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World Television Day brings role of visual media to fore during COVID-19 pandemic

By Maria Weldali - Nov 21,2020 - Last updated at Nov 21,2020


AMMAN  — World Television Day, which falls annually on November 21, is celebrated to acknowledge the importance of television, which represents a symbol for communication and globalisation in the contemporary world, according to the UN.

Television continues to be the single largest source of video consumption. Though screen sizes have changed, and people create, post, stream and consume content on different platforms, the number of households with television sets around the world continues to rise, according to the UN website.

“The interaction between emerging and traditional forms of broadcast creates a great opportunity to raise awareness about the important issues facing our communities and our planet,” the UN website said.

“Television is a major tool in informing, channelling and affecting public opinion,” it said.

“There are millions of stories that we watch and hear on the TV. This device has helped people connect with each other, particularly during this crisis that led to lockdowns across the world,” Neda Juma, a Jordanian citizen in her late 30s, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Saturday.

As people spend more time in their homes, it is unsurprising that television views have surged, Juma said, adding that television sets have brought formerly inaccessible musical and cultural activities as well as other programmes into people’s homes like never before.

“Television is taking on an increasingly important role. It provides information, gives people the opportunity to have access to entertainment. In addition, it brings people and families together while they watch light-hearted shows and it provides a cheap escape to other countries. But eventually, TV is a double-edged sword in regard to children’s screen time as it may affect their development,” Juma said.

With the advent of the television, people across the world started feeling closer than ever, Bara’a Ahmad, a Jordanian citizen in her 20s, told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

Furthermore, she said that television has helped during this unprecedented crisis build empathy with other communities, due to being “the most expressive medium”.

Ahmad, who is a marketing graduate, added that television provides ample scope for creativity, which eventually helps in creating a meaningful impact. He noted that “TV should be properly utilised in order to avoid its disadvantages”.  

In recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making and its potential role in sharpening the focus on major issues, World Television Day was established in 1996 by the UN.


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