Mass Media Essay

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Mass Media’s Influence on Americas’ Youth Does mass media influence children and teenagers more than their friends and family? That’s the question mainstream America is asking. America’s youth today is faced with an issue that adolescents in past decades never experienced. Young people today are flooded with media such as television, music, movies, magazines, newspapers, internet, and more. Media is overly accessible and virtually impossible to hide from in a world now dependent on it. The main concern that always comes up in the discussion of mass media is its many negative impacts on children and teens in American society. Mass media is a dominant force in the United States and across the world that shapes and molds young people in a variety of ways, creating ideas and theories that hold huge influence in the perceptions and actions of these adolescents. Many times these perceptions and ideals shown through mass media are very harmful to the development of children and teenagers in the United States. Mass media in the United States lacks government intervention and regulation. One of the reasons that there may not be strict enough rules for mass media could be that most broadcast companies in the United States are privately owned. These private companies receive no government funding. For example, public radio and public television are funded and controlled by government. Therefore, the government holds little leverage in telling these corporations what to do. Mass media’s effect in regards to violent behavior shows why the government regulation of mass media needs to be stricter than they currently are. The watching of violence is a very popular form of entertainment in mainstream America. A crowd of pedestrians enjoy a street fight just as the Greek enjoyed watching Spartans battle in the arena. Boxing and Wrestling are one of the most popular spectator sports on television in the United States and around the world. Violence is the most frequently


Cited: Werner-Wilson, Ronald Jay, Jennifer Lynn Fitzharris, and Kathleen M. Morrissey. “Adolescent and Parent Perceptions of Media Influence on Adolescent Sexuality.” Adolescence 39.154 (2004). Wayne State University. 12 Aug. 2011 CNN on the Web. 14 August 2011. <http://articles.cnn.com/2008-05-08/tech/gta.sales_1_ea- sales-grand-theft-auto-iv?_s=PM:TECH>. NIH on the Web. 14 August 2011 <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/smokingandyouth.html>. NIMH on the Web. 14 August 2011 <http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating- disorders/complete-index.shtml>. FORBES on the Web. 14 August 2011 <http://www.forbes.com/2001/05/25/0524porn.html>. Web. August 14 <http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/media/Mag_and_Prev_ARPH_April_2005.p df>.

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