Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Violence On Television Essays (1707 words) - Dispute Resolution

Violence On Television Violence on Television There was murderers going around killing lots of people and stealing jewelry. This quote comes from the mouth of an eight year old girl after watching the evening news on television. The eight year old girl claims that she is afraid when there is a murder near because you never know if he could be in town (Cullingford, 61). A recent report from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) pools evidence from over 2,500 studies within the last decade on over 100,000 subjects from several nations to show that the compiled evidence of television's influence on behavior is so overwhelming that there is a consensus in the research community that violence on television does lead to aggressive behavior (Methvin, 49). Given that the majority of scientific community agrees that the research findings of the NIMH publication support conclusion of a causal relationship between television violence and aggressive behavior (Wurtzel, 21), why is it that the Saturday morning kid vid ghetto is the most violent time on T.V. (Methvin, 49), and that despite slight variations over the past decade, the amount of violence on television has remained at consistently high levels (Wurtzel, 23)? Why is it that, like the tobacco companies twenty years ago, the present day television broadcasting companies refuse to consent that violent films and programming can and do have harmful effects on their viewers (Rowland, 280) What can be done to combat the stubborn minded broadcasting companies and to reduce the amount of violent scenes that infest the current air waves? The television giants of today, such as ABC, CBS, and NBC continue to air violent shows, because they make money off of these programs. In general, society finds scenes of violence simply exciting (Feshbach, 12). Broadcasting companies argue that based on the high ratings, they are giving the public what it wants, and therefore are serving the public interest (Time, 77). Michael Howe states: We have to remember that children and adults do enjoy and do choose to watch those programs that contain violence (48). At the same time, however, we must also remember the undeniable truth that there is clear evidence between television violence and later aggressive behavior (Palmer, 120). Because violent television has been proven time and time again to play an active role toward inciting hostile behavior in children, the level of combative programming must be reduced. The media argument that high ratings correspond with the public's best interest is simply not valid. Even the American Medical Association agrees that the link between televised violence and later aggressive behavior warrants a major organized cry of protest from the medical profession (Palmer, 122). The issue of the public's infatuation with television can be paralleled with that of a young child and his desire for candy and junk foods. The child enjoys eating such foods, though they produce the harmful effects of rotting away at his teeth. With a parent to limit his intake of such harmful sweets, however, the child is protected from their damage. Similarly, the American public desires to view violent programs at the risk of adapting induced aggressive behaviors. Because the networks refuse to act as a mother, and to limit the amount of violence shown on television, there are no restrictions to prevent television's violent candy from rotting away at the teeth of society. Harry Skornia claims that it is naive and romantic to expect a corporation to have either a heart of a soul in the struggle for profits and survival (34). But who, then, is to take responsibility for the media's actions if not the industry itself? Because there has not been any sufficient answers to this question so far, television violence has not diminished greatly; nor have Saturday morning programs for children, marked by excessively violent cartoons, changed much for the better (Palmer, 125). One may ask: Why can't the government or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intervene to control the amount of violent programming that currently circulates during most broadcasting hours? Edward Palmer states: The FCC's reluctance to regulate - especially directly about violent content - is consistent with that of many other groups. Because the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, no direct censorship os programming has ever been advocated by responsible groups concerned with the problem of television violence (124). The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) holds fast to its claim that there are no scientific findings that show a link between television violence and unusually violent behavior in children (Rowland, 279). The network executives at ABC express the ideals that they are self-confident about the lack of

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