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Reporters, The; Reporter's Special : TV Violence

Part of From the Vault. Part of Television on Television Violence: Perspectives from the 70s and 90s.

10/10/1973

Panel discussion of violence on television moderated by Ed Baumeister and Paul deGive. Guests: Bill Greeley, Variety reporter; James Thistle, Executive Producer for Programming, WBZ; Ithiel de Sola Pool, MIT, member of Surgeon General's advisory council on television violence; James Coppersmith, General Manager, WNAC; and Richard Burdick, General Manager, WCVB. WGBH News program 1970-1973. Some audio disturbances occur in this recording. This public broadcasting program begins by telling the audience of a murder that occurred in the Boston area, in which a woman was brutally murdered by fire. The police commissioner had said the murder was linked to a recent television broadcast of the move Fuzz, starring Burt Reynolds and Raquel Welch, in which someone is set afire. The program thus begins a conversation about the relationship between television violence and real violence, and features a roundtable discussion about television violence from the perspective of local television station executives. On the panel are James Thistle, Executive Producer for Programming at WBZ TV; James Coppersmith Vice President of of RKO Television and General Manager of WNAC TV; and Richard Burdock, Vice President and General Manager for Creative Services at WCVB TV. The other roundtable participants are Bill Greeley, television reporter for Variety magazine, and Dr. Ithiel de Sola Poole, MIT psychologist and advisor to the Surgeon General’s television violence committee. The host of the show, Ed Baumeister, questions the panel about the responsibility the networks have in social violence, and what networks are doing to curb violence portrayed on television. The panel discusses violence as a necessary part of conflict in drama, television networks’ role in monitoring violence on the news and in entertainment television, and the fact that local stations rely on the networks to bring audiences with the programs they produces. The panelists all agree that the audience drives the production of violent programming. In addition, panel discusses whether television is a mirror of reality. The station executives agree that television is a reflection of what goes on in society. Dr. Poole, however, argues that local stations cannot dismiss the issue by suggesting television reflects reality, since there are some children that will mimic what they see on television. The panel briefly discusses the differences with film and the successful family programming that is already on air. The station executives point out that they get more negative feedback from family programming that reinforces bigotry and includes ethnic slurs. The conversation shifts to answer questions called in from viewers. They discuss what effect heavier monitoring of violence would have, what choices viewers have in different types of programming, and the role viewers have in changing what is aired. They discuss violence ratings, warnings, potential weekly “culture hours,” the role of public broadcasting, and Nielsen ratings. The panelists conclude that while networks do have a responsibility to monitor how much violence is on television, if viewers want changes to be made in violent programming, they need to stop watching violent programming. Summary and select metadata for this record was submitted by Daniella Perry.


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Series
Reporters, The
Program
Reporter's Special : TV Violence
Series Description

Premiered October 12, 1970, Succeeded by Evening Compass in January 1974

A 30-minute show to deliver accurate news and information with a concentration on important issues and continuity of coverage. 30 minutes, 5 nights a week. The Reporters boasted a format that covered “neighborhood” stories other media might miss and incorporated a state news digest in 1973. Staff included Stephen Teichner, Maureen Bunyan, Alan Lupo, Dianne Dumanoski, Joseph Day, Ed Baumeister, Rosemary Driscoll, Lee Daniels, Greg Pilkington and Judy Stoia.

See Program Guides and Prime Times: October 1970, January and May 1971, May 1973 Series release date: 10/12/1970

Program Description

Panel discussion of violence on television moderated by Ed Baumeister and Paul deGive. Guests: Bill Greeley, Variety reporter; James Thistle, Executive Producer for Programming, WBZ; Ithiel de Sola Pool, MIT, member of Surgeon General's advisory council on television violence; James Coppersmith, General Manager, WNAC; and Richard Burdick, General Manager, WCVB.

Series description: WGBH News program 1970-1973

Duration

00:59:43

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type

Video

Subjects
Boston, Massachusetts
Mass Media—Violence--United States
Children and Television
Television violence and children
Genres
News Report
Topics
News
Contributors
Wiley, Lou (Associate Producer)
Burdick, Richard (Guest)
Thistle, James (Guest)
Coppersmith, James (Guest)
Baumeister, Ed (Other (see note))
Degive, Paul (Moderator)
Stuart, Charles C. (Director)
Greeley, Bill (Guest)
Fletcher, Leah (Other (see note))
De Sola Pool, Ithiel (Guest)
Citation
Chicago: “Reporters, The; Reporter's Special : TV Violence,” 10/10/1973, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 6, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2E9DCE9EAEE64D4AA0943FDA10FDF161.
MLA: “Reporters, The; Reporter's Special : TV Violence.” 10/10/1973. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 6, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2E9DCE9EAEE64D4AA0943FDA10FDF161>.
APA: Reporters, The; Reporter's Special : TV Violence. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2E9DCE9EAEE64D4AA0943FDA10FDF161
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