Thursday, 21 November 2013


“Television is chewing gum for the eyes.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

UNESCO is celebrating World Television Day today. This was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996 to encourage global exchanges of television programmes focusing on peace, security, economic and social development and the enhancement of cultural exchange. This commemorates the date on which the first World Television Forum was held in 1996.

Television is still one of the most influential forms of media presently. It is the arena where images, forms, styles and ideas surrounding the human existence are mobilised. Television makes its mark as the most popular medium for communication and information because of the considerable convenience it offers to its audience of all ages, nationalities and social status worldwide. Television does not require literacy and presents information in audiovisual form requiring no extra skills for comprehension.

Television and the significance of broadcasting as a fundamental means of communication and a standard gateway of information for the masses, most importantly in least-developed countries cannot be stressed enough. Television plays an effective role in disseminating information and knowledge and serves a powerful tool for reflecting and shaping human conditions and aspirations. Fostering freedom of expression and increasing cultural diversity in the media, particularly by improving the endogenous production capacities and supporting the distribution of quality audio-visual programmes are all suited for implementation using television.

The position of television as the means of primary entertainment in the home is accepted widely. Mainstream professional television in Australia was launched on 16 September 1956 in Sydney, launched in time to cover the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The new medium was introduced by Bruce Gyngell with the words “Good evening, and welcome to television”, and has since seen the introduction of colour, and digital television, and the planned shutdown of analogue broadcasts set to take place between 2010 to 2013 (depending on the area). Local programs, over the years, have included a broad range of comedy, sport, and in particular drama series, in addition to news and current affairs. The industry is regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

As television technology developed throughout the 1960s, the medium dominated as the entertainment form of choice for most Australians. By 1965, it was estimated that 9 out of 10 Australian families owned a TV set. Nowadays of course, while all households have a television set, most have several.

1 comment:

  1. My brothers and I stared at the blank screen before hand, not knowing what to expect. Then they played a filer (Noddy and Big Ears, I believe) until we heard Bruce Gyngell welcome us to the world of television. I wonder how wealthy my Uncle Peter must have been, to be able to afford a tv in 1956!!