,” and “The people who create this are “true artists” expressing things that are not encouraged by your parents or traditional institutions,” etc.
…….

The utter absurdity of the behaviors I engaged in did not occur to me. I would play music filled with negative messages so loudly there was no other brain activity possible. It never occurred to me that I was programming myself. I called it “Listening to music.”

I would put headphones on and the zone inside my head stopped being a brain and became simply the empty space between the speakers – filled with raucous and overwhelmingly negative blasts of dysfunctional noise, street slang, and bad English. I mostly sought out the “alternative” or “subcultural” varieties and believed these illusionary descriptions bestowed some sort of special, unsullied, or artistic qualities.
…….

Eventually, I began “enhancing” these experiences with drugs.
This was the next step in deepening the process of saturating my brain with the debilitating nonsense I called, “my favorite things to do.”

I was irresponsibly randomizing neural connections that had formed during a lifetime of socialization. I was a parody of my former self - pushing the quality of my “entertainment” toward the threshold of the psychotic episode.

Being an artist and an intellectual, I rationalized all this mind-dulling stuff as “Keeping up with what’s going on in the world,” etc. I also thought it was "...no big deal, it's just entertainment."

I was a rationalizing machine. I could crank out arguments that, I believed, could bulldoze any attempt to question my “lifestyle.” I was an utter hypocrite, addicted to the things I was defending.
…….
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:52 AM   #304 (permalink)
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Wow, Art... that was an utterly amazing, eye opening post...
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:53 AM   #305 (permalink)
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Yes art...well written.
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Old 05-20-2004, 04:57 AM   #306 (permalink)
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May 19, 2004

Pols pump kid-media study
Bill would devote $90 mil over five years to research

By Susan Crabtree
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) teamed up with two major critics of Hollywood on Capitol Hill Wednesday to call for new federal research on the impact of all types of media -- television, computer games and the Internet -- on children's physical and psychological development.
Clinton joins Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) in backing the Children and Media Research Advancement Act. Bill would devote $90 million over five years to establish a program within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development aimed at studying the role of digital, analog and print media on "cognitive, social, emotional, physical and behavioral" development of children from infants through adolescents, according to a summary of the legislation.

"From television to movies to the Internet, children today are exposed to more media more than ever before," Clinton said in a statement. "Parents need to know what effects such exposure has on their children, particularly very young children."

The legislation would establish a research program on Children and Media within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and would authorize $10 million in the first year, $15 million in the next two years and $25 million in the final two years.
that's a considerable amount of money for a 5 year study.

I'm not too happy with the who is sponsoring the bill because IMHO they have a personal agenda and personal stake.
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Old 05-20-2004, 06:04 AM   #307 (permalink)
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That's fine.
What's required is a massive and total reconsideration of the effects of media on contenporary populations. Expensive research is part of the process. Corporations have been doing it forever and many billions and billions of dollars in private proprietary studies are what we, as a people, are up against.
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Old 05-20-2004, 06:08 AM   #308 (permalink)
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sure I'm not dismissing it out of hand, the monies we spend here on research is pretty atrocious.

my only issue is with the sponsors since I think that it won't be as independent as we could get, but it is better than zero.
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Old 05-24-2004, 09:25 AM   #309 (permalink)
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May 24, 2004 LA Times

Losing focus

Young TV watchers may be at risk for later attention problems.

By Melissa Healy
Times Staff Writer

For Anna Boorstin and her three sons, television is a constant presence, "the background noise," Boorstin says, to everyday domestic life. It is a source of pleasure and pacification, an urban substitute for outdoor exploration, a wellspring of chatter and drama that leaves the hands, the brain and some part of the senses free to do something else.

In her family's Venice home, Boorstin turned on the TV while she nursed her babies and kept it on as the kids - now 16, 13 and 10 - grew. Now the TV stays on for much of the day.

Nervous energy, says Boorstin, seems to electrify the household, and it has resulted in at least one diagnosis of attention deficit disorder. Her eldest son, Nico, has ADD, and he tends to watch with a computer in his lap. Being in front of the TV "calms him," says his mother.

Boorstin wishes her middle son, Jakob, 13, would read more and watch less TV, but he has no attention problems, she reports. Jurri, the youngest, was "definitely in the bounce-off-the-walls category" as a little one, prompting a brief attempt at medication for attention problems.

Is there, as a recent study would suggest, a connection between all that TV and her sons' attention difficulties? Boorstin suspects so.

"There's a part of me that thinks I have on some level failed. And I'm sure some part of that is the TV," Boorstin says. "I think it makes it easier to be passive than it does to become engaged. Entertainment comes very easily with minimal output to kids these days."

It is a link that medical researchers have also suspected for some time. In 1999, that suspicion led the American Academy of Pediatrics, noting the proliferation of television programming aimed at babies, to recommend "no screen time" - no computers, no videos, no television - before a child's second birthday.

