More than half of television viewers in India today are children of below 15 years. And yet there is hardly any sensitivity about the relevance and impact of what is dished out by various television channels. All of them are operating in a competitive mode for one up man ship in the race for viewer ship. In this order channels are concerned more about “what interests or attracts” rather than what is “in the interest” of children. Neither the Government nor the parents or the teachers seems to be concerned about this situation. For, the generation next and the civil society of the country is shaped and moulded by what they are exposed to today on the “idiot-box” day in and day out. Research studies over the years, world over have brought out various types of negative impact of intense viewing of television by children. The direct influence of TV viewing on the extent of violence and deviant behaviour pattern of children has been reiterated – even in India. In fact, there are a couple of confessions by adolescents, even a biography, as to how they picked up ideas about a rape or robbery or revenge or killing or suicide or kidnap, etc from one or other TV programme. Even some court judgments have commented on such effect of TV programmes. That TV has a double-edged effect and that it is the negative character which impacts more than positive potential often is known. But what is not realized is that there are no serious efforts to explore positive virtues of TV and that parents who should be more concerned about such a phenomena hardly do anything about it. In fact, CMS studies have brought out, for example, that in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, parents enjoy the same fare of TV along with their children and as keenly; where as in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, parents try to restrain their children in favour of some discriminative viewing. Teachers and social activists in a couple of places have been occasionally demonstrating about the influence of television contents. Political parties too do not seem to be concerned to do something about. BJP, however, had referred to this adverse trend in its election manifesto a few years ago. But did nothing on coming to power. Even the code for advertising, although outdated and inadequate, is conscious of “implications” to children of certain broadcasts and realizes the scope for misuse. For example, under the code no advertisements should be accepted which lures children to believe that if they do not own or use the product advertised they will be inferior to other children or that they are liable to ridicule for not owning or using a particular brand. However, in reality there is neither strict monitoring of the advertisements nor a rigid follow-up despite that many ads on television fall under this category. And most of these children’s channels have become marketing outlets for brands altogether to India. Against this background and in this context there are certain recent trends on the Indian TV scene, which need to be taken note. More and more channels are going for “children’s programmes”. In fact, more channels are coming in describing themselves as “children’s channel” or positioning themselves as such. Most of these are beamed into the country as if no one in the country, the Government the least, is concerned about such a trend. What is not taken note is that (a) most of these children’s channels and programmes are of foreign origin and are reruns over the years, (b) they do not have anything to do with enrichment or supplementary scope for school education or imparting moral standards (there are of course some good pre-school programmes); (c) some of these foreign channels are now entering their second phase in the country taking to marketing of toys and tools for children promoted in these serials. And, worse, as a result of all this, there has been a decline recently in the extent of locally originated programmes for children even in...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document