It is no secret to anybody that television over the years has become increasingly the principal medium of amusement and communication worldwide.
This medium has developed so much as technology grows, that to this date, there are numerous easy-going television platforms for the different tastes of each individual. Furthermore, the more forms of development there are in a country, the more differentiated uses are made of television.
According to biology, symbiosis is an association of organisms that unite to benefit each other in their life development, so can science and television establish that kind of relationship?
Although the term “Science on TV” may sound like a contradiction, this union is more important than you think.
In Menorca, in 2013, an International Spring School on “Science on television” was organized, where the studies produced and the conclusions that emerged from the meeting established that: Theory met practice.
In the opinions of academics studied in science and the history of science, they see this as an intriguing pressure. And there are certain questions to analyze:
- How do information, advertising, entertainment, and even criticism or social commentary influence representations of science, medicine, and technology on television?
- Which are the relationships between these representations and the daily patterns of appropriation of television by people?
- To what extent can communication practices related to television and science be understood as activities and learning spaces?
- What do scientific representations in news programs, documentaries and works of fiction have to do with people’s forms of communication, consumption, work, study, collaboration and problem solving?
However, although television programming worldwide includes the occasional scientific information through channels of scientific dissemination, the truth is that these channels within the reach of society are not characterized by their scientific character as much as by the social sciences, or natural sciences.
As a result, in the Spring School, key points were covered such as:
- Joseph Comelles and Serena Brigidi from the Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona, explored the role of fiction series set in medicine, and the inclusion of the science that this type of television shows represents in society.
- David Dugan, the British producer, reiterated that finding the right narrative for science documentaries is crucial.
- Tim Boon of the Science Museum London analyzed the first BBC television series in the 1950s and 1960s, focusing on how scientific authority is created and transmitted.
- Joan Ubeda, a Spanish producer, pointed out the obstacles that documentaries must overcome to communicate science through the television medium.
- Markus Lehmkuhl from Free University Berlin analyzed the interaction between the supply and demand of science on television in ten different European countries.
- Anna Montserrat explained the strategies and rules that define television.
Finally, generalizing between the conclusions of each expert, it was pointed out that in order not to tire the service of television to the sciences, one must avoid divinizing them, dogmatizing the knowledge that they are conquering. Since it suffers the risk of turning science into a mere spectacle and simplifying it so much that they are left empty of their deepest conquests.
If we look at history, the centuries pass and the basic criticism remains the same: The superficial enjoyment of the senses successes over science. And in this way, the presentation of science on television is considered distorted and trivialized.
However, this point of view considers scientific dissemination as a one-way process. This implies the authority of a minority of experts, as well as the passive acceptance of their knowledge by the general public.
That is why despite the expanding phenomenon, private networks worldwide tend to be reluctant against science, without having yet the science = entertainment equation, to ensure their status.
Science equation = entertainment, the key to success?
As stated by experts at the Spring School, professionals have their theory that they call recipes. These instruments are crucial to transform scientific content into a television format.
A science program needs a good rhythm, clear and simple explanations based on highly visual metaphors and analogies, to achieve the highest degree of understanding on the part of the viewer, as well as to stock up on an exciting narrative.
Powerful images and videos are vitally important. The closer the subject is, concerning the daily life of the audience, their experiences or concerns, the better the reception by society.
However, as television professionals know, audiences are highly diverse and each viewer interprets and processes the information obtained in their way.
Thus, television needs science to continue improving itself. And in turn, science needs television, as a means of communication that encourages the development of levels in scientific culture.
Socialization of scientific knowledge or education
Scientific knowledge is understood as the social construction influenced by social, cultural, economic, political circumstances, among others. Distinguishing itself by the relationship between the validity and the scope of its results.
This originates from various relationships between science and society. Under this framework, building scientific knowledge goes beyond its intrinsic content. It is giving meaning to academic practices and implies a shared communication process that leads to the creation and development of a specific academic culture.
If it is accepted that science is a cultural formation, it will have a normative and a cognitive dimension. Furthermore, the concept of socialization is proposed to evaluate the communicative processes of scientific knowledge.
Scientists see this union as a new challenge. A challenge that gave name to the activity of talks “Building science” carried out at the faculty UNCuyo last year 2015, which sought to bring science and technology closer to society.
