Broadcast Television Effects in A Remote Community (Lea's by Tony Charlton, Barrie Gunter, Andrew Hannan

By Tony Charlton, Barrie Gunter, Andrew Hannan

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This funding allowed the study to proceed on sound financial footing for the next 3 years and facilitated the appointment of a research assistant for the final 2-year period. The research team had already been strengthened in late 1992 by the addition of Andy Hannan (to work on the displacement study), and Barrie Gunter joined the project in 1995 (to focus primarily on the content analysis of TV programming). Ron Davie was welcomed into the team in 1996. Later, in 1998, Charlie Panting was appointed as the research assistant (later changed to research officer).

All the cinemas had closed by the mid-1980s. The video first arrived in 1979. Although video hire shops were soon established in Jamestown and surrounding communities, videotapes were also sent to the island from the UK and South Africa. According to the island’s 1987 census, 29% of households owned one or more video sets. Although financial circumstances could limit the widespread availability of the sets, so could the unavailability of electricity. At that time many households, particularly those located in more remote and less accessible regions on the island, were not connected to a main electricity supply.

So, neither the amount of time given by these children to their video viewing or the nature of their viewing diet was of a kind indicating any serious cause for concern according to findings in much of the voluminous literature on adverse viewing effects for video or TV. Third, by comparison with seeing videos, watching television (particularly where more than one channel is available) can encourage more uninterrupted viewing. Individuals can persist in viewing television even when their preferred program finishes.

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