TV distorting perceptions of society

TV is coming under fire for misrepresenting important features of mainstream society in North America.

As much of what is presented on TV does not accurately mirror reality, false impressions of authenticity are giving people skewed beliefs of facts.

“The more time people spend watching television, the more likely their conceptions of reality will reflect what they see on television,” said George Gerbner, a communication specialist at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.

Research has confirmed that TV content which features violence and other major topics is tainting the way some people view significant social issues.

For instance, crime-focussed programs tend to dominate prime-time viewing in Canada, but the country’s per capita homicide rate is only .016, raking 42nd on a descending scale of the nations of the world.

Polls have also shown that TV has distorted figures related to the gay/lesbian population in the world with 25 per cent of adults believing that 25 per cent of the population was gay/lesbian, a figure 10 times too high.


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