Broadcast television is one of the most popular elements in everyday society; it has achieved inevitable success and service throughout the history in our recent civilization. That’s why we can admit the fact that through such a device we can all be motivated, entertained and up dated with all sorts of news. Broadcast television has become an eye witness to most societies, in particular, the modern and democratic states. For instance, the BBC has reached the point of observing and monitoring the whole of society in Britain as well as recording international events’ in general. As a result, broadcast television is an actual element that can directly or indirectly have a major impact on or involvement in our daily lives. Broadcast television can be used in a positive way to reflect the exact event or telling of true stories whilst remaining faithful to its principles.
To have broadcast television as an influential source of information, a country will need to have an independent broadcast television network to ensure that this will become a beneficial source for society; otherwise it can’t be beneficial without being independent and transparent: Ben Bradshaw(2009) suggests that: “I have argued tonight that public service broadcasting has informed; entertained and enriched Britain, and generations of Britons. The BBC has been central to that in the past and I hope will continue to be in the future”
Mark Pegg (1983, p150) has a strong belief: “The immediacy of a national available news and information service had many implications for the local community, not least for the press which had previously dominated the supply of news”. It appears to be obvious that cultural system has an influence on broadcast television, simply due to the regulation of individual countries. As long as there is independent broadcast television within the country, then we can expect a positive outcome; otherwise there will not be a chance to demonstrate the freedom of broadcast television.
Amit Schejter (1996, pp183-200) says that:
The analysis demonstrates the changes in the value systems of Israeli policymakers and lawmakers over the years and between broadcasters, but maintains that the cultural policies in regard to non-Jewish cultural expression have remained unchanged.
In addition to benefits of broadcast television there are other aspects that can be interesting to know that we can use broadcast television as alternative source. In the world there are dozens of broadcast television companies that are owned by politicians; who use the medium to make a political point of view in some cases to express their purpose. In most of Middle Eastern countries this is the case and they sometimes use it against civilization and democratization writing about broadcast television: Jeremy Vanes (2009) argues that.
If it is well balanced (e.g. not biased or restricted by censors) then it gives a wide population access to important common information=informative. If it free to watch, then it brings everyone in society together=democratic. If the content is diverse and challenging, then it will widen the awareness of those watching=enriches society. If education is broadcast (e.g. the Open University in the UK) it can act as a free place to educate people. If signing is added, it can help deaf people stay in touch with complex issues. For those (e.g. children) in poor families, it can give them views of things they would not otherwise see, e.g. foreign travel, nature, animals, other places.
The inhuman orders from Saddam Hussein’s Government had a catastrophic effect on the innocent Kurdish people of broadcast television was able to bring live debates on this issue as well as broadcasting the news of the event that were happening in Iraq at the time. The scope of broadcasting is widening when foreign correspondents pick up news items from local television at broadcast the information on world networks. As a result, politicians should come together and think about what helps to make things improve. Imagine if broadcasters and photographers had not been to ‘Halabja city’ we now would not have an eye witness. Furthermore, the Iraqi former regime claimed that the Iranian authorities had targeted Halabja City with chemicals. Terry Lloyd (1988)
With particular reference to “Iraq” The absence of independent television broadcasting within the society meant that a major part of the peoples’ needs were missing! What the Country used to have, couldn’t be called pure broadcast television, it was not combining with the basic principles of broadcast television to meet global standards. Due to powerful centralized government by Al Ba’ath party in particular, the media used to be one of those victims of the government. Every single media station was run by loyal members of Al Ba’ath party. Therefore, any publications or broadcasting had to be filtered by a government body that would make the decision to broadcast. Unfortunately, the freedom of broadcasting and publications were not introduced until March 2003 when Iraq was invaded. What can be differentiated is that, in March 2003 when America and its Allies removed Saddam Hussein’s regime; thereafter, a new style of broadcasting was introduced to the people in the country. This was mainly built on the western model and ever since it has become a new pattern of broadcast television. Apparently, some international organizations have taken part in the training of Iraqi journalists and media personal.
In conclusion, it has been stated that the independency and transparency within broadcast television e.g. in Britain has led to an inevitable freedom. Culture can also be influential in non democratic states; it applies to a particular ethnicity. If broadcast television is not restricted by censors and monitored to limit its movements to deepen and widen its information sources, then it can undertake a major role by bringing us impartial and up to date information. If a country does not have a free broadcast television, then the whole nation will suffer due to lack of much knowledge which can be delivered through this medium.
Bradshaw, B. (2009) Speech to the Royal Television Society, 16 September 2009
[online]. London: Department for Culture, Media and Sport [cited 4th December 2009] http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/minister_speaches/6194.aspx.
Pegg, M. (1983) Broadcasting and Society 1918-1939 London Biddles Ltd.
Schejter, A. (1996) the Cultural Obligations of Broadcast Television in Israel. International Communication Gazette, 56(3), pp 183-200
Lloyd, T. Television New Zealand, ITN (1988) Saddam's Chemical attack on Halabja, 28th March 1988 [online]. Australia: You Tube [cited 30th November 2009]