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The Effects Of Mtv On American Culture

3460 words - 14 pages

MTV, formally known as Music Television, is one of the most viewed networks on television today. Roughly thirty-three years old, it has changed the American culture drastically in more than just one way. Specifically targeting teens and young adults, the MTV network provides all of the most up to date gossip on celebrities, highlights the latest fashion trends, promotes versified lifestyles, and defines the music industry of our generation. However, this so-called “idolized network” has not always been this way. The American culture has been affected by MTV through the creation of the network, the transformation from simply just music television to inappropriate reality shows, and the promotion of inappropriate content.
Historically, MTV was created and first aired on television August 1, 1981. The first words spoken on the hit series were by one of MTV’s creators, John Lack: “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll. Because the network initially began as a program in which video jockeys aired free music videos, the first ever video to be shown was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles. A few years later on September 14, 1984, MTV hosted its first ever Video Music Awards. Today, this awards show dominates all top social media, and is one of the main reasons that the network currently exists. Cyndi Lauper and Madonna were the first two “famous” recording artists to appear on the awards show. Gaining immediate viewers from nearly all of the households in New Jersey, record companies started to open their eyes to the idea that MTV could potentially revolutionize and generate more money than ever off of the music videos that were aired. As the idea that MTV was promoting through these music videos became more popular, “MTV-branded channels began to air in Europe, Asia, and even Latin America.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, MTV drifted away from the idea that only music videos generated the primary source of income and geared towards the fact that Americans wanted more. As a result of this, creators developed reality shows such as The Real World and Laguna Beach. Reality shows can be defined as a catch-all category that includes a wide range of entertainment programs about real people. The MTV network executives quickly realized how fast the world around them was changing; so on May 21, 1992, seven random strangers were picked to star on the show The Real World. This show modernized MTV by connecting viewers to the world and current culture around them. It also demonstrated that the network was not just about airing the hottest music videos of the year. Even today, The Real World is stil the forerunner of the American reality show genre. The reality genre has mass appeal. Because of this, MTV started to create more reality-based shows. As more reality shows were created, the MTV network made the executive decision to create another network channel to further the demands of viewers. So, they created M2, formally...

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