The Power of Television : The Growing Media Consciousness of Blacks and Hispanics
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The author worked as a production intern and an on-camera host in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Channel 65, a low power local access station that targets programming towards minority communities. Low power stations first came into being in small towns, usually isolated from the broadcasting reception of national news, or in remote areas where television reception is hard to receive. It is very unusual that a Low power station would be successful in a city the size of Milwaukee (pop. @650,000) because there is such a wide variety of channels to choose from. The growing minority population has, however, proven to be one that not only wants to have a low access station in their community, but is actively participating in keeping the station in business. The author also presents a history of Black and Hispanic representation on television. Author Herbert Gans suggests that answers to misrepresentations for minorities lie within a policy known as subcultural programming, a policy that may still be a long way off but one that addresses problems facing minorities within television and offers logical solutions. The medium of television has been around long enough for people to begin addressing the importance of minority representation. American society has become a bigger melting pot than ever, and the changing face of this country can no longer be ignored. However, without unification among growing minority groups, our society, already in a state of communal decay, will lose all ties to "the community." Low access stations, like Channel 65 are helping to establish community bonds within minority groups, and from this springs the hope of a community that crosses racial and ethnic boundaries.