Teen Violence and Media-Generated Fear

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Teen violence and Media-Generated Fear

Why do the media want to scare the American public? Fear is the one thing we as Americans should be free of. Fear is something that we want to eliminate; so why do the media feel the need to create it? Fear on some level is desirable, except it really shouldn’t be called fear but rather discretion. We don’t want citizens running around all over the place completely careless. However, we also don’t want the public cowering inside their houses in fear of rather harmless situations. The news media is all about boosting the ratings and drawing in viewers. For example, when you are watching television in the evening and a news preview comes on and gives you a tiny piece of a horrifying news story that you can’t miss that won’t be on until eleven. You have to tune in because if you don’t you will miss very important information that will save your life. If the situation is so urgent and life-threatening, wouldn’t they have given you the whole story right away? If it can wait for four hours then it isn’t that urgent. In the articles “Self-Righteous Kid-Bashing” by Susan Douglas and “Teen Violence Spawned by Guns and Cultural Rot” by Albert Hunt, both authors mention gun control. Susan Douglas says, “Why don’t other pundits […] get some guts [,] and take on one of the great sources of evil in our country, the National Rifle Association?” Hunt believes a mix of pop culture and guns are the problem. “But while violence in general has declined over the last several years, it is rising among teenagers, and certainly any short-term efforts to address this should focus on both guns and popular culture” (Hunt.) I agree that guns are partly to blame for violence, but the media presents stories in a way that makes us think that guns are some great evil that is responsible for the decay of society. Think about it. The number of violent news stories you hear involving guns greatly outnumber those involving some other type of weapon. The...
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