Describe the impact of television in the 1950’s and early 1960’s

It was in the 1950’s that television made its real impact. Broadcasts first began in the 1930’s but only 80,000 sets were sold. In the 1950’s transmitters were built that allowed 80% of the population to receive TV signals. Soon 1,500,000 sets were sold. By 1959 10 million sets were sold and in the 1960’s nearly 15million were in operation. The TV industry made money and brought jobs to Britain.The real impacts were felt by the new entertainment that TV provided. Major sporting events were broadcast for the first time, starting with the Cup Final in 1953. Later the Grand National, the Boat Race, Wimbledon, cricket and football were all provided by the TV. People could now watch and experience the joys of sports that they could never really have access to before. Other major events could be watched by the nation, 20 million people watched the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. The broadcasts of these major sporting and national events allowed people to see them for the first time.New channels were soon set up. In 1954 ITV began. This gave people more programmes and improved their entertainment. ITV bought programmes from America and some of these programmes proved very popular especially light comedy programmes like ‘I Love Lucy’.By 1954 the first soaps began to be shown. These became extremely popular and still are today. People were able to see a type of programme that they had never seen before. Quiz and game shows also began. People began to have a wide choice of different programmes to entertain them. Children’s programmes started to be shown in the early 1950’s and soon teenagers had programmes aimed at them, starting with the first pop music programme in the early 1950’s.Big advertising began when ITV was started in 1954. Adverts were shown between programmes to make money. Businesses could now advertise to most people in the country. Newspapers went out of business because advertisers turned to ITV to advertise. In 1960 two daily newspapers and five Sunday newspapers went out of business.TV allowed people to hear the news and be in touch with what was happening in the country. Politicians used the TV to make speeches. Interviewing became popular and programmes like ‘Panorama’ were set up.TV ultimately caused a boom in entertainment. It brought families together and allowed society to change. Society soon became less formal and more relaxed.2. Why were television broadcasts criticised by some people in the 1960’s and 1970’s?The first real complaint towards TV began in the 1960’s when TV began to challenge the accepted ways of doing things. Programmes were produced by young people who wanted to do things the way they wanted and not the way the older generation wanted things to be done. They created an atmosphere where people began to think, say and do things in a way that they wouldn’t have done a few years earlier. It became acceptable to make fun of people who were posh and pompous. The Prime Minister became a target by a programme called TW3. The BBC got complaints to tone down the programme. TW3 made fun of the Royal Family, religion, politicians and other things. The BBC received many complaints.Other programmes like Monty Pythons Flying Circus made fun of all aspects of British society. This new attitude that poked fun and challenged society caused many complaints and criticisms of TV.The new channel BBC 2 that was created in 1964. Critics were not impressed by it. The interviews of government ministers were tougher and more investigative and many of the plays were of a different type to those that had been produced in the past. People did not always like these new changes.The BBC was accused of encouraging immorality and campaigners began to complain. Campaigns were launched to try to force TV to censor programmes. TV began to show more sex scenes, which produced strong reactions and criticism from the public. Critics also accused TV of showing strong language and glorifying crime and violence.It was up to the broadcasters when to show more adult programmes and sometimes if they showed an adult programme before the unofficial watershed time of 9:00 pm then they could face criticismAnother criticism that TV faced was due to the BBC and politics. The BBC was supposed to be politically impartial and not take sides. During the 1960’s the BBC was criticised for its coverage of political events. Both Labour and Conservative governments complained that the BBC was biased against them. These complaints were due to the fact the politicians did not want to face difficult questions but rather make a speech about a topic of their choiceTV also was criticised for its approach to cultural issues. It was accused of telling people what they should want rather than giving them what they did want.Another criticism was that TV caused people in Britain to become very lazy and spend more time sitting about rather than improving their health and as a result caused them to become less energetic and fit. Children spent most of their spare time watching TV rather than doing some thing more active. Previous generations would have been out exploring and playing and now TV caused this to stop so it was criticised for this.3. In what ways did TV broadcasting change from the 1950’s to 1970’s?From the 1950’s to the 1970’s there were some big changes in television. At the start of the 1950’s the programmes shown were very relaxed and tried to fit in with society. Source F shows that on one night the main programmes shown were sheep dog trials at 8:00 pm then a play and then the news in sound only. This was a very unadventurous broadcasting and this really reflected British society. Soon by the 1960’s the broadcasts began to change. More soaps were put on TV with Coronation Street starting in 1961 and TV started to become more daring. The programme producers wanted to make programmes that they wanted to make and not follow the strict rules that the older generation expected.In the sixties TV started to receive more criticism than in the 50’s. This shows that TV started to challenge the accepted ways of doing things and wanted to test society. Some programmes began to make fun of people. A programme named TW3 made fun of any one famous especially high British figures like politicians. This had never been done before and at first people complained and did not like it. Soon most programmes started to change. More violence, sex and crime was shown on TV showing that TV was changing and to an extent peoples taste in programmes was too. TV began to portray life as it was rather than how it should be and this had not been done before in the 1950’s. TV began to aim at a younger and newer audience. In the sixties the Bond films started and these were a good example of the increasing violence on the TV. Monty Python a programme that poked fun at all aspects of British society began and challenged the accepted ways of doing things. These were big changes from the educational and simple unobjectionable programmes first shown in the 1950’s.The big reflection on how television programmes changed is by the fact that in the 1950’s there were not many complaints only in 1954 when a games contestant took off his dinner jacket and revealed his braces. This compared to what was shown in the 60’s was nothing. There was no censorship since there was no need for it in the 50’s because people were careful that programmes followed the morals of British society. By the 1960’s there were calls for censorship and some campaigns were set up to clean up TV.In the 1970’s TV toned down again similar to the 1950’s but not as formal. At the same time it became more popular than ever. By the end of the 1970’s almost everyone in Britain had a TV set a big change from the 600,000 people that had them in the early 1950’s. By the 70’s there were a wide range of programmes being shown by the BBC and ITV. Game shows, Christmas programmes, sporting events, beauty competitions, soaps, comedies etc all began to filter onto the TV. It was in the 70’s that real celebrities were created due to broadcasting. People wanted to watch programmes hosted by big stars this was a change from the 50’s where it was a presenter turned out in a dinner jacket. British people now had more choice as TV broadcasting changed.Advertising really took off when TV began. At first there were no real adverts on the TV in 1950 but when ITV was created in 1954 adverts began to be put on in between programmes. People were now being bombarded with information on new products something that had not previously been done on TV before.TV broadcasting ultimately changed from its formal unobjectionable programmes in the 1950’s to its daring and challenging programmes of the 60’s. Then the simple laid back programmes in the 70’s. These really reflect British society as a whole, where it was strict in the 50’s then changing in the 60’s where it really began to push the boarders. Society then became more settled in the 70’s as did the programmes.

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