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March 01, 1959 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-03-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Sixty-Ninth Year
torials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual Opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This mcst be noted in.all reprints.

Television: A Better


West May Still Gain
From Marmillan's Trip

Dally Staff Writer'
IN ITS twelfth year, television
threatens to remain a perpetual
adolescent, although much of the
time it still seems to be in its
One of the reasons for its re-
tarded development is undoubtedly
its favorite toy, the audience rat-
ings. Commercial television being
essentially a money-making ven-
ture, it is understandable that the
sponsor of a program with a low
rating will not want to waste his
money on a venture which is not
even returning his investment.
ADVERTISERS measure the
"return" in terms of increased
sales, and if it can be shown that
a particular program does not
reach enough homes to affect sales
favorably, then the sponsor often
withdraws his support from the
program. Thus many worthwhile
shows have been dropped by the
two major networks.
The great control exercised by
the network over programming in
television has many potentialities,
if the networks had courage to ex-

)RIME MINISTER Harold Macmillan is back
in Number 10 Downing Street today, having
eturned from his exploratory talks in Russia
ith Nikita Khrushchev. They did not end well.
itended as a "reconnaissance" mission both
or negotiations on the current Berlin crisis
s well as on general state of East-West rela-
ons, the talks do not appear to have accom-
lished much.
"Khrushchev is 'not budging an inch," a
ritish source said, "and Macmillan is not
eidging an inch, either."
The atmosphere of the talks, which had be-
un with an air of cautious optimism, was
pattered by Khrushchev's speech Tuesday to
political rally in Moscow. In his address, the
ussian leader ridiculed the Western plan that
he foreign ministers negotiate on. Berlin and
uropean security in general. He also warned
hat any violations of East Germany's borders
esultng from'the dispute over Berlin would
institute an act of aggression. This attitude
sled out any really constructive talk with Mac-
On the surface, Prime Minister Macmillan
emained unruffled by all this. In Kiev, before
is departure, he reaffirmed, his "firm belief"
hat international negotiations undertaken in
ncerity and good will are the only way to
each a fair agreement. between the East and
he West..
1ACMILLAN, as well as much of the rest of
of the West, believes fruitful negotiations
ith the Russians are still possible. Prag-
atically, this may or may not be true. Aside
-om this, it may be asked what did the talks,
side from such a largely unprovable ethical
elief, really accomplish?
Firstly, sandwiched between sightseeing and
anquets, there was the opportunity for con-
derable serious discussion to take place be-
een Macmillan and Khrushchev. Such talk,
sough it may produce little of material import,
yes give each side a valuable insight into the
find, policies and calculations of the other.
N THIS RESECT, Macmillan undoubtedly
was able to inform Khrushchev of three major
oints in the Western position. The West is
tlexible inits determination not to be squeezed

out of Berlin by any means the Russians might
choose to einploy. The West, however, is willing
to talk about arrangements whereby tension-
producing incidents in Berlin and her ap-
proaches could be narrowed down. These ar-
rangements, furthermore, might involve the
first step toward the solution of the real cause
of the Berlin crises: the German reunification
In spite of his truculance, Khrushchev at
least has now some concrete insight, based on
person-to-person talks with a representative
of the West, of the realities of the Western
He may, further, have undercut his own posi-
tion by his blast last Tuesday. It has been sug-
gested that Macmillan's trip to Moscow was
inspired with one eye toward the coming
British elections. If Khrushchev felt that by
deliberately wrecking, any chance of a spec-
tacular agreement between him and Macmillan
he was hurting Macmillan's prestige at home
and helping the Labor Party's chances in the
election, he may be mistaken. It is true that
Khrushchev would rather have a Labor govern-
ment in London than a Conservative one, but
his slap at Macmillan probably will only succeed
in rallying the British people around him as a
hard-working statesman, battling enormous
odds in trying to negotiate with the Russians.
THE WEST, and, it is to be hoped, the rest
of the uncommitted world, have learned by
now tthe difficulties of negotiating with the
Russians and expecting anything serious to
come of it. The Russians, however, ma have
hurt themselves with Khrushchev's "impolit-
ness" for they had previously been in the fore-
front of those demanding an international;
conference to negotiate the German question.'
Khrushchev's blast came a little toosoon after
his latest request for such a conference to be
taken as a token of good will and sincerity.
The West remains morally committed to the
principle of full and sincere negotiations with
the Russians. In terms-of realpolitik, this prin-
ciple has in the past been something of a
handicap, but as a result of Khrushchev's ploy,
the West may not only benefit morally but
pragmatically as well.

