Violence in the Media

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VIOLENCE IN THE MEDIA In recent years we have witnessed an alarming increase in the crime rate, especially among young people. We have been left shocked and at a loss to find explanations for why teenagers rob and blackmail, why young people commit physical violence, why children become murderers. Some people place the blame on the way violence is represented in the media and, as a consequence, demand that there should be stricter controls, or even censorship, put in place. However, this way of dealing with the problem is not undisputed. It is necessary to take a closer look at whether or not violence in the media really is responsible for this development and then to examine what censorship may entail before taking such a far-reaching decision. Many concerned people, ranging from worried parents through to reputable psychologists, deplore the ever-present nature of violence in the media, claiming that this is the reason why people are increasingly prepared to commit violent acts. They argue that violence is being propagated as normal or even entertaining. Violence is in the newspapers, on the news, in film plots and in cartoons. Violence is a source of laughter in children's programs; films present it as staple fare; it is served as pseudo-information in sensation-hungry newspapers and on reality TV; and it is even glorified by some musicians in their lyrics and performances. In fact in the public domain, it is difficult to find material that is not linked to violence in some form. Those who are worried by this development also point out that the negative examples provided by the media are not balanced by a positive view. Criminals are often seen as daredevil and debonair or are presented so as to arouse sympathy. The so-called ‘heroes’ in TV series and films, be they Dirty Harry, the Power Rangers, Butch Cassidy or the Mighty Ducks, are frequently violent and
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