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Censorship in Television

Essay by   •  August 28, 2010  •  Case Study  •  1,074 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,459 Views

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The government is correct in

trying to censor what is seen on television. Censorship does

not violate the first amendment and it prevents the harmful

effects of graphic television. Many people are in favor of

censorship and it may be accomplished without violating

the rights of broadcasters or any other individuals.

Censorship "refers to suppression of information, ideas, or

artistic expression by anyone, whether government officials,

church authorities, private pressure groups, or speakers,

writers, and artists themselves" (Grolier, Inc.). Censorship

can be a bad thing, and can also be positive. For television

use, it is there to protect the people, namely children. There

is a fear that the expression if not curtailed will do harm to

individuals in its audiences or to society as a whole.

"Obscene material is attacked because of the fear that it

will corrupt personal morality" (Grolier, Inc.). The first

amendment states that Congress shall make no law

respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the

free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,

or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to

assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of

grievances. In no way does censorship violate the first

amendment. Censorship prevents broadcasters from

infringing on the rights of the viewers. Censorship has really

been limited to obscenity and gratuitous violence or nudity

because people in the media have policed themselves

pretty harshly. The most prominent law established due to

censorship is the Children's Television Act of 1990. It was

established to "remind broadcasters that there is indeed a

common ground outside their narrow interests, a

responsibility beyond profiteering, a common civic well

where national purposes may coalesce"

(http://www.cep.org/vchip.html). This law, like many others

was put into place to protect the public. Many people

throughout the United States feel very strongly about the

issue of censorship. A firm supporter of censorship, United

States Senator Earnest F. Hollings, from South Carolina

stated that "Television should be a way to entertain,

educate, and teach our kids how to grow, not a way to

teach them how to shoot to kill"(Congressional Digest).

Another Senator, Bryan L. Dorgan, from North Dakota

described his anger when, while playing with his two small

children with the television on in the background, the words

"Son of a Bitch" were spoken. "That word has no place on

at 8:45 in the evening"(Congressional Quarterly report).

Things like that situation should not happen. Young viewers

should not be subjected to such obscenities and TV

violence. Broadcasters argue that censorship violates their

first amendment rights, but it does not. Violence and

obscene language violate viewers' rights. The benefits of

censorship are simple. Less violence and graphic scenes

will result in a better society. Many people believe that TV

violence encourages youths to act the same way and that

censorship will help to get rid of this problem. Broadcasters

feel that parents should monitor what their children watch.

However, many parents are not always home and this is a

very difficult task. Each day, children are subjected to

violence through television. "If you came home and you

found a strange man teaching your kids to punch each

other, or trying to sell them all kinds of products, you'd

kick him right out of the house," says Yale psychology

professor Jerome Singer. "But here you are; you come in

and the RV is on and you don't think twice about it"

(Abandoned in the Wasteland). TV violence is one of the

culprits of adolescent criminal behavior. Violent programs

may have a negative influence on those individuals who are

already violence-prone or children who are living through

vulnerable periods of their development. Controlling what

children view on television is the responsibility of the

government in order to decrease violence in the real world.

Adult violent offenders ten to have shown certain

personality features as children. "One being they tended to

have viewed violence on television" (Congressional Digest)

The amounts of violence

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