As one of the most influential and widespread forms of media, television plays a critical role in the daily lives of people around the world. Despite all the technological advancements and transformation in recent years, it remains to be a comfortable choice for entertainment, getting news and advertising. United Nations has recognized the TV as “a symbol for communication and globalization in the contemporary world”.
During the first World Television Forum in 1996 on November 21-22, with regard to growing significance in the changing world, the General Assembly proclaimed the 21st of November as World Television Day, and on February 23, 1997, this organization proposed the idea of celebrating this day. Kofi Anan, the UN Secretary in those times, emphasized on the role of television in promoting peace and development.
Every year, ACT (Association of Commercial Television), egta (Association of TV and radio sales houses) and EBU (European Broadcaster Union), together with some of the major actors in the television industry, help to promote World Television Day across the globe.
As reported by the EBU website, the topic of the 22nd edition World Television Day is quality content: “Quality content can incite viewers to broaden their mind and look beyond the everyday life through inspirational shows. The outstanding quality of TV programs is reflected in how this proven medium has the unmatched capacity to entertain, inspire and inform viewers, across all platforms.”
Phil Taylor Farnsworth was the one who invented electronic television when he was 21 years old. RCA made black & white television sets on the basis of his design, and in 1939 began selling television sets with 5×12 inch picture tubes. This company started broadcasting programs on a regular basis.
Until 1947, only a few thousand Americans owned televisions, but by 1955, half of USA households had black & white TV sets in their homes. Color TV systems were introduced to the market since 1954 by RCA. NBC and CBS were the first companies to produce and broadcast programs on TV, Beside RCA. Gradually, the TV turned to the biggest form of entertainment and began influencing household culture.
Since the 1980s, television’s role as an entertainment medium became much broader. It was when home videocassettes systems had become widespread and households could rent or buy movies, and even record their favorite programs from TV.
Video games were introduced in the 1970s, made popular by Atari, followed by Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in mid/late 80s, and in the 1990s, with the introduction of more advanced video game consoles like Sega and new Nintendo consoles, they turned to a very popular hobby among younger generations, enhancing the role of TV in their lives.
At the same time, the industry was constantly working on delivering a higher quality picture in video systems and major companies were introducing new TV sets on a regular basis. VCD appeared in 1993 and shortly after, in 1996, was followed by DVD. All of them enhanced the TV role and its quality, and the amount of its presence in their lives.
By the late 1990s, 98 percent of USA homes had at least one television set, and those sets were on for an average of more than seven hours a day, as stated by New York University website. Further advancements in the recent two decades have provided us with a more enjoyable and more realistic experience, allowing us to dig more deeply into our favorite programs, be it TV series, sports or news.
In the view of the United Nations, television is “a major tool in informing, channeling and affecting public opinion. Its impact and presence and its influence on world politics could not be denied”. That’s why various qualitative aspects of TV programs need to be managed carefully and responsibly.