But it was not until the publication last month of a study that followed about 2,600 kids from birth to age 7 that researchers were able to draw a firmer line between TV and rampant complaints - from teachers, parents and physicians - of attention problems among American kids.

The study showed that every average hour per day of television programming viewed by a child between the ages of 1 and 3 increased by 10% the probability that the child's parent would report attention problems at age 7. "Limiting young children's exposure to television as a medium during formative years of brain development may reduce children's subsequent risk of developing [attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder]," concluded the study's author, Dimitri A. Christakis of the University of Washington.

Experts on learning disabilities - even those who are deeply suspicious of TV
- warned that many other factors, chief among them genetic inheritance, are at work in the twin syndromes known as attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Somewhere between 4% and 12% of American kids are believed to suffer from ADD or ADHD, and their behavior typically is marked by difficulty sustaining concentration, trouble organizing themselves and staying on task, and problems with impulse control.

In the last decade, the pace of ADD and ADHD diagnoses has risen dramatically. In the same period, fast-paced programming for children - from "The Wiggles" and "Rugrats" to modern-day "Sesame Street" - has begun to penetrate even households with babies. Several media organizations, including the Walt Disney Co. and Sesame Workshop, have launched major efforts to build and capture the baby-to-toddler audience for video and TV programming.

That concurrent blossoming of early TV exposure and a rise in attention problems has led many experts on early child development to surmise that heavy viewing - especially at an early age - may negatively affect the wiring of some kids' brains, leading to attention problems later. The study published last month didn't distinguish between TV shows aimed at young children and more general programming, but it did find that the incidence of attention problems rises as the level of television exposure increases and in cases where the onset of TV viewing is very early.

"Look, there's smoke here. We need to pay attention to what's happening out there in terms of kids' viewing," says Seattle pediatrician Donald Shifrin, who heads the pediatric academy's public information committee and helped draft its "no screen time for babies" recommendation.

Earlier this month, a trio of Washington lawmakers underscored their rising concern about the effects of television on children - and about the dearth of independent research to guide parents and physicians - by introducing legislation that would set aside $100 million a year for new studies.

"Children today are exposed to more media than ever before," says Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who along with Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), drafted the bill. "Parents need to know what effects such exposure has on their children, particularly very young children," she adds.

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation will be briefing Congress on what is known - and what is not - about children and time spent in front of computer, television and video screens.

The next several years could bring new findings, as the federal government lays plans to launch the most comprehensive survey of American children ever undertaken, following a vast cross section of kids and gauging their lifestyles and their health status from birth to adulthood. Around the country, researchers are meeting to devise questions that could use that survey to clarify the relationship between a child's "screen time" and indicators such as health, school readiness and social adjustment.

"This is a very exciting time," says Ellen Wartella, one of the nation's leading researchers on children and television and soon to be executive vice chancellor and provost of UC Riverside. "We're asking questions not just about media's effects but about children's development and the role of media in that development. That's a subtle but important difference."

*

Guilt and ambivalence

Television may bring households with children a dose of entertainment, the odd educational moment and a stretch of blessed peace to get dinner on the table. But with the publication of the new attention study, the cost for these benefits seemed to rise another notch, heaping new worries atop the guilt and ambivalence of parents with plugged-in kids.

First came the research linking televised violence and children's aggression. Then came the warnings that TV's constant barrage of advertising was turning our children into consumer automatons. In the last two years, we've been told that TV is making our children obese.

Guilt and ambivalence, Boorstin says with a sigh, are her constant viewing companions. Asked whether the most recent TV study has made her consider just pulling the plug, Boorstin says, "I think about it all the time."

But for all of our worry, have we turned off the TV?

Apparently not, according to a survey of more than 1,000 American families with young kids released by the Kaiser Family Foundation last October. Children younger than 6 are spending on average two hours a day in front of a screen, mostly watching TV or videos. Two out of three such children live in households where the television is on at least half of the day, whether anyone is watching or not, and 36% live in homes where the TV is on most or all of the time.

The Kaiser survey found that more than one in four American kids younger than 3 (and 43% of those between 4 and 6 years old) have a TV in their bedroom - meaning they are far more likely to watch TV unsupervised.

And the TV habit is starting early for many American babies, Kaiser found. In spite of the pediatric academy's recommendation, 43% of children younger than 2 watch TV every day, and about one in three American babies start watching TV before their first birthday.

"We know now that media is a huge part of the lives of kids at the earliest stages. Beyond that, we know very little," says Vicky Rideout, director of the Kaiser foundation's Program for the Study of Entertainment Media and Health.

But the existing research linking TV to attention problems points to trouble.

At a lab at the University of Massachusetts, psychologist Daniel Anderson has spent years watching 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds and their mothers play and interact from behind a one-way mirror. When a baby is classically engaged in exploration of a toy, his heart rate will fall, his little tongue may poke out and his eyes will be fixed upon the object of his scrutiny. He will hunch, his torso motionless, over the toy as his small fingers poke and prod. It may take several callings of his name to draw his attention from his investigations.