-Daily-Allan Winder
CONTROL ROOM-Headquarters of the camera director at the University television office, where
approximately 160 programs are produced annually.

plore them. But there have been
numerous indications that pro-
grams have been revised or even
canceled due to complaints from
assorted pressure groups, including
The reluctance on the part of
the networks to assume responsi-
bility for anything slightly con-
troversial, or to take a stand on
such issues, is extremely disap-
pointing, and a further indication
of television's lack of maturity.
However, there is some sign for
hope, shown by a recent produc-
tion of "Johnny Belinda," a play
in which the heroine gives birth
to an illegitimate child. Accord-
ing to the network censor, they
did not receive one letter of com-
The few good programs, such as
"Omnibus," "Playhouse 90," "Voice
of Firestone," and "The Last
Word," jwhich manage to sneak
into commercial programming
usually get relegated to unpopular
hours or get pushed off the air.
Some manage to survive, but when
a choice must be made, a program
with less intrinsic worth but more
appeal to the mass-mind will win
out. Fad shows, such as horror
movies and "adult" westerns are
considered better risks.
THE CRITICS attending the
birth of commercial television were
understandably disappointed by its
scrawny constitution (the vaude-
ville-variety-comedian shows), but
expressed great hope for the fu-
ture, when both -the audience and
the medium would mature simul-
taneously and television would
grow into a strong adult, capable
of supporting not just one "egg-
head" program per week, but of
scheduling operas, lectures, discus..
sion groups, Shakespeare, concerts,
at least once a day.
This has not happened. And it
seems to be up to television to take
its first step-to present the audi-
ence with some adult fare in a
more consistent fashion, rather
than wait for the audience to lead
it where it will, pulling it by its
ratings. It looks as though the day
of television's maturity has not
yet come; and as long as there are
audience ratings to dictate the net-
works' moves, that day is a long
way off.



Educational TV Needs Careful Handling

OFE..BLACK By Richard Taub
Tme for Learning

SOMETIMES I think thre 'is too much teach-
ing and not enough learning going on
round here," one University professor is fond
saying, and he may have a point.
American universities are just about the only
nes in the world which require regular attend-
ace at class, regularly assigned readings, and
.any exams and quizzes over the period to
lake sure that students are keeping up. And
this the University is fairly typical.
Because of this, :there is little opportunity
>r the student to leisurely examine something
Sspecial interest. He is not permitted to be-
>me. especially concerned with some facet of
is work and explore it fully without paying
ie price of poor grades in all of it.
He just reads his assignments, prepares for
lizzes and hour exams, and, every once in a
hile he may get the opportunity to do a little
rtra-curricular dabbling.
There is not too much time for contemplation.
UNIVERSITY committee is now working
to provide even less time for thought. The
test in a long line of calendar committees is
ow considering shortening the final exam
Under the impetus of some misguided edu-
tionists, there has been a drive to reduce the
nportance and significance of final examina-
How does one go about this? by giving more
:ams during the school year, thereby making
ie final exam period less important; if it is
ss important, it need only be two hours long.
each exam is only two hours long, one might
well make the examination period five days
INAL EXAMS, many educationists say, really
- are not very useful anyway. Because so
uch rides on themg, students are excessively
rvous and cannot do as well. Second, if a
erson crams for a couple of nights, he can do
ell enough to pass the exam, although he will
ot learn. anything. (We can't see any differ-
ice between this and cramming for four or
re exams spread through the course of the
These educationists really do not understand
hat a college education is all about. One does
At "learn" courses by taking exams periodically
make sure one keeps up with assignments.
lucation is not the absorption of a series of
Rather time must be taken at the conclusion
a course (the final examination period), for

