Anti-Testimonial -- TV-Turnoff

Kristine R. Brancolini (brancoli@indiana.edu)
Wed, 27 Jan 1999 07:23:07 -0800 (PST)

I sent the following message to the "TV-Free America" web site. Going
there is even more annoying than I had expected. At Midwinter this week I
would like the Video Round Table to consider planning a counter-event
during the TV-Turnoff week in April. Maybe it's time to launch "Watch and
Learn." Maybe we should promote a counter-event would encourage and help
people locate viewing alternatives. Watch something you wouldn't
ordinarily watch. Find something new and different -- on TV or in your
library's video collection. It's just a thought. Then we could contact
the ALA news bureau to help us promote *our* event. -- Kris

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 10:02:41 -0500
From: "Kristine R. Brancolini" <brancoli@indiana.edu>
To: tvfa@essential.org
Cc: brancoli@indiana.edu
Subject: Anti-Testimonial

You are probably not interested in the opinion of someone who believes
that your organization is harmful, but there has been lively discussion
of your TV-Turnoff Day on a listserv for media librarians called
Videolib. Sponsored by the ALA Video Round Table, we are disturbed by
the anti-television, anti-video tone of the entire event. One public
librarian posted a message on another listserv wondering if she should
stop circulating her library's video collection for the week! You say
that you are not condemning the quality of television programing, simply
the amount of time people spend watching television, but the message is
different. Watching television is bad -- regardless of the content.
Doing just about anything else is better. This is absurd and promotes
the belief that receiving information or entertainment via a broadcast
or a video is inherently inferior to other forms of information or
recreation. It is insulting to the person who is not a good reader or
does not enjoy reading.

I've read your testimonial page and I'm sure that many people have
enjoyed turning off their television for a week. But I resent the
suggestion that we are bad people if we don't. I plan to read, watch
television, play games with my children, take walks, visit the public
library, and do all of the other things that I do during a typical
week. I do not need your organization to suggest worthwhile activities
for me or my family.

Kristine Brancolini
Indiana University Libraries