Talk TV Shows, now improved
The essay Talk TV: Tuning in to Trouble written by Jeanne Albondra and Nana Leigh points out how TV talks shows can influence viewers. Old TV Talk shows usually had content such as sex, drugs, and violence, because these topics can trigger morbosity, which could increase the ratings. These topics were material found on some TV shows, but these are not present on Talk TV Shows now. Fortunately these programs have been improved and now these include different content.
The authors’ arguments are focused on TV talk shows that are off the air now, so it is not a good example to bring them up. In the U.S, the shows that Albondra and Leight discuss have been replaced with talk shows, which talk about different topics such as health, fitness, comedy, celebrity lives, and other interesting stories that deserve to be talked about.
The article illustrates that these TV talk shows involve an audience who want to see dramatic stories to identify with. Usually these dramatic shows include topics such as violence in all its manifestations. Authors through the essay tried to demonstrate that the majority of those shows introduce untrue information to even try to convince the viewers that these were ordinary problems.
The authors point out the case of Salley Jessy Raphael. That program showed the case of a woman who talked about her nice husband. Subsequently, she described his decline into ire that induces him to rape a neighbor. That story leads the audience to question their relationships, and what might happen if behavior like Sally’s husband comes up.
Currently TV shows seek to promote positive thoughts and behaviors by trying interesting topics such as health and wellness. Fortunately, today, at least in the U.S., most of the talk shows avoid conflictive scenarios and aim at preventing violence on the set, even in some Latin channels programs such as "Caso Cerrado" or "Laura in America". That kind of shows that...
References: Heaton, J.A., & Wilson, N.L. (2006). Talk TV: Tuning in to trouble. In C. Anson (Ed.),
75 readings across the curriculum: An anthology (pp. 153-158). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. (Reprinted from Tuning in trouble: Talk TV’s destructive impact on mental health, by J.A. Heaton & N.L. Wilson, 1995, Jossey-Bass).
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