is Media Violence?
is "a credible threat of physical force, or the application
of physical force, intended to cause physical harm to an animate
being or group of beings." The important things to note are
that there needs to be intent to hurt and that the hurt is
inflicted on living things rather than objects. Violence in
the media is easily accessible to children. It occurs in cartoons,
in news updates during family programs, in the news, in televised
sporting events, and in "blockbuster' movies screened at 8.30pm
on TV. Previews for forthcoming movies on the, parents often
feel ambushed by these as they cannot be anticipated. We often
find we have let into our homes through our TV screens what
we would never let in through our front door.
does the Research Show?
is increasing instances of juveniles, adolescents, young adults
and older committing crimes such as murder, assault and burglary.
Members of society find themselves asking why this is happening.
Images and themes found on the television often get the blame.
Psychological research has shown three major effects of seeing
violence on television:
may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others
may be more fearful of the world around them
may be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways
is also blamed for children being unable to distinguish between
fantasy and reality. Teachers spend hours helping students
"unlearn" what TV has taught them. Forever fighting the stereotypical
images and unreal life-styles that television portrays.
spite of this strong evidence, broadcasters and scientists
continue to debate the link between viewing TV violence and
children's aggressive behaviour. Some broadcasters believe
that there is not enough evidence to prove that TV violence
is harmful. But scientists who have studied this issue say
that there is a link between TV violence and aggression, and
in 1992, the American Psychological Association's Task Force
on Television and Society published a report that confirms
this view. The report, entitled Big World, Small Screen: The
Role of Television in American Society, shows that the harmful
effects of TV violence do exist.
Parents Can Do
most scientists are convinced that children can learn aggressive
behaviour from television, they also point out that parents
have a tremendous power to moderate that influence. Parents
exposure to programs and products which feature glamorised
violence, or ban certain programs altogether
the classification system to avoid programs/products classified
M, MA or R. These are all recommended for persons over the
age of 15 years
exposure to news programs for children under 11 or 12 years.
These children are unlikely to understand that "it isn't
likely to happen to you" as they do not understand probability
a media educator: express your views, and discuss program
content, for example talk to children about what would happen
if they did those violent things at home
children to be critical viewers of TV
or borrow videos with themes other than violence or encourage
educational or documentary type programs
kids to spend time doing other enjoyable activities like
sport, hobbies or playing with friends, instead of watching