50 years later: Is the Web an even vaster wasteland than TV?

Monday, May 9 marks the 50th anniversary of the speech by then-Federal Communications Commission Chairman Newton Minow in which he described television as “a vast wasteland.”  The recent issue of The Atlantic carries an interview with Minow, who ironically confesses he didn’t foresee the importance of the Internet, though his description of television in the 1960s is eerily prescient:

You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials -- many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.

Read Minow's full article in The Atlantic: A Vaster Wasteland.

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Reader comments

Mon, May 9, 2011

TV and the internet are tools that have uses and features that vary in quality and need to be regulated by adult family members who set up, follow, and enforce rules for their use. Entertainment and communications need to take a backseat to work, chores, play and face-to-face interaction.

Mon, May 9, 2011

See 'Sturgeon's Law'. Personally, I think he was an optimist.

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