Censorship in the Media

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1. What is censorship?
Censorship can be broadly defined as the suppression of knowledge or ideas. Used by Governments or organisations to prevent the circulation of material. In wartime information about troop activities, future battle plans etc., will be censored. In peacetime censorship can be more problematic and controversial. 2. Censorship in the cinema

We can now compare how films have come to be censored in real life with the elements we have identified in the activity above. In the US with the coming of sound in 1927 there was a call for stricter censorship. The Production or Hays Code of film classification was introduced in 1934 to control the depiction of religious groups, foreign countries, foreigners, sexual and criminal activity, and other repellent subjects. This held sway until the early 1950s. In 1968 a classification system was established that all Hollywood movies adhere to on a voluntary basis. It is run by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). In Britain we have the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). This also classifies films and certifies them for public distribution. 3. Is censorship really necessary?

Activity: What films or film sequences have you seen that you think should have been censored. Did these elements shock or influence you in any way? Effects of media on the audience have mainly been conducted in relation to TV audiences and focussed on the issue of violence. For example, in laboratory conditions children have been shown violent film clips and then their behaviour has been monitored afterwards to see if they act more aggressively than a control group that has not been shown violent films. Content Analysis has also been employed to count the number of acts of violence, violent language and related actions in a specific film. A high score would rate the film as being more likely to inspire aggressive reactions than a low scoring film. Polls and surveys, and test screenings are another...
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