Both presenters (Maria Teresa Damiani, an investigator at the Institute of Histology and Embryology, and Peter Catania, a researcher at the Faculty of Dentistry), expressed that the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and the findings made in laboratories, is a commitment that everyone must assume.
They emphasize that it is extremely necessary to demystify the science perceived as something complex, to highlight and recognize the daily life of its existence. And they reiterate that simplicity does not imply loss of rigor or truthfulness. They claim that it is not easy to translate technical and specific language into popular language, however, with the help of analogies and references to culture, that task can be improved.
The society of this century increasingly needs the publication of scientific results from research.
But, emphasizing the fact of keeping these results and experiments as a subject of popular attention, capable of being published in television media, certain considerations have to be made before presenting them to society.
In this way, certain ways are established to guarantee the acceptance and reception of scientific information by the television public and to socialize it.
- Guarantee accessibility to concepts:
This should be simple, entertaining, and profound. Dodging technical language as much as possible, using accessible and everyday words, addressing the topics in all their depth.
- Share socially:
Ensure that content reaches as many people as possible, spanning multiple languages, from urban centers to the most remote regions.
- Opening of knowledge:
The information should be available for free, or at a low cost. To ensure that it covers the largest group of people possible.
- Presume of knowledge:
Create and share the required knowledge in a group.
Sharing the wealth that comes from scientific knowledge, maintaining the quality and entertainment of the media is a great challenge that must be faced.
However, at the MipCom in Cannes in 2015, the largest television fair where the producers present their news, it was found that science related to entertainment is one of the trends that is making its way in the sector.
An example of this was, LubDub. This is a talent show, the main characteristic of which is that the qualification of the contestants is made based on scientific criteria: A device analyzes blood pressure and heart rate to see if the performances manage to excite the public.
In different territories of Europe and Asia, a great interest in LubDub was demonstrated at that time, being a project that various channels studied and implemented in its production.
There are more and more scientific titles on television, such as Mythbusters, who has been on the air for 18 years testing urban legends by subjecting them to the scientific method. Mental games, which relates daily activities and customs with all the scientific processes that are needed for daily life, and other Latin programs such as the Science of the absurd.
Despite the expanding phenomenon, it must be borne in mind that the key for a scientific genre program to engage the public is that it is accessible to all audiences and that it incorporates young groups thanks to the emergence of programs that address the issue. From a humorous or simplistic perspective.
Television mediation of knowledge
Education in the XXX century perhaps faces one of the most important challenges that humanity has had. Several factors determine it:
- The need for an educational change before a new way of knowing.
- The demands of a complex society.
- The globalization.
- Existence of a media culture.
The solution to such challenges is a crucial task for the future of society.
The insertion of TV in the learning curriculum must be open and flexible. And this does not start with pedagogical theories, but the emphasis on social communication studies concerned with the phenomena of mediatization.
The mediatization of knowledge particularly affects the school as a phenomenon that operates from within the institution and not as a force that exerts from outside.
Thus, mediatization is defined as a way in which the institutions of social structure a direct relationship with the existence of the mass media.
Applying this scheme, one will have that mediatization is not a process that is exercised from the outside in, but rather it is precisely in the school and didactic field where the phenomenon occurs.
This way of looking at the problem of media coverage allows us to understand the basic aspects of the belief that the television medium generates effects that most of the time are considered negative.
As Goéry Délacôte affirms, there are three revolutions underway that provoke the great educational change through television: that of interactivity, cognitive and management of educational systems.
It affirms that these modify the act of learning, its understanding, its dynamics, the social and technical organizations that support it, and its personal and collective management.
On many occasions, the school and academic world have reacted with mistrust of the new educational landscape. He believes that promoting learning empowered by the irruption of multimedia leads to the acquisition of fragmented and dispersed knowledge, without solid foundations, which results in the loss of meaning.
Currently, the acquisition of different types of information is within the reach of any individual. Television, as one of those media, has leaned towards society’s standards, modifying or censoring its content, to transmit certain specific information.
But what does managing knowledge mean? Mainly, knowing how to access information, select it, modify it, and apply it to a certain objective.
Because of this, even though communication and education are closely linked concepts, the relationship between the two has been conflicting. There has been a disagreement between the television media and the school, which also implies a disagreement between teaching/learning.
