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Television and Media Essay – TV, Violence, and Censorship

Television, Violence and Censorship

Society has been bombarded with violence from the beginning of time. These concerns about violence in the media have been around way before television was even introduced. Nevertheless, there have been numerous studies, research, and conferences done over the years on television, but the issue still remains. Researchers do acknowledge that violence portrayed on television is a potential danger. One issue is clear though, our focus on television violence should not take attention away from other significant causes of violence in our country such as: drugs, inadequate parenting, availability of weapons, unemployment, etc. It is hard to report on how violent television effects society, since television affects different people in different ways. There is a significant problem with violence on television that we as a society are going to have to acknowledge and face.

First it was newspapers that were thought to cause juvenile crime. Then in the 1920’s the movie screen rolled around, and its violent content alarmed many. Following World War II, violence and brutality in comic books was a huge concern in our society. Then came the television, a staple in American households around 1960. Once the television was introduced a lot of questions were raised over what effect this might have on children. Would it corrupt them, or make them more able to deal with the real world around them? Would it change their behavioral patterns? Would it help or hinder their development?

As early as 1958 investigations were being conducted of the effects of television on children. During this time, the researchers found that most of the television content was extremely violent. In almost half of the television hours monitored, the programs main focus contained violence. The common theme that was seen throughout the programs were crime, shooting, fighting, and murder. The universal definition of violence used was, “Any overt depiction of the use of physical force, or the credible threat of such force, to intend to physically harm an animated being or group of beings.” In this investigation, Wilbur Schramm concluded that under some conditions, some violent television could effect some children. For the most part, most television is neither helpful or harmful to most kids under most circumstances. As you can see this conclusion is quiet vague, and does not give a lot of crucial information for us to correct and improve. Schramm and his colleagues came up with a solution for parents to provide a warm, loving, secure family environment for their children, and they would have little to worry about.

Television Violence Negatively Impacts Children

Littleton, Colorado; Springfield, Oregon; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Pearl, Mississippi. These previously unknown suburban cities will forever be branded into our minds. These cities are linked by one devastating factor: young students firing upon fellow students and educators. What causes these young people to “snap” causing the violent shooting sprees? Although the events are too recent to fully understand their causes, we can try to understand what led to the disastrous situations.

The impact of television violence on youth behavior has been an issue for many years. Television stations and their executives tend to deny television’s contribution to youth violence. In the following paragraphs, I will use various examples to demonstrate the impact television has had on youth violence. This will be accomplished by: discussing the problems associated with television viewing, identifying violence on television, portraying the effects of television violence on younger people, and revealing ways to reduce violence on television. This paper explores these topics by using multiple statistics, by incorporating the views of several public officials and authors, and through my own views as well.

In 1939, at the World’s Fair, television first came into our lives. In 1938, author E. B. White told Harpers Magazine: “I believe that television is going to be the test of the modern world, and in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our own vision, we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall by television, of that I am sure.” ( Murray, 1) E. B. White foresaw the problems associated with television when TV first arrived, but I do not …

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