NAEB Newsletter (Oct 1948)

Record Details:

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-15- AGRI CUI TURE GEARS FOR TE LEVI SION Dana D. Reynolds, In Charge of Operations Radio Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture (This is a special guest article revealing sore of the plans and policies for the important new television study project now being conducted by the USDA) Tele v isi on Accepted Television has been accpeted in the Department of Agriculture's thinking and planning as a new major informational medium to reach both farm and urban people. Rural Co verage Still Limi ted With rural television station coverage still limited, present emphasis is^on pro¬ grams for the general audience in urban-suburban areas. This emphasis coincides with greater attention to the consumer-general audience field in all informational activities. It reflects increased activity in that direction through Federal- State Intension's embryonic urban Extension program, through directives under the Research and Marketing Act, and otherwise. So we hope that the ground-work we lay in television programming for the general audience now will carry over into the period when we get into extensive general farm television. In other words, this temporary delimiting of our television activities has some aavantages. USDA Foresees Full TV Rhral Service The Department, however, is gearing for full-scale farm television service. Al¬ ready, nearly all of Few Jersey is under television signals. ’TTA1-TV s trans¬ mitter is midway between Cleveland and Akron, with many farms m its coverage area. Whether it comes through piece-meal extensions such as those, or wide-scale exten¬ sion of coaxial cable, ground-located micro-wave relay, or airborne relay service, we assume that that general farm television service is just a matter of time. Large, Audience Expected As urban and rural television expands, the Department expects to be able to carry farm and homemaking information into millions of homes reached inadequately . _ through meetings, demonstrations, and other media. Also, in some ways, television may do a better job than previously done with families actually reached m other ways, All of the foregoing is said with full appreciation of problems and unpredictables ahead• Serious Factors — Cost and P rodu ction Alon-’ with those optimistic views about television, a good many Department people are recognizing two sobering facts: l) Television programs will be much more costly than radio, at best; and 2) we will need much higher program standards than wo have had in much of our radio work to hold an audience anc. station time. Meeting those conditions calls for the closest cooperation betireen agricultural agencies and television stations, whether they be commercial or educational. It also presumes greater financial support for television service oy agricultural agencies, commensurate with the big informational and educational responsibility to be placed upon this new medium.