From the educational field, television was always seen as a threat to the action of the school and the family. And the influence that it generates among social groups generated various movements of social alarm, which considered that it was necessary to face a situation that was considered harmful to children and young people.
Contemplating the media as a gap in educational development provoked debates between educators and communicators. It has transmuted over the years, as the new role of television in which this, more than being an obstacle to education, is considered as an opening for the change of said process.
The change is because we are in a society in which knowledge is found everywhere, a fact that has not always been assumed by the educational system.
Also, the disagreement between education and media communication is pointed out, stating that when designing methods for the cultivation of intelligence, in teaching systems, they continue to be done in terms of communicative traditions that were in a single dimension of the linguistic ability: Verbal, or natural language.
From that base, schools have developed at different levels of learning. However, media analysis does not overlook the audiovisual medium. You cannot forget that a means of communication conditions the behavior of the communicator and the receiver.
Television, for example, is not only a transmitter of images, but it is a medium that captures the viewer in front of the screen, which imposes certain body immobility, and that enhances some senses and deplores some others.
Screens are considered, by most conservative social groups, as a germ that spreads faster and faster. That it doesn’t only manipulate and expands the information disclosed but also organizes and guides social action.
Should the education system take control of such a situation?
It is believed that this would be the most logical, but it is not. In the 21st century, where the technology represents the greatest advance so far, television consumption and the motivations of younger groups reveal active subjects with diverse and very broad interests. Before this, the school appears as a reductionism.
On television, a child or young person conquers an enormous field of freedom to choose responses and courses of action for their motivations. And new technologies, which continue to evolve day by day, will further expand these active choices.
Accordingly, it is established that the media are not only vehicles for access to entertainment, but also contain part of that knowledge that is characterized by its link to current events, by its transmission through different codes, languages, and media. In addition to its logical responses, they stimulate sensations, which respond to different behavioral criteria.Infotainment
Infotainment can be defined as a type of information that uses real events as a form of entertainment. In addition to being a concept used to refer to media products that combine information with entertainment.
This raises the relationship of the media with journalistic matters, which seek the adherence of the audience to the messages transmitted. In addition to being used as a marketing strategy, where style uses content.
In the same way, infotainment is one of the most widely used formats for journalism today. Since it offers the best demand among the public, companies specialized in the area of communication focus their content according to what the public wants.
However, many journalists oppose this vision and demand for journalistic law. They assure that the division between information and journalism will be clearer thanks to the revenue channel. Quality pays. If you want to charge the public, you cannot give them junk content.
Likewise, many journalists refuse this trend, to use information and entertainment together. But despite this, they are aware that this is a debate that will continue to exist.
Although many journalists disagree with this format, it should not be thought of as an outdated format. Since this is in full swing since its inception and even more today.
How does infotainment come about?
This new form of journalism arises from the need for communication companies to sell the product that they carry out to as many people as possible.
Furthermore, this revolution came from the hand of the audience meters. When the audience statistics of the programs are shown, both on television and radio, and even in the newspapers, it is broken down that, despite being different formats entertainment prevails as one of the most demanded categories in the market.
When this aspect began to emerge among companies, many of them decided to blur the borders between raw information and entertainment.
The first formats started from two aspects: lighter news, this was characterized by the inclusion in the raw and relevant news media of minor or light news. And on the other hand, the appearance of news stories on channels intended solely for an audience seeking entertainment.
When we talk about the term infotainment, it refers to the form and content of the news. This has to be true and treated as true news, but the way it is presented and disclosed lacks rigid and serious formats and leans towards a more casual posture.
We can see that the emergence of infotainment is a format that is linked to the appearance of private television channels. As we say, these newly created communication companies have to seek differentiation in the market, and this was the option most demanded by the public.
Thus, an informative logic is implemented in which the softest topics, with human approaches, prevail over those topics related to issues more strictly connected to the public interest.
What audience consumes infotainment?
As for what group of people consume this type of information, there are two different camps: the defenders and the detractors.
Television is one of the most widely used information and entertainment media in today’s society. And more than 40% perceive it as something essential in their life.
Besides, it should be noted that 60% of them prefer it as a means of entertainment, compared to other media such as radio (16%) or magazines (14%)
However, when it comes to truthful information, people are more inclined to look for information in newspapers or on the radio.
And although for many this format corrupts journalism, infotainment is at its peak. So, journalism must adapt to the needs of the public, who are the consumers of the information generated, such as filmyporno.blog likes to adapt for their audience in Poland.
