Understanding How Television Represents Reality: Media Representations


(Posting on understanding television media representations; fragment of an article; by one NEB)

According to Mursito B. M., reality in television is constructed in such a way that it is only chunks of the whole unified event in reality. Chandler asserts that this construction includes such aspects of reality as people, places, objects, events, cultural identities and other abstract concepts and that this representation may be in speech or writing as well as still or moving pictures. B. M. continues to say that this is all geared towards serving the viewers and advertisers’ interest. And Bushman affirms that advertisers assume violent programs will attract larger audiences and will therefore gain more exposure for their products in between the showing. This explains why our television screen is flooded by many violent programs.

In general, Mursito asserts that all television programs are forms of representation of what reality is. No matter how real the programs may seem to the viewers, they do not portray reality as it is perceived in real life. They are represented in such a way that they look real. This way of representing reality employs linked components integrated into the organizational and institutional system of television (media): broadcaster’s language style, technology, asset, professionalism, advertisement, market, even ideology, says B. M.

Upon understanding this, we know that there is virtually always a vested interest behind any program we watch on television. This interest is that of the advertisers intending to promote their products in between the showing of a program they think the viewers enjoy watching, i.e., the violent program, or any program at all made to look real by both technology and television stations smart people. To be able to select which programs are worth watching and which are not, based on the quality of the programs and the propaganda behind the programming, what is needed on the part of the viewers is media literacy, which has critical thinking embedded in it.

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