The Persuasive Power of Television in the 1960’s Essay

1376 Words6 Pages
For Americans, the 1960’s were a time of both unnerving turmoil and exciting change. Following on the heels of the 1950’s themes of tradition and conformity, the contrasting events and attitudes in the sixties constituted a perfect storm leading to a reconstruction of American social, cultural, and political ideals. Although each decade has experienced identifying features, events occurring during the sixties provided for a definitive coming of age era for the United States. While much of this revolution can be attributed to the events themselves, the medium used for disseminating these ideas bears some of the responsibility. Throughout the decade television replaced radio and newspaper as the primary source of news and entertainment.…show more content…
The popularity of television developed in the 1950’s, but the power of television as a medium secured its place in the 1960’s. This is demonstrated statistically in a Roper research poll aimed to investigate American television habits and related attitudes (Small 12). Adult participants were asked how they received most of their news about world current events and were then given options including television, newspapers, magazines or radio. In 1959, 57% identified newspapers over television; by 1969, television had taken the lead as the preferred source as stated by 64% of individuals (13). Participants were also asked which source they would be more inclined to believe if they experienced conflicting reports of the same news story. In the 1959 poll, the results showed television slightly behind newspapers, but the 1969 responses showed an increase of 44% choosing television as a more trusted source over 21% identifying newspapers. Again, the enchantment with television was revealed when more than half of the respondents identified TV as the option most likely to keep if forced to choose between the four previously mentioned mediums (13). The changes exhibited over a decade reveal the public’s budding dependence on television broadcast news. While much of the power of television in the 1960’s can be attributed to the mainstream availability and shear increase in ownership, the delivery format also contributed to its influence. One of the biggest
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