The credibility of the television
The credibility of the media is at its worst level compared to society. Since in current times, modifying information for personal gain is something that has become much more common than you might think.
This offers a negative impact on the construction of more peaceful and just societies and implies a rupture between the personnel in charge of disseminating information and the public due to a matter of mistrust.
Studies carried out in Parametria (Strategic Research Center for Opinion and Market Analysis) in 2018, on trust in traditional media, yielded catastrophic results.
And they marked a milestone in history due to the high level of the negative perception of the three main means of mass information dissemination.
According to the results of the study, only 19% of the interviewees stated that they had some confidence. 18% indicated that they trust radio news and 17% on television.
Parametry continues, noting that it is a great decrease compared to the statistics of 10 years ago, where it was found that more than 70% of people trusted that the information obtained was true.
Reasons that generate mistrust
For academics from the Communication Department of the Iberoamerican University, the conventional means of communication carry a stigma of cover-up and alliance with the system-government and the image that the state intends to spread to civil society.
Furthermore, they establish that one of the reasons for mistrust is mainly based on the fact that the media are subject to economic interests rather than professional values and ethics.
For these reasons, the best-known mass media are being left behind more and more. In terms of searching for truthful information, people are more inclined today to search for information on social networks or the Internet.
This offers users the advantage of searching and sharing the news that they find most interesting and relevant, without any restriction or censorship, just like pornhub, a place that’s known for serving free xxx.
What formats adopt television?
When speaking of television, the terms genre and format are generally used interchangeably to refer to a typology. However, there are differences between the two definitions.
The characteristics that give life to formats are those of configuring, structuring, and shaping an audiovisual idea. In other words, it is a program under all the main elements that make it unique: Theme, scenery, and rules.
However, the concept of gender would be presented with a broad and more abstract spectrum. These genes could be grouped into the same category but differentiated into formats.
For example, Fiction, this being the genre, and the narrative structure (series, telefilms, mini-series, and documentaries) would contain the nature of its content, which would be the formats.
In this way, the television news genre has been considered, for years, the reflection of current affairs on the small screen, differently from fictional or advertising genres.
Paleo-television organized the differences around issues related to the subject of referential and formal content, aimed more at the search for objectivity than at creative and inventive mechanisms.
However, at present, a tendency to blur the boundaries between genres can be detected, and this trend is exacerbated, organizing a journalistic television discourse where there is no separation between the informational genre and other television genres. Fusing with fiction, entertainment, and advertising.
Although, news programs indeed build a discourse based on events that have occurred in reality. These are not an absolute invention, but even so, television conducts different mediating processes that involve various manipulations of reality.
For this reason, the news is never neutral or objective, apart from being discursive constructions, more or less attached to events in reality. In other words; television does not invent reality as in fiction, but rather interprets it with its conditions, interests, and objectives.
In this way, television formats can be differentiated into:
Television information programs focus on journalism and news dissemination. Which covers all kinds of current affairs, from political to cultural or sports.
On the other hand, in the case of entertainment programs, although they contain some information, they focus more on leisure.
Objectives adopted by television
According to UNESCO, media education is part of the rights of every citizen. In any country in the world, freedom of expression and the right to information helps to maintain democracy. Also, it encourages teaching and learning with and about the media, which through them.
This creates an advantage by allowing people to understand this means of communication as a way of learning and communicating with other people.
In the academic field, and for the current era where cultures are promoted through television and scientific teachings, key points are indicated on which the television medium is based to impart and disseminate social and scientific information.
- Television literacy:
It is the new paradigm of global education, also part of the theory that television and communication media are a fundamental element for knowledge of the world.
- Parental-school mediation:
This objective is defined as those processes by which the family and the school filter educational influences through their processes. In this case, compared to the content and messages on television.
- Digital culture:
Information and communication technologies in a digital environment have been substantially modified from access to knowledge in society. This culture is characterized by establishing new languages, new narratives, and new communication models that define the relationship between the media/users, the teacher/student, parents/children, and institutions/citizens.
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In this way, all audiovisual content has the main objective of having an educational impact, whether specific or nonspecific, on the audiences. Where this educational impact can be both positive and negative, depending on the audience that interprets it.
