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Violence in the media

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Violence in the media

By: William


Violence in the Media 'Monkey see, monkey do' has become a well-known saying in today's modern, media warped society, but is it correct? What has the world come to these days? It often seems like everywhere one looks, violence rears its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys, school, and even at home. The last of these, our homes, is a major source of violence. In many peoples' living rooms there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television, and the people who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violence scenes with sometimes devastating results. Much research has gone into showing why our society is so mesmerized by this big glowing box and the action that takes place within it. Only a mere sixty years ago the invention of the television was viewed as a technological breakthrough with black and white ghost-like figures on a screen so small, hardly anyone could see them. Today that curiosity has become a constant companion to 90% of the American population (Sherrow 26), mainly, children and teenagers. From reporting the news and advertising in order to persuade us to buy certain products, to providing programs that depict violence, television has all but replaced written material. Unfortunately, it is these violent programs that are endangering our present-day society. Violent images on television, as well as in the movies, have inspired people to set spouses on fire in their beds, lie down in the middle of highways, extort money by placing bombs in airplanes, rape, steal, murder, and commit numerous other shootings and assaults. (Brown 78) Most of what is broadcast or transmitted even in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging. "The average American child will witness...200,000 acts of media violence by the time that child graduates from high school.' (Sherrow 6) "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders," James Baldwin wrote in Nobody Knows my Name. "But they have never failed to imitate them." (Sherrow 56) This basic truth has all but disappeared as the public increasingly treats teenagers as a robot-like population under sway of an exploitative media. White House officials lecture film, music, Internet, fashion, and pop-culture moguls and accuse them of programming kids to smoke, drink, shoot up, have sex, and kill. A recent report from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) pools evidence from over 2,500 studies within the last decade on over 100,000 subjects from several nations to show that the compiled evidence of the media's influence on behavior is so "overwhelming" that there is a consensus in the research community that "violence in the media does lead to aggressive behavior" (Methvin 49). Given that the majority of scientific community agrees that "the research findings of the NIMH publication support conclusion of a causal relationship between television violence and aggressive behavior" (Wurtzel 21), why is it that "the Saturday morning cartoons' are the most violent time slot on television?" (Methvin 49) And that "despite slight variations over the past decade, the amount of violence in the media has remained at consistently high levels" (Wurtzel 23). Despite the negative effects media violence has been known to generate, no drastic changes have been made to deal with this problem that seems to be getting worse. We, as a whole, have glorified this violence so much that movies such as 'Natural Born Killers' and television shows such as 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers' are viewed as normal, everyday entertainment. It's even rare now to find a children's cartoon that does not depict some type of violence or comedic aggression. It is this aggression that is rubbing off on our society, and it is this aggression that we are trying to hide. Why is it that like the tobacco companies twenty years ago, the present day television broadcasting companies refuse to consent that violent films and programming can and do have harmful effects on their viewers (Rowland 280) What can be done to combat the stubborn minded broadcasting companies and to reduce the amount of violent scenes that infest every aspect of our senses? The media giants of today, such as ABC, CBS, and NBC continue to air violent shows, because they make money off of these programs. In general, society finds scenes of violence "simply exciting" (Feshbach 12). Broadcasting companies argue that "based on the high ratings, they are giving the public what it wants, and therefore are serving the public interest" (Feshbach 34). Michael Howe states: "We have to remember that children and adults do enjoy and do choose to watch and listen to those programs and music that contain violence" (48). At the same time, however, we must also remember the undeniable truth that "there is clear evidence between television violence and later aggressive behavior" (Palmer 120). Because violent media has been proven time and time again to play an active role toward inciting hostile behavior in children, the level of combative programming and movies must be reduced. The media argument that high ratings correspond with the public's best interest is simply not valid. Even the American Medical Association agrees that the "link between media violence and later aggressive behavior warrants a major organized cry of protest from the medical profession" (Palmer 122). The issue of the public's infatuation with Media can be paralleled with that of a young child and his desire for candy and "junk foods." The child enjoys eating such foods, though they produce the harmful effects of rotting away at his teeth. With a parent to limit his intake of such harmful sweets, however, the child is protected from their damage. Similarly, the American public desires to view violent programs at the risk of adapting induced aggressive behaviors. Because the networks refuse to act as a "mother," and to limit the amount of violence shown on television, there are no restrictions to prevent television's violent candy from rotting away at the teeth of society. Harry Skornia claims that "it is naive and romantic to expect a corporation to have either a heart of a soul in the struggle for profits and survival" (34). But who, then, is to take responsibility for the media's actions if not the industry itself? Because there has not been any sufficient answers to this question so far, "Media violence has not diminished greatly; nor have Saturday morning programs for children, marked by excessively violent cartoons, changed much for the better" (Cullingford 61). One may ask: "Why can't the government or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intervene to control the amount of violent programming that currently circulates during most broadcasting hours?" Edward Palmer states: "The FCC's reluctance to regulate - especially directly about violent content - is consistent with that of many other ...

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Keywords: violence in the media promote violence in society, violence in the media examples, violence in the media statistics, violence in the media what effects on behavior, violence in the media and entertainment (position paper), violence in the media essay, violence in the media research question, violence in the media definition

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