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Problem of violence in media

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Problem of violence in media


Media have a tremendous influence on family life. Consider that 99 percent of U.S. homes have a television. Ninety-eight percent have radios, and 69 percent have computers. Just sixty years ago the invention of the television was viewed as a technological curiosity with small black and white ghost-like figures on a screen so hardly anyone could see them. Today that curiosity has become a constant companion to many, mainly – children. From reporting the news and persuading us to buy ccertain products, to providing programs that represent violence, television has all but replaced material. So what is the problem of violence nowadays? Can it cause a real damage? Or maybe the violence in media is just a figment?

Reasons for choosing this topic

• There are more and more incidents of violence shown on TVs.

• People extort money by placing bombs in airplanes, rape, steal, murder and commit numerous other shootings and assaults. Where some of such fantasies came from?

• Over 11000 case studies have proven that media violence can have negative affects on children.


Before starting to work some hypotheses were raised.

Violence is used in many ways in promos as a hook to draw viewers into the program. That iis because violence is an effective promotional device. But severe permanent damage could be done to the children’s minds by such pornographic and sadistic material, in which detail is powerfully realistic.

There is a connection between media violence and aggression. Media encourage people to cause criminals.

Between 2000 BC and 44 AD, the ancient Egyptians entertained themselves with plays re-enacting the murder of their god Osiris – and the spectacle, history tells us, led to a number of copycat killings. The ancient Romans were given to lethal spectator sports as well, and in 380 BC Saint Augustine lamented that his society was addicted to gladiator games and “drunk with the fascination of bloodshed”.

Violence has always played a role in eentertainment. But there’s growing consensus that, in recent years, something about media violence has changed.

For one thing, there’s more of it. Laval University professors Guy Paquette and Jacques de Guise studied six major television networks over a seven-year period. They examined films, situation comedies, dramatic series, and children’s programming (though not cartoons). The study found that during these years, incidents of physical violence increased by 378 per cent. TV shows in 2001 averaged 40 acts of violence per hour. <

Other research indicates that media violence has not just increased in quantity; it has also become more graphic, much more sexual, and much more sadistic.

Explicit pictures of slow-motion bullets exploding from people’s chests, and dead bodies surrounded by pools of blood, are now common fare. Millions of viewers worldwide, many of them children, watch female World Wrestling Entertainment. Wrestlers try to tear out each other’s hair and rip off each other’s clothing. And one of the top-selling video games in the world, “Grand Theft Auto”, is programmed so players can beat prostitutes to death with baseball bats after having sex with them.

Concerns about media violence have grown as television and movies have acquired a global audience. When UNESCO surveyed children in 23 countries around the world in 1998, it discovered that 91 per cent of children had a television in their home. And not just in the U.S., Canada and Europe, but also in the Arab states, Latin America, Asia and Africa. More than half (51 per cent) of boys living in war zones and high-crime areas choose action heroes as role models, ahead of any other images, 88 per cent of the children surveyed could identify the AArnold Schwarzenegger character from the film “Terminator”. UNESCO reported that the “Terminator” „seems to represent the characteristics that children think are necessary to cope with difficult situations.“

The Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA), which has studied violence in television, movies and music videos for a decade, reports that nearly half of all violence is committed by the „good guys.“ Less than 10 per cent of the TV shows, movies and music videos that were analyzed contextualized the violence or explored its human consequences. The violence was simply presented as justifiable, natural and inevitable – the most obvious way to solve the problem.

Busy parents who want to protect their children from media violence have a difficult task before them. The CMPA found that violence appears on all major television networks and cable stations, making it impossible for channel surfers to avoid it.

Nightly news coverage has become another concern. In spite of falling crime rates across North America, disturbing images of violent crime continue to dominate news broadcasting. As news shows compete with other media for audiences, many news producers have come to rely on the maxim: „If it bleeds, it leads.“ Violence and death, they say, keep the viewer numbers uup. Good news doesn’t.

In movie theatres, there is some control over who watches what. But at home, there’s little to stop children from watching a restricted movie on one of the many emerging specialty channels. Kids may also have access to adult video games at the local video store. In December 2001, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reported that retailers allowed 78 per cent of unaccompanied minors, ages 13 to 16, to purchase video games rated „mature.“

To make supervision even more problematic, American children often have their own entertainment equipment. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 57 per cent of kids aged 8 to 16 have TVs in their bedrooms, and 39 per cent have gaming equipment.

While many parents are concerned about the graphic violence and put-down humour in many kids’ shows, there’s a growing subculture of violence that parental radar often misses.

Music and music videos are pushing into new and increasingly violent territory. When singer Jordan Knight, formerly of the popular New Kids on the Block group, released a solo album in 1999, Canadian activists called for a boycott of the album because it included a song advocating date rape. And when the controversial rap artist Eminem came

to Toronto in 2000, politicians and activists unsuccessfully called for the government to bar him from the country, on the grounds that his violent lyrics promoted hatred against women. For instance, his song „Kim“ graphically depicts him murdering his wife; and „Kill You“ describes how he plans to rape and murder his mother.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) his promotion of violence, Eminem continues to be a commercial success. His Marshall Mathers release sold 679,567 copies in ...

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