Compare the television landscape of today with the landscape depicted in Network. In particular, how has the average television viewer’s (if there is such a thing) news gathering methods and sources changed? I think it is safe to say that television has changed 10 fold since how television was depicted in Network. In fact, I think television is a whole different playing field today. In this movie, TV news stories were straight forward and meant only to inform and that was the sole purpose of news on TV. Today, I believe that besides informing, news stations are striving desperately to entertain their viewers as well. In the movie, I believe that Howard Beal’s character represents the peak of change where news on TV changed from not only informing, but entertaining. Sources of news stories became less important than the story itself.
At one point, Howard Beale says that only three percent of Americans read books while only 15 percent read newspapers. Comment on how the decline of print has impacted Americans’ knowledge of the world, critical thinking skills, and — maybe — intellect.
I think Howard Beal’s character said a lot of things that were untrue, but his idea that less reading has led to a decline in intellect? I whole-heartedly agree. Why? Because there is large amount of people from every walk of life that has become completely uninformed or misinformed. Many people today who do not read published things, ignore the news on TV as well so they remain uninformed and unaware of the world. Then there are the people who believe only what they see on TV, which can paint a very distorted view of real life and real events.