Quotation by William J. Donnelly

Television was far more pervasive and radicalizing than printing had been. It was massive. When Riesman and others spoke of books, magazines, and radio as mass media, they could not imagine the size and shape of television. There never had been a medium that could reach everybody, and reach them with images of behavior as behavior without the rationalization of words. The audience for its programs was drawn from every social class and every social element. By the mere act of watching television, a heterogeneous society could engage in a purely homogeneous activity. Television images are more rapid and transient than the printed word. They make no demand on us to remember or reflect on them. This impermanence and the time of consumption cause us to spend extended hours with the medium but significantly less time with any one image or sequence of images. Television is instantaneous and simultaneous: Everyone gets the message at the same time and, at the same time that an event is happening. There is no lag time between a reporter witnessing an event and reporting it, and no time for reflection and analysis.
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