Neil Postman wrote a book called Amusing Ourselves To Death. Throughout Amusing Ourselves To Death, Postman discusses many different programs on television that do not serve the purpose they are meant to, but are only entertainment. In chapter 7, Now...this, Postman discusses how the news does not deliver the news, but is used as a source of entertainment. Postman could not have been more correct with the ideas he presented in chapter 7. The way that news channels make news entertainment is through appearance of their cast, the music that they use and through the commercials shown.
News channels always seem to have attractive and young newscasters. While viewing Channel 5 news this was definitely the case. The first thing to catch the eye is the female anchor. She is a young, beautiful blonde that always has a smile on her face. The male anchor is older than the woman, but still not over the age of fifty. This is not done by accident, but used as a tool ...view middle of the document...
Music is an essential part of any news channel. News channels start out with upbeat music that is eye-catching and makes the viewer want to listen. The music used in the news is entertaining, but serves no purpose to the stories being told. Postman says, “If there was no music viewers would expect something truly alarming, possibly life-threatening” (102). Viewers have become so accustomed to hearing the uplifting music while watching the news, that when it is not there viewers begin to think something is wrong. In between stories, is more upbeat music. The upbeat music between stories is unnecessary and only makes the story seem less important than it may be. Music should not be played during the news, so viewers can focus on the stories being told instead of the music that is being played.
Every television program has commercials. News channels use commercials for a purpose. Commercials played during the news program has nothing to do with stories that are told throughout the broadcast. These commercials make viewers forget about the seriousness of the story that is being told. Postman says, “The viewers also know that no matter how grave any fragment of news may appear it will shortly be followed by a series of commercials that will, in an instant, defuse the import of the news, in fact render it largely banal” (104). Postman was correct with what he said regarding commercials. Commercials make viewers forget about the stories that were just told to them and focus on whatever product is being thrown in their face at that moment. News programs should be aired commercial free.
Many viewers of the news see is as a good tool to learn about events that are happening around the world. The news serves this purpose, but only if you want more entertainment and less actual news. In chapter 7 of, Amusing Ourselves To Death, Neil Postman writes about how the news does not deliver the news, but is used as a source of entertainment. Postman was correct with the news becoming entertainment with things such as the appearance of the cast, the music used throughout the news, and the commercials played during the news. The news can be deceiving, so watch with caution.
Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves To Death. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. Print.