Babies whose play regularly looks like this are more likely to reach their developmental milestones on or ahead of schedule, and later will likely score higher on IQ tests.

But with "Jeopardy" on in the background, the same baby's heart rate may race, his eyes will likely dart around the room, and the attitudes of intent scrutiny are replaced with a restless, shifting motion. Compared with an hour playing in silence next to his mother, a toddler moves from one toy or activity to the next at roughly double the speed when the television is in the room, Anderson has found. And when he does appeal to mom for help, it will take more bleating to get her attention and he'll get a shorter interaction, Anderson says.

"The TV is perpetually distracting" to children, Anderson says. "These are very young children, and so the parts of their brains that have to do with attention are not nearly as effective as older children or adults at filtering out background stimulation."

When the TV is background noise, "their ability to sustain attention doesn't have an adequate chance to develop," Anderson says. That, he adds, may lead to problems of attention or other mental functioning as the child develops.

In Japan in 2001, another researcher looked inside older children's brains and drew a similar conclusion. Ryuta Kawashima of Tohoku University used brain-imaging techniques to compare the brain activity of children playing Nintendo games with that of children doing a mental mathematics exercise for a half-hour. The images showed that playing Nintendo games stimulated primarily the parts of players' brains that are involved in vision and movement. But subjects performing an exercise of mental arithmetic showed brain activity throughout the left and right hemispheres of the frontal lobe. In adults, these are the brain areas most involved in carrying out complex intellectual tasks, in learning and memory, and in judgment and impulse control.

*

Gratification in an instant

When researchers chew over the meager findings on TV, kids and attention, they bump up quickly against two great unknowns: Does the age of the viewer matter, and will the content of the programming make a difference?

Like many researchers, Dr. Mark Mahone, a neuropsychologist and specialist in attention disorders, describes a child's first two to three years as a "window" during which the brain, embryonic at birth, is turned on, wired up, shaped and ultimately edited by the experiences of her surroundings and her bonds to people. A baby learns from play with people and objects that a parent may withhold a smile, waiting for something more, and that blocks may not stay stacked under some conditions.

But on television, changes come without any effort by the baby - often in rapidly evolving images that last two to three seconds. Exposed to hours and hours of TV during this critical time, the developing brain may come to expect, and even prefer, the immediate reinforcement of TV images and the novelty of quick changes over the plodding effort involved in hands-on experience, says Mahone, of Johns Hopkins University's Kennedy Krieger Institute.

This might make the brightest child lazy or inattentive, Mahone says. And heavy TV viewing in middle-childhood or even in the teen years, he adds, may also set up habits of mind that favor quick changes and instant gratification.

But a child's genetic inheritance is likely the decisive factor in determining whether "attention problems" rise to a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD, Mahone says. In cases where a child has a family history of attention problems, frequent and early TV viewing may nudge that child toward a diagnosable condition. Without that genetic propensity, a child might endure a heavy diet without negative effects, Mahone says.

"I think what we're talking about is perhaps exacerbating some preexisting predisposition."

Through all the debate, the marketing of TV-for-babies continues. In 1997, the "Baby Einstein" line of videos, audio CDs and other media products were launched. Designed and marketed as brain boosters for babies and toddlers, the line was quickly snapped up by the Walt Disney Co., and a recent survey found that more than one in four households with a baby had at least one of its products. Baby Einstein's website touts parents' testimonials, including the assertion by a parent of a prematurely born infant that watching the Baby Einstein videos "helped increase JJ's attention span." The child is said to have begun watching when 2 months old.

Meanwhile, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that launched "Sesame Street" 35 years ago, is beginning to explore video products that it says could "help lay the foundation for language development and literacy in children from infancy through age 3."

Jennifer Kotler, the Workshop's assistant director of research, says these young children are watching "Sesame Street" already, and the organization is wrestling with ways to make it age-appropriate for those pint-sized viewers.

"It's a hard balance," Kotler acknowledges, to juggle the "no screen time" recommendation with the fact of younger viewers. And while Kotler lauds the recent attention study as "a good start for a dialogue," she says its failure to address the content of what young viewers watched limits its usefulness.

Kotler and many other researchers, including the University of Massachusetts' Anderson, believe that a limited amount of TV made for children - which keeps narratives simple and moves at a pace a small child can follow - can help build attention skills, empathy and school readiness. But others contend that the medium of television itself - a succession of bright, changing images, taken in passively - leads to problems for kids. It is a central debate that, so far, remains unresolved. "The medium is not the message," says Kotler. ADD specialist Mahone says the idea that television itself may harm some kids' brains "is theoretically sound." But he acknowledges, "there's not much data to back it up."

Jane Healy, author of "Endangered Minds" (Touchstone Books, 1990) has been deeply critical of those producing children's programming, contending they have hooked a generation of kids on a technological crutch that makes them lazy, inattentive and unimaginative. Healy has assailed "Sesame Street" as contributing to a visual culture of jolting, jerky and eye-popping kids' television that contributes to attention problems.