WHEN ONE HAS TIME to reflect, and the
pieces fall into place, the course is tremen-'
dously different from what it appeared during
the semester. While it is important to know
DesCartes' philosophy, it is even more important
to know how DesCartes influenced western
thinking; it is valuable to know that Henry
VIII wanted to get divorced so he set up his
own church; but it is more important to know
how this fitted into the development of English
history; it is valuable to learn that David
Riesman thinks the American man is becoming
"other directed," but it is much more valuable
to figure out how this figures into the picture
of social change, its causes and implications.
BUT ONE CAN'T LEARN these things unless
he has time to think about them-perhaps
to read considerably more than was assigned.
One needs time to pull different strands to-
gether, and make them into a meaningful
Many a student has suddenly discovered that
his course is terribly interesting, while studying
for the final-because at last, the course makes
Shorten the examination period, and forget
about thinkng. No course is an isolated bit of
knowledge, and neither is any part of a course.
such an isolated bit. Those teachers who give
exams on parts of the course just immediately
covered, and who don't require the whole course
on each exam, are doing their students a great
Admittedly, there are and can be short-
comings to the examination period as arranged
today. There is, for example, the danger of
a student just cramming his way through.
But in most courses, a really well designed
final is impossible to cram for-because it does
more than require a collection of factual'
It is also true that with the current examina-
tion schedule, students frequently have less
time than they would in a five-day period. But
this can easily be compensated for by printing
exam schedules in the time schedules.
It is also true that final exams-as conducted
now, are an abominable waste. Students world
to learn and understand their- courses, pour
forth their learning into blue books and never
see them again. Certainly, for the exams to be
most valuable, students should be able to get
them back, to understand where they went
astray-instead of forever carrying about with
them some erroneous conceptions.

Daily Staff Writer
AS EDUCATORS seek new ways
of stretching their already
tight budgets, television grows in-
creasingly more attractive.
Educators must, and are, giving
television a long, hard look. But
what should be the extent of its
use? How good is it? What pur-
poses can it, should it, serve?
First of all, secondary school
and. college curriculums could be
expanded. Many schools have
neither the space nor the equip-
ment necessary for courses that
could be valuable. Television
would put these courses right into
the classroom and with relatively
smooth, production too.
The teacher shortage could be
C annbal?
Daily staff writer
PAY-TV is fighting its way into
American livipg rooms.
Supporters of this new media
of entertainment claim that the
public would be happier watching
commercial-free TV shows. Holly-
wood, and other producers, believe
also that if 'blue-ribbon' entertain-
ment, such as first-run movies and
Broadway plays, as well as "public
information" programs were pre-
sented on TV, people could get
higher quality and better enter-
tainment for a "nominal price."a
Pay-TV, however, has numerous
opponents. Broadcasters, whose in-
comes come from the sponsers of
network shows now produced, esti-
mate a $1.4 billion dollar annual
loss of money spent by advertisers,
if pay-at-you-go television steps
into the picture. Likewise, owners
of motion picture theaters, who
have viewed with dismay their
dwindling audiences during the
past decade, fear that theaters will
be even darker than before. And
advertisers believe that "pay-TV
can succeed only by cannibalizing
free TV," by shoving it out of the
picture altogether.
There is, of course, justification
for all these worrys. Even though
pay-TV does not propose to cut out
commercial TV altogether (it
would probably start out slowly,
with one station in each of some
five districts broadcasting for a
few hours each night), it would
have an overwhelming influence
on it.
* * *
FURTHERMORE, it is believed
that eventually "the best programs
would go over to pay-TV if a suc-
cessful nationwide system was es-
tablished." And above all, many
people around the nation contend
that they have already bought
their TV set. Must they pay to
watch it too?
Pay - TV advocates, however,
claim that without commercials,
the networks could present more
programs such as interviews with
important people, world-wide news
coverage, and play-by-play report-
ing of national political conven-
tions, which are operated at a loss
to the broadcaster on commercial
*' * *
OF THE THREE major types of
pay-TV available, two would bill
subscribers periodically and one
would have a coin box next to the
decoder on the TV set where
money could be inserted for the
desired program.

