Television and the Rhetorical Analysis
May 9th, 1961. Newton N. Minow stands in front of a convention of the National Association of Broadcasters to give his first big speech, “Television and the Public Interest.” Minow was appointed by President John F Kennedy himself, as the new chairman of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). His speech directly speaks about the influence and future of broadcasting television. He refers the current programming as a “vast wasteland” and ultimately advocates programming in the public interest. (Wikipedia 1) Minow’s purpose and target audience in his speech is very clear. As Minow states, “I intend to find out whether the community which each broadcaster serves believes he has been serving the public interest.” (Minow 41) His target audience is the current broadcasters of the FCC and his purpose is to persuade them to serve the public interest for television. These two things are constantly reflected and connected throughout the speech. Minow conveys several arguments about the television programming at the current time and why his audience, the current broadcasters, need to focus more on the public interest. Minow is effective in persuading his audience by the use of his logical, ethical, and emotional appeals in his speech. Minow used logical appeal, or logos, several times in his speech. For example as Minow states, “Profit before taxes was 243,900,000 dollars, an average return on revenue of 19.2 per cent. Compare these with 1959, when gross broadcast revenues were 1,163,900,000 dollars, and profit before taxes was 222,300,000, an average return on revenue of 19.1 per cent.” (Minow 8) He uses these numbers and statistics to establish the financial values of television broadcasting. Minow stresses the broadcasters cannot be too focused on the ratings and profits. As he says, “And I hope that you broadcasters will not permit yourselves to become so absorbed in the daily chase for ratings, sales, and profits that you...
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