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Television is a medium that is hugely popular with our society. It gives its’ audience information and entertainment. Throughout history, broadcasting companies have always decided on what programs would be aired on television to the public. Convergence of the medias has questioned whether this should be changed or not. New technology has formed much more participation and democratic views towards television. A new approach of letting the audience speak their minds and have their opinion count is discussed in Henry Jenkins article “Democratizing Television.” This approach allows viewers to vote and take advantage of what they would like to watch.
Television has come a long way from the “golden era” of American television of the 1960s to 1980s. “The “golden age” of American television generally refers to the proliferation of original and classic dramas produced for live television during America’s postwar years.” These new shows such as game shows and soap operas dominated network television’s prime time schedule. As the population grew and expanded, television became a popular interest. Televisions had a few channels, shows, and movies available. “These “Golden age” dramas became the ideal marketing vehicle for major U.S corporations seeking to display their products favorably before a national audience.” At the time, the rise of television seemed enormous and unbelievable. Television has changed dramatically in today’s society. The traditional cable/satellite TV in the home now has hundreds of channels, movies, and shows that range from every genre. One is able to even record shows on the television and go back and watch it later. The advance in technology has allowed television in our society to become accessible all the time. This can be showed. Through the computer or other devices, people can access any show or movie they want, in any format, anywhere. The traditional cable/satellite TV in the home and the online format are available to us 24 hours a day, unlike the “golden age”. When accessing television shows or movies through an online format it allows the audience to participate and promote shows which is what “democratizing television” is all about.
Social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are extremely affective in helping to enhance participation and democracy. They are available to everyone to use, which creates a huge audience. These sites allow individuals to have a voice and give them the chance to express themselves to other people. YouTube is a video-sharing website where users can upload, view, and share videos. Viewers can even post comments on videos to share opinions and interest with others. Facebook and Twitter also allow people to post their ideas, photos, and other aspects to the public. These media sites encourage people to spread their thoughts, opinions, and ideas instantaneously. It gives them the freedom, power, and chance to connect with others all around the world. These sites give everyone an equal opportunity to express himself or herself, which is why it enhances participation and democracy.