But, without any doubt, all audiovisual media address cross-cutting themes that most of the time remain in the background of perception, but which also have an impact on the viewer.
Until what point does television contribute to the scientific education of young people?
As we have previously stated, television can be an extraordinary instrument for disseminating and learning information. Offering a high variety of content, open and available to a wide group of different tastes and personalities.
To the actual date, the social and scientific content obtained on television has grown remarkably, and unlike years ago, these programs (Series, documentaries, films, short films, reports, among others) are more accepted and viewed by the general public.
However, television programs, often including children’s programming, are saturated with violent content. So where does it stop being didactic information to become harmful information?
There is a causal relationship between violence in television media and the aggressive behavior of most young people. As mentioned before, television has the great disadvantage of being highly varied in content, and if this content is not controlled, it can be harmful to young people.
Sexual images or references are also frequent, as well as towards tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs, both in programs and advertisements. Therefore, it would be advisable to avoid excessive consumption of television, especially in children and adolescents.
Given the easy access of young people to all audiovisual media, especially television, and taking into account their possible negative effects on them, social concern about the habits that young people may obtain would be justified.
So, ignoring the impact of this medium in science education – and general – is not only useless but also means denying the possibilities offered by this resource in science education, in other words, it is a way of professionally limiting yourself.
Most research not only does not address it, but the value that it represents contextually in the life of the learner or teacher is often ignored.
In this way, the teaching and learning of science can be perceived in a multidimensional way. However, on many occasions to facilitate their study, one-dimensional approaches are used, which favor understanding more complex problems, but which cause vision loss as a whole.
Now, among the mass media, it seems that one of the most influential in scientific learning and social dynamics is television. This modern culture has come to be defined in terms of relationships with this knowledge.
However, even with the scope of this information and the number of topics it covers, this communication and learning tool seems to have a significant deficit in knowledge, other than the verbal codes of regulated teaching.
And that, the information disseminated is interpreted and constructed differently in each individual, as a result of the individual’s perception, internal experience, or social interaction.
Even so, television and the mass media remain the elements through which we survive an important part of the worldview. Due to this, they can be considered in the Didactics of Experimental Sciences (DES) since they have a dimension of an agent of social intervention in the construction of knowledge.
And then, based on that sense, it seems obligatory to study it as a factor to consider in the learning of the youngest, both socially and scientifically, thus inquiring into the requirements and demands that derive for the formation of the citizen, and to analyze its influence. In the interaction between Science, Technology, and Society.
But despite this, to know the possible didactic implications of television, it is important to know, first of all, which programs are most frequented by the youngest groups, but logically, it is also necessary to investigate the characteristics of learning in general.
Do their teaching strategies contribute to reinforcing scientific knowledge?
Television as a means of communication and learning has become a key element of modern scientific learning. This offers equal opportunities and personalized education.
Currently, there are a diverse and wide number of sources that society uses to obtain some type of information about a particular topic.
Both for young people and for those who are pursuing a university degree, these means of communication are essential for being up-to-date. And television is positioned as one of the main ones.
Given the ease of access, and the existence of the variety of information in these media, young people use various sources to approach and learn about topics related to scientific aspects.
Educational television, due to its structure and objectives, provides a learning environment, since they can personally access and learn what interests them most and find answers to their own needs.
Based on this, it is concluded that education through television will be the educational modality that most closely approximates the fundamental principles of:
- Education and access to scientific information for all without distinction.
- Personalized education thanks to materials and tutorials.
- Education for life, using technological development as an intrinsic part of the same evolution of man today.
As the television medium is a mass medium of communication, easily accessible, and used over the years as a tool for distance education, it can serve universities and schools to obtain and produce learning.
Achieving in this way, the teaching improves, and the reinforcement of the information previously acquired.
One of these strategies is usually the implementation of a television channel in universities. This not only helps improve the educational process but also stimulates the growth of the various communities.
Higher education for several years has tried to develop many educational television projects, as a methodological strategy to strengthen pedagogical methods for scientific learning.
Thus, it is concluded that the technological revolution has been transforming the educational world to such an extent that habits and didactic strategies and ways of research have been modified. This evolution has been transcendent, towards an innovative world of society on scientific knowledge.
The technological revolution currently underway offers young people, university students, and the general public a leading role in the construction of their knowledge and the contribution of their opinion in the elaboration of psycho-social-linguistics schemes of reality.