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Does the media have an effect on the way people think and act, in reference to the issues of violence?

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Introduction

Does the media have an effect on the way people think and act, in reference to the issues of violence? Media is the 'communication industry and technology' [p188, J, Hull: (1995), 'Media, Communication, Culture, Lull James.'] that includes newspapers, magazines, radio, television and film. Because of the media's ability to communicate in many different forms and communicate to great length's, it has been given the term 'mass media'. This definition given by J, Hull suggests that as technology develops, the more chance the media will get to put across messages internationally. ' The term mass refers to the ability of the communication technologies to send messages over broad expanses of space and time in order to reach many people.' [p188, J, Hull: (1995), 'Media, Communication, Culture, Lull James.'] Each mass medium serves a variety of functions and is used by individuals, groups and whole society to perform specific functions. The discussion about media production and content and the role of the media is a very debatable and an important topic. It can certainly be said that violence in the media can influence their audiences and everyone knows this fact. This can be shown from the existence of the TV Violence Concern, made official debut in 1952 because of the many hearings in connection with TV violence worldwide. Also another existence of concerns towards media and violence lead to media products being censored, for example the government introduced regulations towards films and games, giving them five viewing certificates: - U, PG, 12, 15 and 18. If violent influences from the media did not exist then why would regulations be created towards this? ...read more.

Middle

Thousands of studies have been performed to prove that violent influences do exist, and to find out the way it does exist. Unfortunately it has been proven that children watch an average of three to four hours of television daily, and much of this television watching has some sort of violence within it. It was found that media violence affected children by ' increasing aggressiveness and anti-social behavior, increasing their fear of becoming victims, making them less sensitive to violence and to victims of violence and increasing their appetite for more violence in entertainment and real life.' [Vol.95.No.6, (June 1998), 'http://www.aap.org/advocacy/childhealthmouth/media.htm'] It was also found that media violence on television is on the increase and it has been proven that the average American child ' will witness over 200,000 acts of violence on television including, 16,000murders before age of eighteen.' [Center for Media and Public Affairs, (1992), 'http://www.babybag.com/articles/amavid.htm'] This is because the media portray normalization in carrying and using weapons and glamorize them as a source of personal power. Another fact that has proven is that watching violence on TV also leads to or is in connection with the increase of tobacco and alcohol usage, intake and younger outbreaks of sexual activities. The internet is furthermore seen as hunting and trapping ground for the child molesters and pedophiles, who have moved from the playground to the internet as if offers them anonymity. One case where this was proven was the Soham's murder, where two girl's aged eleven and twelve went on to a chat room, had a conversation with someone they did not know, and then out went to meet the person. ...read more.

Conclusion

The idea also came about that the audience uses the media in the theory of ' uses and gratification's. What this means is that the audience turn to the media to seek gratification of a variety of needs or even approach this idea of 'filter the media,' where the media is used to reflect the audiences own opinions. So these theory argued that they are just a social factor to reinforce what the audience already believe and allow them to use the media for their own means. Also it was argued that even though children can act or talk violently to some extent after seeing certain material, did not mean that they were going to think or act violently always, as some time later this experience is over. In my opinion a fair argument to state is that the media has both, long term and short term effects. Some can agree that the media can cause immediate effects, and other can argue in the situations of beliefs and ideas, it can be assumed, that their will be long term effects. Indirect influences can also be produced that can take effect later on in one's personality, with agenda setting influencing this, where the media tells us not what to think but what to think about. During this essay I have covered a range of topics in connection with violence. In my essay I have concentrated on three main aspects, I have defined the term ' media'; I have talked about the different techniques used to influence the way one acts and thinks, and I have discussed the different types of media that influences this. I have produced this with relevant evidence in a form of quotes and example of past situations. ...read more.

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