The first World Television Forum was staged by the United Nations in the mid ’90s, and it was out of this event that World Television Day was born. The forum brought together leading figures from the media industry to analyze the growing impact that TV had on decision-making and public opinion when it comes to issues of peace and security around the planet.
The History of World Television Day
In December 1996 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the 21st of November World Television Day, the same year the first World Television Forum was held. Acording to the United Nations, this decision was taken in order to give recognition of the increasing impact television has had on decision-making by bringing various conflicts and threats to peace and security to the world’s attention, as well as its coverage of other major issues, including economic and social. World Television Day is not meant to be so much a celebration of the electronic tool itself, but rather of the philosophy which it represents–a philosophy of openness and transparency of world issues. Television has long been thought to represent communication and globalization in the contemporary world. However, not all of the government representatives present saw matters quite that way. The delegation from Germany said, “Television is only one means of information and an information medium to which a considerable majority of the world population has no access… That vast majority could easily look at World Television Day as a rich man’s day. They do not have access to television. There are more important information media and here I would mention radio in particular.”
How to Celebrate World Television Day
The most obvious way to celebrate World Television Day is by watching television. But what? Surely not vulgar reality shows offering little to no value of any kind to their audience? World Television Day is a time to rewatch and relive some of the greatest moments of television that helped bring the reality of a rapidly technologically advancing world into people’s homes, forever changing their lives and how they perceived the world. 1954 marked the launch of Disney’s “Wonderful World of Color”, a family-friendly variety program that mixed iconic cartoons, drama and documentary programming. The very first televised presidential debate between Republican Vice President Richard Nixon and his challenger, relatively unknown Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960 changed the presidential elections forever. For the first time ever, American voters actually saw the candidates present their ideas, which worked greatly in favor of the young and handsome Kennedy, who went on to win the election. And few moments, if any, in television history could ever surpass Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Ed “Buzz” Aldrin’s moon landing in 1969, which many people consider to be a pivotal moment in their lives until this very day–after that, nothing was going to be impossible again.
World Television Day was established as a way of bringing focus back to these issues on an annual basis. In years gone by major TV stations have come together on the day to broadcast tributes to the importance of television in people’s lives. The obvious way for anyone to celebrate is to turn on their TV and watch. Those that want to become more involved and have ideas about how to honor the day are welcomed to send their thoughts to the official website.