"Its substitution of surface glitz for substance has started a generation of children in the seductive school of organized silliness, where their first lesson is that learning is something adults can be expected to make happen as quickly and pleasantly as possible," wrote Healy (no relation to this writer) in her widely read book.

Kotler counters that rigorous and ongoing research ensures that 3- to 5-year-old viewers understand and absorb the content of "Sesame Street" - and that those children learn lessons in empathy and caring and have higher rates of school readiness at kindergarten.

But it would take money and research devices not yet in hand to gauge the effects of "Sesame Street's" stories and pacing on younger children, who are not yet able to speak well, adds Kotler. Meanwhile, she notes, the pace and format of "Sesame Street" have been downshifted and more simply organized in the last two years to reflect research on children's attention spans.

In its promotions of Baby Einstein products, Disney notes that the videos, unlike programmed television, can be stopped and discussed by adults watching along with their intended viewers, and that the videos' "gentle motion," and "deliberate pacing" are suited to very young children. Neither the pediatric academy's recommendation nor the recent study take account of those distinctions, the promotions state.

*

A call for limits

Even as researchers scramble to fill in the blanks on kids and TV, the Shifrin says parents should heed what he calls the "early storm clouds" suggesting a link between TV and attention problems. Just as when parents assess the risks of letting their child ride a bike without a helmet or serve them a tuna sandwich (the subject of recent warnings about mercury), they should probably err on the side of conservatism and adopt viewing limits, Shifrin says.

For children with a genetic predisposition - a family member with recognized attention problems - these findings offer an even stronger warning for parents, Shifrin adds. "What's the tipping point for youngsters? What tips them into that behavior? We don't know," he acknowledges. But when attention problems seem to run in the family and the TV is turned on early and often, "you've now taken your genetic inheritance and you've pushed it a bit."

Anna Boorstin also believes that genetic inheritance has played a key role in her children's attention levels. She describes herself as "a very easily bored person" who is restless unless doing several things at once. Her husband, Pieter Jan Brugge, she says, "was definitely ADD" as a child, bringing home report cards that said he paid more attention to a fly in the classroom than to the teacher. Her children, she says "were born who they are," and television is part of their world. But she wonders whether the TV has evolved more quickly than her children's ability to adapt.

And she keeps thinking about pulling the plug.

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Some parental guidance

Some parental guidance Are you caught in the middle? Your child wants to watch, you could use a few moments' peace, and the experts are issuing warnings? Here are some tips for limiting the possibility of bad effects from TV.

Children younger than 2

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no "screen time" for children younger than 2 - no videos, no TV, no computer games. Read a book to the child instead, or play a game. Need to get dinner ready? Keep pans or plastic storage containers in a low drawer (away from burn risks) and let her explore.

Children 2 and older

Watch and talk with the kids: This allows you to monitor the quality of the programs they watch and to make TV viewing more interactive. Asking questions about the characters, the action and what will happen next assures you the programming is not above their heads and that they are learning from it.

Keep it quiet, keep it simple: For preschoolers in particular, fast-paced visuals, aggressive banter and lots of flashes and popping can be a dazing experience. Many children seem to grow accustomed to it - and need more and more to stay tuned as they get older. Watch the pace, say experts, and listen to the dialogue, asking yourself (and your child) whether he can keep up with a show's plot. For preschoolers, experts all embrace "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" as the one show that moves at a pace a young mind can understand.

Videotapes (DVDs and TiVo) versus real-time TV: For young viewers particularly, experts prefer media that an adult can pause, fast-forward or rewind. Doing so allows for greater interaction between parent and child viewers. It allows advertisements - which many young children do not understand as messages intended to sell a product - to be omitted from view. And it fosters the sense of control over what will be watched. It also allows for favorite shows to be seen repeatedly - and repetition is comforting to most young children.

Limit screen time: For all kids, less TV is more. The pediatric academy recommends no more than one to two hours per day of good-quality screen time for children older than 2. That puts a premium on choosing which programs to watch rather than tuning in and watching an endless stream of whatever's on. Remember that "TV is a stranger," says Donald Shifrin of the pediatric academy, and few parents would let a stranger come into their home and wander into a distant room with their kids to play alone. For parents of older kids seeking to limit time with TV, videos or computer games, a card-activated electronic monitor called "Time-Scout" (www.time-scout.com) keeps track of screen time and turns it off automatically when a child's programmed limit has been reached.

Watch your kid: Observe how your child is behaving while watching TV and afterward, says "Endangered Minds" author Jane Healy. If you don't like what you see, don't let him watch it anymore, she adds. Better yet, just turn it off.
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Old 05-24-2004, 09:38 AM   #310 (permalink)
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From my considerable experience standing in front of young people and being paid to teach them something, this sort of evidence is clear and obvious.

