Tv Elections Essay

4908 words - 20 pages

Television's growing demand throughout the 1960's caused society and everything in it to adjust. Politics was one of the first things to adjust. Politics as it had been before the 1960's had begun to adjust its self to how television was changing society. Society was starting to view television as the center of their environment and politics started to use that to its advantage by broadcasting the debates on the television. The technological changes grew to major reasons why politics and society had changed. The technological advancements had begun to make things a lot easier than they had been in the past. The technological advancements that encouraged these moves were the invention of the television, the video recorder, and video tape. The citizens although not all being able to afford television sets did however listen to the debates on the radio. This caused differences in many minds of viewer and listeners because the citizens that listened to them on the radio were not able to take in the full effect of watching the debates and looking at the candidate's composure and looks, which would give the citizen a split decision about whether John F. Kennedy won the debate or if Richard Nixon won the debate. Television revolutionized politics in the United States beginning with the presidential debates of 1960, as technology improved and television audiences increased, campaign strategies changed to utilize this medium.Since the presidential debates of 1960 were the first to be televised, there were many things that now had to be addressed that had not been necessary in previous years. In previous years, the debates have been broadcasted through the radio and the complicated problems that had to be faced now were not seen. The television's use within politics was a great turn in events but it caused many different questions to be proposed. Two of the most important questions that had to be answered were how many candidates should participate and how section 315 of the Federal Communications Acts might effect equal time for the candidates.The Federal Communications Act's section 315 states, "If any license shall permit any person who is a legally qualified candidate for public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunity to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station." The House of Representatives passed resolution 207, which "exempt broadcasters from the obligation to give equal radio and television to candidates of all parties." The passage of this resolution meant the suspension of section 315 and allowed the networks to invite only the two major candidates. It would no longer guarantee all the candidates' television times. The networks would be able to choose which candidates they would like to air without having to worry about needing to give the other opponents the same amount of airtime that was offered to these candidates. It gave the networks more freedom while they were doing...

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