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Violence in the Media - Essay Example

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Violence is defined as any act that causes fear or actual bodily or mental harm on another person, New Oxford English Dictionary (ed 2007). Subsequently, violence comes in many forms including assault, rape, threats, torture, acts of war, aggression, defilement, child abuse, forced labour, confinement, abduction and murder…
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Violence in the Media Essay
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Violence in the Media

Download file to see previous pages... Quite on the contrary, media practitioners themselves insist that their profession is a victim of maligning in the blame game of a society replete with violence by nature, Brad J. Bushman and Craig A. Anderson (2001).
Television is the most widely blamed media when it comes to the issue of broadcasting violence. Television newscasts show all sorts of violence including terror attacks, war, violent talk, riots and graphic pictures of the victims of violence. Television programming is worse since it includes vividly enacted fist-cuffs, gunfights, car-chases, bomb explosions and sexual exploitation, Zuckerman D (2001). Research statistics from more than 1000 studies carried out since the 1950s, on the effects of violence on television and in movies, paint a grim picture indeed. One of their conclusions is that by the time a child is eighteen years old, he will witness on television 200,000 acts of violence and 40,000 murders with average viewing time Huston et al, 1992). Another study shows that children aged 8-18 spend 6 hours of their total time awake before television. This accounts for 44.5 hors a week. The only other activity they carry out more than this is sleeping, Kaiser Foundation (2005).
However, there is an even more potent media. This is the interactive type in which individuals take part in an illusion of participating in the actual violence and creation of mayhem. These are the violent video games or play-stations. People, especially children and the youth, who participate in these games, experience the illusion, thrill, adrenaline, instinct and swift reflexes of actual violence, without any real threat to themselves. This creates the belief that violence is fun in which nobody really gets hurt. However, when they use what they learn in reality someone does get hurt very badly, not least of all themselves, Gentile, D. A. & Anderson, C. A. (2003). Interactive games like this are more likely, than television programmes which are passively watched, to instill a culture of violence in their audience.

Radio has been used, especially in less developed societies where television is not commonplace, to create far reaching violent propaganda. A case in point is the radio RTML in Rwanda that played a primary role in inciting the minority but well armed Hutu tribesmen against their Tutsi countrymen. By constantly referring to the Tutsis as cockroaches and a threat to Hutu security and progress, the Hutu controlled media contributed in mobilizing the militant members of their community to massacre close to 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus, UNHCR (1995).
Over the years, newspapers and magazines have played their part in fanning mass violence in society. Though their role has been increasingly subordinate to that of Television in recent times, they still have one thing that TV and radio will never have: staying power. A two year old magazine or a ten year old one can still be read today and is just as entertaining. Official policy in most newspaper publishing houses is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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