Until Media Literacy teaching underlies all pedagogical practice we will become increasingly lost - as generation upon generation of us are subjected to more and more mediated substitutes for actual experience.
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Old 05-24-2004, 09:53 AM   #311 (permalink)
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Until Media Literacy teaching underlies all pedagogical practice we will become increasingly lost - as generation upon generation of us are subjected to more and more mediated substitutes for actual experience.
thats' right. there's simulation, there's visualization, but neither replace actual experience.
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Old 06-01-2004, 08:37 AM   #312 (permalink)
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I had the opportunity to watch 3 of the 5 shows. I did not catch the last 2. I should have because the first 3 were very well done.

If you can catch them as rebroadcasts, they are worthwhile in watching the social commentary.

----

Bravotv.com
Bravo explores groundbreaking moments in television history that, quite literally, sparked a "TV Revolution." From "I love Lucy" to "Married with Children," "All in the Family" to "Sex in the City," and "Soap" to "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," some of the most momentous events concerning women, minorities, sex and violence in television are covered in this 5-part series, beginning Sunday, May 23 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) with back-to-back episodes airing on subsequent nights.

Television, one of the most powerful mediums in American culture, simultaneously reflects and fuels social change. By blending history with the portrayal of sex, violence, minorities, women and homosexuality on television, "TV Revolution" touches on some of the greatest and most controversial moments of the small screen. Viewers are given a first-hand understanding of this dramatic history through the eyes of the actors, producers, and directors who lived and worked through it, and the television historians that have documented it.

"TV revolution" includes the following episodes:
SUNDAY, MAY 30 12/11AM
BODY COUNT
Explores the violence that television has brought into America's living rooms since its inception, be it real, fictional or something in-between. It also looks at the effect of violence—or its threat—on programming after television coverage of historical events such as the cold war, the desecration of Three-Mile Island, the Columbine shootings and September 11. Featuring clips from "Starsky & Hutch," "Hill Street Blues," "NYPD Blue" The Sopranos" and "The Shield," and commentary by director Steven Bochco, "NYPD Blue" actor Dennis Franz, actor Jimmy Smits, "The Shield" star Michael Chiklis, and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon.

SUNDAY, MAY 30 1/12PM
SEX IN THE BOX
This episode delves into the portrayal of sex on television, and why we have often found the sexual revolutions going on in history at odds with the images we see on-screen. Whether it’s nudity, abortion or teenage sexuality, television has always been wary of its depiction of sex and the issues that surround it. Featuring clips from "I Dream of Jeanie," "Married with Children," "Seinfeld," MTV, and "Sex and the City," and commentary by "Gilmore Girls" actress Lauren Graham, "Nip/Tuck" creator Ryan Murphy, Barbara Eden, "Laugh-in" creator George Schlatter, and Suzanne Somers.

SUNDAY, MAY 30 2/1PM
MAIDS, BABES & MOTHERS
Explores the changing roles available for women on television, from the most common to the breakout parts that have revolutionized the way females are portrayed on the small screen. This episode also delves into what went on behind the scenes, as women were able to infiltrate the ranks of television writers, producers and directors, and finally have a say in the television characters that portrayed them. Featuring clips from "Leave it to Beaver," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Charlie's Angels," "Ally McBeal," and "Sex and the City," and commentary by actress Calista Flockhart, "Gilmore Girls" star Lauren Graham, producers Norman Lear and Darren Star, "Law & Order's" Elisabeth Rohm, actress Mary Tyler Moore, "Soap" writer/producer Susan Harris and "Murphy Brown" creator Diane English.

SUNDAY, MAY 30 3/2PM
BLACK & WHITE & LIVING COLOR
Takes a look at the evolution of minority roles on television, as minorities break out of stereotypical roles and take parts as police officers, "Star Trek" crew members, physicians, Sesame Street characters, and parents. This section also looks at the effect of television's coverage of the Civil Rights movement, including TV documented events from the Montgomery Bus boycotts to the march on Washington. Featuring clips from "I Love Lucy," "All in the Family," The Cosby Show," "American Family" and "The Bernie Mac Show," and commentary by director Rob Reiner, "All in the Family's" Norman Lear, "Six Feet Under's" Freddy Rodriguez, "Roots" star LeVar Burton, and "ER's" Laura Innes.

SUNDAY, MAY 30 4/3PM
OUT OF THE CLOSET
This episode reveals how homosexuality went from a forbidden topic to the central theme in some of television's hottest shows, by illustrating the astonishing power that television has as a medium to promote understanding and social change by contrasting the first televised report on homosexuality, Mike Wallace's 1967 "The Homosexuals," with current TV hits such as "Will & Grace" and "Queer as Folk." Also featuring clips from "An Early Frost," "Soap," and "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," and commentary by producer Aaron Spelling, actor B.D. Wong, "Will & Grace" co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" star Ted Allen, television director Paris Barclay, "Sex and the City" creator/writer Darren Star, and "Queer As Folk" executive producers Ron Cowen and Dan Lipman
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Old 06-01-2004, 09:42 AM   #313 (permalink)
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Yes.

