Media Cencorship

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Media Censorship 1

Is Violence on Television Effecting our Youth?
Matthew A. Ingalls
English Composition II
Dr. Laptad
January 9, 2009

Media Censorship 2
Abstract
In recent years, policymakers and parents expressed the importance of censoring violent media and emphasized on rating our media for its viewers. While most parents agree that this issue demands immediate attention and more strict guidelines, there are many underwritten issues with censorship which require attention. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States government agency. Many believe that the FCC places ratings on the programs and shows we watch and those that our youth watch on television. However, did you know that the television industry has voluntary ratings for TV programs? These ratings appear in the corner of your television screen during the first 15 seconds of each television program. Ratings are given to all television programming except news, sports, and unedited movies on premium cable channels. A voluntary rating system means that there is no limitation on how the show is rated, only what is displayed. This literature introduces the discussion of violence portrayed in the media, its impact on the viewing public, and censorship of the media. Additionally, this paper provides a viable solution to the negative impact of the violence in the media. It is inconceivable to think that television could not influence our attitudes and behaviors.

Media Censorship 3
Is Violence on Television Effecting our Youth?
Censorship of the media is a hotly contested topic. The public is concerned that there is excessive violence portrayed on television and that this violence negatively affects viewers, especially children. Censorship is the regulation and control of information and ideas that are circulated among people within a society. It refers to the examination of electronic and print media for the purposes of altering and/or suppressing parts of the media thought to be inappropriate and/or offensive. The implication of censorship is that it is necessary for the protection of the viewing public. Does the lewdness and crime on television create a false sense of reality and influence young children and teenagers? Research by psychologists L. Rowell Huesmann, Leonard Eron and others found that children who watched several hours of violence on television when they were in elementary school tended to also show a higher level of aggressive behavior when they became teenagers. By observing these youngsters into adulthood, Drs. Huesmann and Eron found that the ones who watched a lot of TV violence when they were eight years old was more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts as adults. (Huesmann, 2003) Interestingly though, being aggressive as a child did not predict watching more violent TV as a teenager. Their study suggests that TV watching may more often be a cause rather than a consequence of aggressive behavior.

Media Censorship 4
This is not to suggest passivity on the issue. Much of what is aired on television is fictional. However, proponents of censorship argue that television creates a false sense of reality and influences not only young children but teenagers as well. Many believe that television is either beneficial or detrimental to society, but sometimes it can be both. Studies do exist that would equally support both theories. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a study where children’s exposure to media was surveyed which resulted in: * 83% of children under 6 years old use some form of screen media * On average they spend 2 hours with a television and DVD player, 1 hour with video games, and 50 minutes with a computer * They watch 4,000 hours of TV before they enter kindergarten * Exposed to 20 to 25 acts of violence per hour on Saturday morning TV programs intended for children (Kaiser Family Foundation 2006) Additionally, this...
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