alleviated in two areas via the
"mechanical baby sitter." Teach-
ers could be "spread a little thin-
ner" if the TV classroom were
presided over by a fledgling in-
structor, and the bulk of instruc-
tion carried on by the tube. Top
instructors could be heard by
a larger number of students.
Care must be taken, however,
to insulate against complete elec-
tronization of the educational
process. One of the major objec-
tions to classroom TV has been
the lack of a close student-
teacher relationship. Basic prin-
ciples can be given in TV lectures
and participants inet in small sec-
tions'to discuss, the lecture and
ask questions.
Another possibility is to broad-
cast to an actual classroom, with
a section or discussion leader
present to give personal attention.
By these means instruction
could be standardized in the main
points but individual teachers
would direct the details of their
STUDENTS taking TV-con-
ducted classes score about the:
same as those taking regular in-
struction, according to recent
studies. The University of Texas
noted that TV students progressed
faster on certain laboratory sci-
ences and fared about the same as

their non-TV contemporaries An
lecture sections.
Television gives everyone a
front row seat and a closeup of
every experiment thus explaining
the better achievement of TV in
teaching certain demonstration
types of courses.
The University's Medical School
is currently utilizing closed cir-
cuit television to demonstrate
various medical techniques to
larger groups of students than
would be possible under normal
circumstance. The TV screen
gives a front row seat to every
aspiring physician.
Slated for this summer; is a
series involving the English Lan-
guage Institute. A TV camera will
broadcast the proceedings, in a
classroom. A small group of stu-
dents will be learning English and
a large group of students will be
observing the techniques of in-
By this means, teachers will be
shown in actual instruction and
instruction and their methods
may be evaluated and discussed
without disturbing the claps.
* * *
All subjects are not, of course,
adaptable to TV. It can however,
be used for a large portion of a
class where TV is especially suit-
ed to handle the instruction or as
a casual addition to regular in-
struction in areas where the elec-

tronic tube is not readily adapt-
able to teaching. Some courses
may have everything but supple-
mentary reading via kinescope
while other classes may have only
the basic principles adapted to
Properly used television can be
a valuable aid in teaching. TV
will probably become more and
more a part.of the classroom and
be as accepted in the same way,
as other visual aids such as
charts, maps, and graphs have
It is important that educators
and parents be alert to utilize
television where it is applicable
and keep it from being used just
for the novelty and where it has
poor application. Tremendous ad-
vantages to education are possible
if television is exploited fully and

U' Produces for 'Kine-Network'

Daily Staff Writer
DESPITE the lack of a trans-
mitter, the University actively
participates in the nation's educa-
tional television effort.
Prevented by lack of funds and
available channels from operating
a television broadcasting station,
the University television office
serves an estimated over a million
viewers through filmed programs.
The office has the most exten-
sive "kinescope" network in the
nation developed by any one in-
stitution. During the last academic
year, 29 stations carried University
Last spring the television office
received three awards, the only
ones in the network classification
given to an educational institution.
These were given by the Ameri-
can Exhibition of Educational
Radio and Television Programs,
held in conjunction with the In-
stitute for Education by Radio
Television at Ohio State.
* * *
PRODUCTIONS start with the
assigning of a producer-writer.
Preparation for these programs
goes through a series of meetings,
including faculty and guests, as
the show approaches its filming
Then, following about three
hours of camera rehearsals and a
dry run, the show, supervised by
a camera director, is kinescoped,
utilizing graphics, visual aids and,
staging effects.
The producers have considerable
liberty in choosing a subject for a
production, Betty Palmer, a televi-
sion office producer-writer, said.
There is no direct control on most
productions, but long series which
require considerable investment
does require approval of the ad-
ministrative head, she explained.
The television office endeavors
through the years to get a program
representing each department of
the University, Miss Palmer said.
Among the approximately 160
programs produced last year, were

Have Sponsor, Will Cut
IN ADAPTING Hamlet for the forthcoming Old Vic production on
television, producer Ralph Nelson decided to concentrate on the
play's "pure melodrama and action ... to get a better rating."
As the first step in adapting Hamlet, Nelson wrote a synopsis of
the play as a Western
"Young Jake Hamlet, one of the fastest guns west of the Baltic,
returns to him home town to find that his father, the sheriff, has been

University medical center and the
speech department in their closed
circuit television activities. At the
present time the medical school
has color television for instruc-
tional use.
Since kinescope film can be
played on movie projectors, the
audio visual center has bought a
number of programs to distribute
to its subscribers.
AT PRESENT there seems to be'
no immediate probability of ex-
panding the office's services to in-
clude transmitting, Prof. Garnet
R. Garrison, Director of Broad-
casting, said. The television fre-
quencies in the Ann Arbor area are
saturated on the very-high fre-
quency level (channels 2 through