First - the entire methodology of transforming historic news into entertainment is suspect. A problem with that is it gradually replaces anything like an objective understanding of history and news with a distorted one, because of the homogenized and, in many ways, deceptive manner in which issues are represented.

Second, the drift from broadcasting to massive demographics to narrowcasting to minority demographics is embedded in the sequence of shows used as examples of something here.

As an interesting note: I'm aware of a sizeable audience of 10-year olds for "Queer Eye..." I have occasion to observe how bringing a group of individials who represent a scant percentage of the population into mainstream entertainment creates the impression that these individuals are somehow normative - thereby increasing the false perception that their numbers among the general population are far more in abundance than they actually are. It's the spotlight effect as applied to groups.

In general - the salient fact here is that the entertainment media increasingly promote their "progressive" agenda. A history of the evolution of mass media must reflect the fact that what is happening is the increased politicalization of entertainment and, by extension, all media.

The media is a lens. Lenses have an unavoidable characteristic of distorting the data they present.
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Old 06-01-2004, 10:24 AM   #314 (permalink)
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Originally posted by ARTelevision
Yes.

First - the entire methodology of transforming historic news into entertainment is suspect. A problem with that is it gradually replaces anything like an objective understanding of history and news with a distorted one, because of the homogenized and, in many ways, deceptive manner in which issues are represented.

Second, the drift from broadcasting to massive demographics to narrowcasting to minority demographics is embedded in the sequence of shows used as examples of something here.

As an interesting note: I'm aware of a sizeable audience of 10-year olds for "Queer Eye..." I have occasion to observe how bringing a group of individials who represent a scant percentage of the population into mainstream entertainment creates the impression that these individuals are somehow normative - thereby increasing the false perception that their numbers among the general population are far more in abundance than they actually are. It's the spotlight effect as applied to groups.

In general - the salient fact here is that the entertainment media increasingly promote their "progressive" agenda. A history of the evolution of mass media must reflect the fact that what is happening is the increased politicalization of entertainment and, by extension, all media.

The media is a lens. Lenses have an unavoidable characteristic of distorting the data they present.
Agreed one of the paradoxical elements of the catalog of all books and including the catalog itself within the catalog.

While I do not give it much more creditibility in historical factoid or information because in order to squeeze in the right facts etc into the 44 minute hour is truly not comprehensive enough.

It's not much more different than pick any of Vh1's 100 greatest etc.

What I did find interesting is that they bothered to put it together. If you had seen it, your statements of the Queer demo, is a bit spot on. There was much rhetoric going on about Mary Tyler Moor, That Girl, and the reset of the up and coming from the liberal movement of the time. I recall watching it growing up and thinking that well, my mom is a working professional, and these people aren't much different from my mom or any of my friend's moms except they are white.

I thought it totally normal, and in fact, some of my own can do attitude was formed and pushed together by viewing women in leading roles and succeeding.
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Old 06-01-2004, 10:56 AM   #315 (permalink)
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Yet those very same shows mentioned I watched every week and the only thing I got out of it was, 'well, I'll never make it-I'm not attractive and nothing happens when i twitch my nose".
I would have to agree with the idea, though, that a medium, no matter how much it portends to be unbiased and fairly balanced, can not report objectively on itself. And while television continues to 'toot its own horn' regarding usage and placement of various minority sectors of society, it's just a panacea...'give'em what they ask for and they'll beg(pay) us for more'.
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:11 AM   #316 (permalink)
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from NYtimes:

COMMERCIALS IN FLUX
What's Around the Corner for Ring Around the Collar?
By THOMAS HINE

THE first American television commercial was broadcast in New York on July 1, 1941, during a game at Ebbets Field between the Dodgers and the Phillies. The game was interrupted by an image of a Bulova watch face, superimposed on the screen and accompanied by a voice-over announcing, "America runs on Bulova time." Bulova paid $9 for the spot.

Television has come a long way since then. When the broadcast networks presented their coming fall seasons to advertisers in New York recently, they were looking for $9 billion worth of advance sales.

This year, however, as buyers grumble about paying more for shrinking, distracted audiences, a big piece of American commercial culture seems endangered. In the age of the remote control, of HBO and endless cable choices, and of TiVo, the recording device that lets viewers skip commercials, the marriage of mass entertainment to "a word from our sponsor," appears to be in trouble.

This may not be a cause for mourning. Any phenomenon that gives rise to Mr. Whipple, the hypocritical fondler of Charmin toilet paper, has much to answer for. Still, for generations who have grown up wanting their Maypo, or wanting their MTV, the crisis of the commercial is significant. We are people who deserve a break today, who want the real thing, who aspire to the Pepsi generation and just do it. We have learned to fear tired blood, mean old Mr. Tooth Decay, ring around the collar, static cling and dishpan hands.

