The Role of the Media in the Violation of Children’s Rights

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Broad Topic: Children’s Rights
Narrowed Topic: The Role of the media in the violation of children’s rights

“Children have the right to reliable information from the media …..[which]….. should not promote materials that could harm [them].” (UNICEF, 1991). There is hardly any restriction placed on the dreadful things that the media has to offer and so children these days have easy access to all that they should not be seeing or hearing in the media. This simply means that the media are not playing their role where protecting children is concerned. In today’s society where the mass media convey all form of negativity whether on the television, internet, videogames or even the radio, members of society need to become aware of what the younger generation are being influenced by so that values that are taught are not lost easily. The media violate the rights of a child by exposing them to crime and violence, giving them access to sexually explicit content and by creating a false sense of reality in which they believe almost everything they see. The media expose children to crime and violence on a daily basis. This is so because everyday at least child watch the television, listen to the radio, play video games or surf the internet. Huesman (1986) as cited in Kundanis (2003) is of the view that children with poor academic skills are more aggressive and are the ones who watch more violence on the television. It is believed that violence in the media leads to aggressive behaviour. (Abel, 2005, Huesmann, 1986 as cited in Kundanis, 2003 & Johnson, 1998). All of these authors believe that if children are exposed to violence in the media it will have a negative impact on them in which they will become aggressive. Children who behave aggressively tend to carry this behaviour with them to adulthood and sometimes cause damage to those around them. According to Johnson (1998), children act out what they see in the television. Most of the things that children act out are the...
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