English Composition 1103
Room M 139 B
February 9, 2014
Whose fault is it really?
“Cover your eyes. This is the bad part.”
That was always my mother’s solution to keeping us from seeing the unsavory things displayed on our television screen. Try as she might, she couldn’t protect me from everything. In today’s social society, accessing any kind of visual imaging is relatively effortless. For most of us, our easiest medium for being exposed to these things is our televisions. It’s that very fact that concerns people like Mary Ann Watson. In her article “Ethics in Entertainment Television”, Watson argues the affects of graphic and violent television programming on our culture. She makes the claim that people who work in entertainment have a responsibility to make entertainment not only enjoyable but ethical as well. Watson argues that the idea “If you don’t like what’s on TV, just turn it off” is a “tiresome and arrogant piece of advice” set in place by popular entertainment (Watson). With television being such a major influence on our cultural dynamic, she talks about the harmful affects of graphic or violent imaging. She blames the people responsible for television programming for dismissing their responsibility to society. Watson’s hope is that by making people
aware of the harmful affects violent television entertainment can have we will be more “media literate and humanitarian in our outlook”.
Though I agree with Watson that the creators of popular television should hold some accountability for what they send out in the universe, I don’t believe it’s solely their responsibility. As with anything else, it begins in the home. Watson says in her article “Ideas have power. Words and Images have consequences” and she’s absolutely right. However, when guiding a child into being a functioning member of society it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure that the child understands these consequences. It...
Cited: Bar-on, Miriam, and Michael Rich. "Child Health in the Information
Age: Media education of Pediatrics." http://pediatrics.aappublications.org. N.p.. Web. 10 Feb 2014.
Boyse, Kyla, and Brad Bushman, eds. "Television and Children."
med.umich.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb 2014.
Watson, Mary Ann. "Ethics in Entertainment Television." Journal of Popular Film & Television. 31.4 n. page. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.
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