Commercials aren't really interruptions to our entertainment but a major component of our common culture. As Madge the manicurist would say, we're soaking in it.

For half a century, commercials have dramatized the problems, solutions and promises of life. When the Beatles made their American debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964, their first set was followed by an Anacin ad, whose pounding hammers and almost unbearable snippets of domesticity ("Mother, please, I'd rather do it myself!") were designed to give audiences the very headaches the product aimed to cure.

Commercials helped fuel the postwar boom in America, by convincing succeeding generations that their parents' luxuries were their necessities, while Morris the cat taught people that even pets are entitled to a higher standard of living. What's changed is not that the typical 15- or 30-second television ad is disappearing, but that it's something people can choose to see rather than something that can't be avoided.

In the 1920's, when broadcast radio was the hot new technology - like the Internet in 1996 - there were efforts, even within the advertising industry, to limit or ban commercials because, unlike print ads, they would threaten the sanctity of the home. But in 1922, when a Queens housing developer who advertised on a New York station attracted large numbers of new customers, broadcasters' moral qualms began to disappear.

Advertisers took complete ownership and control of much of radio's programming, and their commercials were often integrated into the programs' scripts. For example, on "Ma Perkins," a weekday program owned by Procter & Gamble that ran for 27 years, the laundry powder Oxydol was mentioned about 20 times in each 15-minute broadcast.

There was never any squeamishness about the commercial intrusiveness of television, which became publicly available after World War II, with hopes that it would help keep the country from falling back into the Depression. A 1946 Commerce Department study predicted, "Television as an advertising medium will create new desires and needs and will help industry move a far greater volume of goods than ever before."

Following the radio model, much early television programming was advertiser-controlled, and shows were filled with moments like the weekly dance of the Old Gold cigarette packs. Live commercials were among the most entertaining features of programs, because you would never know when the dog would fail to eat the Alpo.

By the mid-1950's, shows produced by a single sponsor dwindled, as networks began to assert control over programming and advertisers saw the benefits of spreading filmed commercials magazine-style through the weekly schedule.

Some makers of commercials saw themselves as avant-garde. The bustling city scenes of the 1960's "Ban takes the worry out of being close" campaign looked far more sophisticated than the programs it supported. And such ads became cultural reference points. "LSD is like Ban deodorant," a student identified as "a University of Michigan acidhead" told Time in 1966. "Ban takes the worry out of being close, LSD takes the worry out of being."

Even the dumbest commercials insinuated themselves deep into people's psyches. Gary Cross, a Penn State professor and author of "An All-Consuming Century," a history of commercialism, asked: "Do you remember this? 'Buy Dr. Ross Dog Food. Do your dog a favor. It's got more meat, and it's got more flavor. It's got more meat to make him feel the way he should. Dr. Ross Dog Food is doggone good. Woof!' "

While the decline of the power of spots might promise to free our minds for more important things, they will probably just adapt and thrive, like cockroaches. "I expect that the natural competitive drive will lead to a still more ad-saturated media," Professor Cross said.

Some television is again making products part of the program. The 1993 "Seinfeld" episode in which a Junior Mint falls into the body of a patient undergoing surgery stands as paragon of product placement. And reality series sell prominent spots for products, as do makeover shows like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

Obviously, commercials aren't confined to television. Some commercials, like BMW's mini-movies and American Express's mini-"Seinfelds,'' are being made specifically for the Net.

"The strongest media that will vie for TV advertising's vacated spot probably haven't been commercialized yet," said Christopher Ireland, the chief executive of Cheskin, a marketing consulting firm, and an expert on marketing to young people. "They will probably incorporate the emerging capabilities of wireless connectivity, and peer review ratings."

She predicts that television commercials won't disappear, but that young people will use them differently. "For example, teens may simply like an ad's music and download it. Or they may like the way it's edited and copy the style for one of their own videos. In each case, they may pay little or no attention to the ad's message; they instinctively know how to focus on what they value and how to ignore the other parts of media. Their parents never learned that."
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:23 AM   #317 (permalink)
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Teens should be so smart.
What a dreamer.

Teens will always use commercials the same way - to learn:
How to act
how to look
how to talk
what to want
etc.
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:31 AM   #318 (permalink)
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yes the last part of the article will only happen if teens are given the tools to think critically. other than that they will just follow the rest of the herd.
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:35 AM   #319 (permalink)
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Now there's a revolution worth being a part of.

Revolutions in consciousness are the rarest ones.
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Old 06-03-2004, 09:52 AM   #320 (permalink)
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CBS Changes Ratings Methods

CBS Changes Ratings Methods
By STUART ELLIOTT
Published: June 3, 2004
link


THE nasty war of words between Nielsen Media Research and its opponents is heating up as Nielsen defies the critics and proceeds today with plans to change the way it measures television ratings in New York.

On the eve of the change, the CBS unit of Viacom became the first big broadcast network to urge Nielsen to delay its plans, declaring in a statement yesterday that Nielsen's "overly aggressive, self-imposed timetable for this conversion" would "only be detrimental to its eventual effectiveness."

