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Violence in Media

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Violence in the Media

There is endless controversy today concerning society being highly affected by media programs displaying violence. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) reports that violence in the media has increased since 1980 and continues to increase. Thousands of studies have pointed to a relationship between media violence and real life crime. Years of research show that exposure to media violence causes children to behave more aggressively, both immediately and in their adult years. This "aggressiveness" has lead violent acts in the past. These events could have been avoided if violence was not viewed on television. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees "the freedom of the press and other media of communication" under Fundamental Freedoms. In other words, it is considered justified to portrait violence in the media and allow it to have an affect on society. Aggression is not the only issue involved. Statistics show that children who spend more time watching violent TV programming are rated more poorly by their teachers, rated more poorly by their peers, and have few problem solving skills. Media professionals believe that television has no effects rather than those intended. They conclude that television does not lead to aggressive behavior. A study done by Feshback in 1971 suggested that watching television actually decreases the amount of aggression in the viewer. They believe that history has shown us that violence issues will not influence a child's mind. Society cannot continue to allow our future generations to be exposed to violence portrayed in the media today. The Canadian government should set limitations to the amount of violence depicted on television. Fundamental freedoms, concerning the freedom of speech among the media, should limit the violence portrayed. The need for change and action regarding this matter would change the generations to come. By no longer running violent programs for children, it enables society to progress in a peaceful, non-violent atmosphere. Allowing the violence on television to continue would be killing the world. The violence today depicted on television has already affected our country. If these violent programs continue to run, the world will soon be in chaos. As a result of television violence, people have died and crimes have been committed. In Nevada, one teen-aged boy was killed and two others seriously injured while lying down along the centerline of a highway. The boys admitted that they were imitating a scene from the Touchstone movie, "The Program". The accident and publicity made Touchstone remove the scene from the movie, yet leaving other violent scenes, including one in which a student purposely smashes his head through a car window. In Ontario, a five year-old boy set his house on fire, killing his younger sister. The boy's mother blamed his actions on the MTV show "Beavis and Butthead". The latest incident relating TV violence to real-life violence is the schoolyard killing of five people in Arkansas. Two young boys aged 11 and 13 killed four schoolgirls and a teacher. Mark Huckabee (Arkansas Gov.) blamed a national culture of violence "fueled by film and television" for the killing. "I think what makes all of us angry is that our culture would create the kind of atmosphere where an 11 or 13 year old student could feel that the way to respond to whatever kind of anger is inside of them, is to take weapons and shoot their fellow students and teachers" Huckabee told CNN. "But I'm not sure we could expect a whole lot else in a culture where these children are exposed to tens of thousands of murders on television and movies and we desensitized human life" he said. These few of many incidents prove to us that society is obviously being influenced due the violence featured on television. Some so-called "experts" say that violent children's programming is no different from fairy tales, and back then when there were no televisions extremely violent tales of heroes and villains had no effect on the children. However, television is very different from fairy tales, and stories told by people for many reasons. First, children are visual learners. Television is more visual, more striking, and intense than tales that are read



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