At the ultra - high frequency
level, (UHF) there is not enough
of an audiance to warrant a sta-
tion. UHF stations such as Ann
Arbor's WPAG - TV have been
forced to go off the air.
The UHF stations have had dif-
ficulties because most television
sets are not equipped to receive
their signals. Equipping a set. to
receive these frequencies costs ap-
proximately $40.
There are two solutions to this
problem which are being con-
sidered. One possibility would be
to compel all VHF stations to
switch to UHF where, there are
more frequencies, the other would
be to provide tax relief to the tele-
vision set manufacturers to offset
the production costs.

'Tube' Alters, Sports

killed. His uncle has taken over
the sheriff's job and married
Jake's old lady. Our hero gets sus-
picious that things aren't, quite
legitimate in the old corral.
"The new sheriff has a deputy.
a fuzzy old Gabby Hayes-type
Tex Polonius. Old Tex thinks
young Jake is a little off his rocker
and whispers to the sheriff that
Jake should be put out of the way.
* * * ,
"JAKE LOOKS UP his old girl
friend, Tex's daughter Ophelia,
and finds the same zing doesn't
happen between them any more.
He's too concerned with'trying to
solve the old man's death. When
Ophelia tries to make it up to
him, he tells her to get lost.
"Our young Jake also tells off
his mother for marrying his uncle.
If that weren't enough, he stabs
old Tex, who's eavesdropping. The
news of his sister's and father's
deaths brings 'Nevada Laertes
home from school in the East. He
swears he's' going to kill Jake
Hamlet at high noon on the town's
main street.
"Meanwhile, back at the ranch,
our hero is not idle. With a phony
doctor from a touring medicine
show, he arranges a reenactment
of his old man's death.
The trick works and the new
sheriff knows that our. boy is on
to him. So he arranges the duel
between Jake and Nevada Laertes,
but manages to sneak a dumdum
bullet into one of the pistols.
There's a mixup of pistols, and in-
stead of young Jake getting the
bullet, Laertes gets it. But he lives
long enough -to blame the sheriff.
"AND JUST IN case anything
went wrong with the bullet, the
sheriff had arranged for young
Jake to' drink a slug of poisoned
bar whisky. But unfortunately his
wife drinks it. She falls dead. So
young Jake, now seeing the whole
plot, draws from the hip and drops
the sheriff.
"So there's the stage. Young
Laertes is dead, the sheriff's wife is
dead, and our boy Jake is on his
way. He tells his sidekick, Wyom-
ing Horatio, that he's on his way to
the last roundup. And as the screen
fades, we see Horatio riding off
into the sunset with young Jake
Hamlet spread-eagled across his


Daily Sport's Writer
ARE TELEVISION sports ruining
athletic attendence or has
lackadaisical attendence made TV
Undoubtedly, this is the major
problem of athletics-professional
and college-today.
Professional football claims tele-
vision has helped promote its game
and supplement its many sellout_
crowds. Yet while these pro grid-
ers watched attendence climb, the
colleges (especially the smaller
ones) have suffered. Fans have
urged more college TV since the
successful advent in the pro game.
Because of the demand, state
legislators often get into the act,
as they did the other day at Lan-
sing, and tell Michigan and Michi-
gan State that they can televise
their usual sellout football game.
There are many other bypro-
ducts of TV-promoted professional

as pro basketball and the college
cage game are.
The TV - oriented professional
fans, used to the best, expect to
see collegians let the pros set their
rule standards. Therefore, they
want to change the college games
of football and basketball into the
glorified track meets that the pro
sports have become.
*. * *
THE COLLEGES" are not the
only ones who have suffered. Major
league baseball cannot deny that
TV has been the key factor in the
diminishing American-the .minor
There are few doubts that an-
other diminishing American - the
at-the-park fan - has been ab-
sorbed by "the tube."
But baseball leaders have a
stand too. They can claim Ameri-
cans do want the television. This
argument backfires, however, when
one realizes that it is these same'
"leader_" who don't build good

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