This post is my response to Newton Minow’s speech found at this link http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/newtonminow.htm
Newton Minow Speech
Minow lays out a speech that warns against broadcasting television networks that exalt violence, theft, and debauchery. He says it is understandable that we need entertainment, but broadcasting’s core function should be informative or educational; not mindless entertainment that he calls a wasteland.
What I Liked about His Speech
I love the connections that Minow made by comparing television to newspaper.
He pointed out that the comics of the newspapers are the most viewed, but it doesn’t make the front page. In fact, comics are a very small section of the paper.
This is because the paper understands that they are not a slave to ratings. Instead, they master ratings. In television, however, the broadcasting networks bend to the will of the people to gain a better profit. If the people want trash, the network produces more trash.
He makes an irrefutable point that one’s eager response to entertainment should not be submitted to; just like a child’s desire’s do not justify a diet of only ice cream.
Is His Speech Valid Today?
I believe his view of television is related to news today. Today we deal with fake news or extremely biased news. Most people want to hear what makes them feel good or the opinion they want to agree with, and little to no effort is given to challenge one’s natural intuition.
I am reminded of what the Bible has predicted by prophesying, “…to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
Minow spoke of entertainment that exalted violence overpowering valuable content that informs the viewers. I do not believe this specifically is relevant today because the entertainment industry has grown large enough to separate itself from news. However. the thought that broadcasters have a very high responsibility that they abuse is relevant.