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Culture Watch

Entertainment Industry News by Christopher Gildemeister


For more articles about the influence of entertainment, see the PTC’s new TV Trends column.




09.28: Hollywood’s Use of Language: From Class to Crass



12.11: Children's cable: creating the MTV Generation

11.06: Cable's New Kind of Family

10.16: What Your Kids are Discovering on Discovery Channel

10.02: The Fine Arts are Hard to Find

09.18: Cable Creeps Away from its Mission

08.07: Hollywood's Decline in Decency

07.03: American Beauty

06.26: Since its premiere in 1984, Lifetime has become one of the top-rated television networks on basic cable, serving more than 88 million households nationwide.

06.19: While the role of fathers has never been as emphasized in American culture as that of mothers, at least part of the reason was the traditional American understanding of masculinity. The traditional male was expected to do his job, support and defend his family and be a role model

06.12: Media content influences the understanding and behavior of everyone who views it to some degree or another. But because they are just beginning to experience the world and are still in a critical stage of development, infants and toddlers are particularly susceptible to such stimulation.

06.05: (Part 2 of 2) - The previous edition of Culture Watch explored the historical influence of British television programming on the American medium. This edition documents a new trend on British TV, one which is beginning to be mirrored on programming in America.

05.29: (Part 1 of 2) - From the time of American independence, the United States and Great Britain have shared a peculiar relationship in matters of public entertainment and popular culture.

05.22: Media outlets such as MTV . . . promote an image of teenage life which glorifies shallow materialism, violence, foul language and promiscuous sex. But today, many real-life teens are defying the media's stereotypes and fighting back.

05.15: Throughout human history, no institution has been as honored as motherhood. The reasons for this are obvious . . . 

05.08: Underwritten by advertisers obsessed with profit, American television has increasingly targeted youth, whose buying habits are more easily manipulated. 

05.01: (Part 2 of 2) This week provides further examples of corporate greed aimed at exploiting children's innocence in the quest for greater profits.

04.24: (Part 1 of 2) Ever more children and teens are being swept up in a wave of consumer technology created and marketed specifically to them.

04.17: Previously, Culture Watch detailed the tremendous efforts which American retailers, many of them toy companies, are making to market cellular telephones to children as young as six years old, exploiting the youngsters' naïveté and desire to be "grown-up" in order to sell them new technology.

04.10: Teenagers have always been eager consumers of new technology, because such ownership has been seen as a marker of greater personal freedom and approaching adulthood.

04.03: As the evidence of the harmful influences, both medical and social, which violent video games can have on players mounts, local, state and federal governments are increasingly moving to restrict access to such games by children.

03.27: As videogames grow in popularity their influence on American culture is increasing.  Over the last several years, as the music industry has struggled with sales and movie box office has shrunk, the videogame business has flourished. The videogame industry now takes in more revenue annually than does Hollywood from theater box-office receipts.

03.20: "You are a one man army up against a city rife with gangs. You chase the bad guys down, you jack their cars, and you put holes in them with bullets. It also makes you feel like you're driving insanely fast -- which is definitely a plus!" – review of new videogame Pursuit Force (CBS.com, March 14 2006)

03.16: In July of 2005, the Entertainment Software Rating Board changed the rating on the violent videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to a restrictive "Adults Only 18+" after it was found the company did not disclose an explicit sex scene known as "Hot Coffee."

03.02: It is difficult not to heave a weary sigh when standing in front of a magazine stand these days. The politically correct consciousness of the 1990s has been overtaken and replaced with a new culture of greed and unapologetic lust. Nowhere has this been better illustrated than in the annual Hollywood Issue of Vanity Fair magazine and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

02.13: Even as video game producers and marketers battle regulation of their products and smear anyone advocating such regulation as "censors," ever more scientific evidence accumulates demonstrating that the use of violent video games is harmful. . .

02.06:  One of the most notable, and definitely the most lauded, commercials aired during last week's Super Bowl was one advertising Unilever's  Dove Self-Esteem Fund for Women and Girls. . .

01.23:  Media "tie-ins" are not new. In the 19th century, dime novels featuring Buffalo Bill Cody were sold to promote interest in Cody's live Wild West shows. . .

01.15:  "I do not accept the idea that the present over-all programming is aimed accurately at the public taste…A rating, at best, is an indication of how many people saw what you gave them. It never reveals what the acceptance would have been if what you gave them had been better . . ."

01.08: A number of studies in 2004 documented increased media consumption by all Americans, but especially by young people. The greater degree of attention to media was fueled at least in part by the multiplicity of devices which make media content available . .




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