Essays Television as a Vast Wasteland Television as a Vast Wasteland InNewton Minow coined the term vast wasteland for what he saw as television's empty content and anti-intellectualism. There is no point arguing against this notion as it is perfectly true that that television remains a vast wasteland. It should be noted that the television is a potent tool that has created an impact on science, environment, economics and culture, as it has become a very popular means of entertainment.
The 'vast wasteland' of television speech In his first major speech after being appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission FCC by the newly elected President John F Kennedy, Newton Minow coined a phrase that was used by critics of American television's programming standards for years to come.
A lawyer who had worked on the staff of three presidential campaigns and still only 34 when appointed to the FCC, Minow is thought to have been the second most reported member of the government during his two years in office—second only to the president himself. In he returned to private law practice.
Thank you for this opportunity to meet with you today. This is my first public address since I took over my new job. It may also come as a surprise to some of you, but I want you to know that you have my admiration and respect.
Yours is a most honorable profession. Anyone who is in the broadcasting business has a tough row to hoe. You earn your bread by using public property.
When you work in broadcasting, you volunteer for public service, public pressure, and public regulation. You must compete with other attractions and other investments, and the only way you can do it is to prove to us every three years that you should have been in business in the first place.
I can think of easier ways to make a living. But I cannot think of more satisfying ways. I admire your courage—but that doesn't mean I would make life any easier for you. Your license lets you use the public's airwaves as trustees for million Americans. The public is your beneficiary. If you want to stay on as trustees, you must deliver a decent return to the public—not only to your stockholders.
So, as a representative of the public, your health and your product are among my chief concerns I have confidence in your health. But not in your product. It is with this and much more in mind that I come before you today.
One editorialist in the trade press wrote that 'the FCC of the New Frontier is going to be one of the toughest FCCs in the history of broadcast regulation'.
If he meant that we intend to enforce the law in the public interest, let me make it perfectly clear that he is right—we do. If he meant that we intend to muzzle or censor broadcasting, he is dead wrong.
It would not surprise me if some of you had expected me to come here today and say in effect, 'Clean up your own house, or the government will do it for you'.
Well, in a limited sense, you would be right—I've just said it. But I want to say to you earnestly that it is not in that spirit that I come before you today, nor is it in that spirit that I intend to serve the FCC. I am in Washington to help broadcasting, not to harm it; to strengthen it, not to weaken it; to reward it, not to punish it; to encourage it, not threaten it; to stimulate it, not censor it.
Above all, I am here to uphold and protect the public interest. What do we mean by 'the public interest'? Some say the public interest is merely what interests the public.
So does your distinguished president, Governor Collins.
In a recent speech he said, 'Broadcasting, to serve the public interest, must have a soul and a conscience, a burning desire to excel, as well as to sell; the urge to build the character, citizenship, and intellectual stature of people, as well as to expand the gross national product By no means do I imply that broadcasters disregard the public interest But a much better job can be done and should be done.
And I would add that in today's world, with chaos in Laos and the Congo aflame, with Communist tyranny on our Caribbean doorstep and relentless pressure on our Atlantic alliance, with social and economic problems at home of the gravest nature, yes, and with technological knowledge that makes it possible, as our president has said, not only to destroy our world but to destroy poverty around the world—in a time of peril and opportunity, the old complacent, unbalanced fare of action-adventure and situation comedies is simply not good enough.
Your industry possesses the most powerful voice in America.Below is an essay on "Vast Wasteland" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples. Therefore, I qualify Newton Minow’s “Vast Wasteland” (May ) that “The power of instantaneous sight and sound has limitless capabilities for good-and for evil.” In World War Two (), the axis and allied powers alike used propaganda to gain support for their respective causes.
Newton Minow accurately analyzes the influence of television on viewers around the world. Readers must take into account the time period in which this paragraph was written – Viewers at this time did not have access to block channels that they themselves, or their children, did not need to see.
Two days ago I mentioned Newton Minow's presentation at the National Press Club on the 50th anniversary of his own "vast wasteland" speech, as JFK's . Corp., to Newton N.
Minow, Chairman, FCC (Mar.
23, ) (Minow Papers, box 28); John Bartlow Martin, draft of speech written by Martin for Newton N. Minow’s May 9, , speech to the National Association of Broadcasters (Minow Papers, box 28).
Watch video · It was 55 years ago—on May 9, —that the then-new FCC chairman Newton Minow proclaimed television a "vast wasteland".