Underscoring the divisions on the issue, the decision by CBS came two weeks after BET - a cable network also owned by Viacom, which offers programs aimed at black viewers - endorsed the change. Univision Communications, operator of the largest network watched by Hispanics, last week came out against the change.

An organization representing many of the opponents of the changes, known as the Don't Count Us Out Coalition, attacked Nielsen anew yesterday, calling the company's most recent responses to its complaints "inadequate and unacceptable" and threatening lawsuits on the state and federal levels.

Nielsen, in turn, insisted that the coalition cease an extensive advertising and public relations campaign that Nielsen said was filled with "inaccuracies and distortions." The campaign now includes television commercials, which began running yesterday in four major markets to accompany advertisements that have been appearing in national and local newspapers and magazines.

The dispute between Nielsen, owned by VNU, and its opponents is centered on plans by Nielsen to adopt electronic measurement devices known as local people meters to gather data on television viewership in the New York market, the nation's largest. Nielsen intends to make the same change in Chicago and Los Angeles in the next two months as part of plans to convert the 10 biggest markets to local people meters by the end of next year.

The critics contend that the change, from the current system of using paper diaries along with people meters, would result in a significant undercounting of black and Hispanic viewers. Nielsen counters that the change would yield more accurate, not less accurate, data about what minorities watch because of the superiority of electronic measurement over paper diaries, which are filled out by hand.

"I equate this process as bringing the same result as undercounting on the census," Bernard Parks, a member of the Los Angeles City Council, said yesterday in a conference call with reporters in which members of the coalition outlined their coming advertising and legal steps.

Nielsen, in a statement yesterday, said, "People meters in no way prejudice any viewer group."

The unusual battle, pitting Nielsen against legislators, community organizations and powerful media companies, has riveted the advertising and marketing industries for months. One reason for their fascination is the importance of the Nielsen ratings in helping set advertising rates as well as determining programming schedules.

"Because of the economic damage" that would be caused by undercounting minority viewers, "we really don't have a choice" but "to pursue legal remedy" to delay Nielsen from making the change, Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, said during the conference call. Mr. Nogales, whose organization is a leading member of the Don't Count Us Out Coalition, said the coalition members were speaking with lawyers about filing suits against Nielsen in California and federal courts.

Another reason for the intense interest is that the issue of counting viewers of television programs has concerned Madison Avenue for decades. The opponents made much of a decision Friday by the Media Rating Council, an industry association that audits ratings services, to deny accreditation to the local people meters in New York until Nielsen addresses what the council termed unspecified "noncompliance and performance issues" that were found in an audit.

Nielsen had hoped the council would wait for the new system to go into effect before auditing it, but a decision by Nielsen to postpone the change to today from April 8 prevented that from happening.

Nielsen said that while it would work with the council to find solutions to problems the council has with its methodology, it would not delay the change a second time. But in a concession to the critics, Nielsen said Tuesday that it would continue to report ratings data for the next three months in New York using the current system of paper diaries and people meters as well as the new system of local people meters only.

The newest recruit to the ranks of the critics, CBS, said in its statement that it "has been, and continues to be, a supporter of Nielsen's conversion to the people-meter-based measurement methodology" in Chicago and Los Angeles as well as New York. But the network asked that Nielsen "not convert to the new service in any market until the service successfully passed an audit" by the Media Rating Council.

"When the local people meter service in each market successfully passes" an audit by the council, the CBS statement said, "we are prepared to support the establishment of that service as the official measurement service for that market."

Dana McClintock, a spokesman for CBS, said the network was aware that its opposition to the change was contrary to the stand taken by its sibling, BET.

Jack Loftus, a spokesman for Nielsen in New York, said the decision to continue reporting the ratings data from the current system as the company changes to the new system was made "to address some of the concerns" of CBS and the other critics.

Nielsen called yesterday for the Don't Count Us Out Coalition to explain where it is getting the money for its advertising and public relations campaign, which is being created by advocacy agencies and consultants like the Glover Park Group and Fabiani/Lehane. The Media Research Council urged last week that the campaign "be immediately ceased" if it is being supported by media organizations.

Univision said that while it opposed the change, it was not a member or a supporter of the coalition. But another media company, the News Corporation, has identified itself as a supporter of the coalition's campaign.

"It's been financial; it's moral; it's organizational," Gary Ginsberg, a spokesman for the News Corporation in New York, said yesterday of the support, adding that the campaign "has helped give voice to legitimate concerns we have, very serious concerns" about the change to local people meters.

Two broadcast stations in New York owned by the News Corporation's Fox Television Stations Group, WNYW (Channel 5) and WWOR (Channel 9), had declines in ratings in tests of the local people meters by Nielsen during the winter. But in those tests, viewership for many cable networks - including BET and channels aimed at Hispanics including Telefutura and Telemundo - increased.
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