Defining Moments In Mass Media

Newspapers. Media began with the written word . . . To date, the oldest existing written document dates back to 2200 B. C. By 500 B. C. Persia had developed a form of pony express and the Greeks had a telegraph system consisting of trumpets, drums, shouting, beacon fires, smoke signals, and mirrors; transmitting a form of communication to the masses. In 200 B. C. the Chinese circulated the first newspaper, the Tipao gazette, to government officials. Newsletters began circulating in Europe by 1450. Over 150 years later, in 1609, the first regularly published newspaper was circulated in Germany.

Advertising began to shape the media industry by 1631 with the first classified ads featured in a French newspaper. And, in 1833 a New York newspaper was sold for one penny, enabling this media to reach a mass market. Radio. At first there was the print, and then there was sound . . . In 1821 an English man named Wheatstone reproduced sound. However, the future of radio didnt really begin until 1890 when Branly transmitted the first radio waves in France. In 1901 the American Marconi Company, the forerunner of RCA, sent radio signals across the Atlantic.

And five years later, a program of voice and music was broadcast in the United States. In 1907 DeForest began a regular radio broadcast featuring music. In 1909 the first talk-radio format, covering womens suffrage, was broadcast. And in 1912, the United States Congress passed a law to regulate radio stations. In 1917 the first radio station, KDKA, was built; and in 1920 the first scheduled programs on KDKA were broadcast. The going rate for ten minutes of commercial airtime was $100. By 1924, the first sponsored radio program, The Eveready Hour, began.

In that same year there were two and a half million radio sets in the United States. The 1930s are characterized as the Golden Age of radio. In 1929 automobile manufacturers began installing radios in cars. In 1933 Armstrong discovered FM waves. And in 1934, the government passed the Communications Act, creating the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In that same year, half of all American homes had at least one radio set. In 1935 A. C. Nielsen began to track radio audiences. And by 1954, radio sets outnumbered newspapers printed daily.

This signified the death of one mass medium and the creation of another. By 1996 there were about 12,000 radio stations in the U. S. , drawing millions of listeners and more than $12 billion in advertising revenue. 1996 also saw the deregulation of the mass media industry with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, thereby opening up the market for mass mergers and acquisitions and creating electronic barons. One half of all radio stations are owned by corporations that have three or more stations, and there are 1,100 fewer station owners today than before the creation of the Telecommunications Act.

Even more alarming, the top three radio operators, Chancellor Media/Capstar, CBS Radio/Infinity, and Clear Channel/Jacor, control almost 35 percent of industry revenues. Television. And then there was light . . . In 1907 a Russian named Rosing developed the theory of television. By 1928, three television sets were put in homes. And in that same year, the first scheduled broadcasts evolved in Schenectady, New York. In 1939 the New York Worlds Fair premiered the television to the public. That same year, regular television broadcasts began.

By 1941, NBC and CBS began commercial transmissions, and by 1949 network television resonated throughout America. By 1951, there were one and a half million television sets in the United States. In 1954, regular color television broadcasts began. And, in 1963 television news came of age with the broadcast and reporting of John F. Kennedys assassination. By 1965, almost all broadcasts were filmed in color, and the FCC regulated cable television. In 1968 there were 78 million televisions in American homes, and approximately 200 million sets around the globe. A new mass medium was coming of age.

The Effects Of Violence In Media On Society Today

Is societies violence the media’s fault? This is the question that has been asked since before television was in every American’s house. Of course there are the different types of media today ranging from newspapers, to on-line reports and stories. There have been arguments upon arguments about this issue, and over 3,000 studies conducted. Unfortunately there isn’t one single result, there is only an array of supposed answers to this undying question. CBS president, Howard Stringer is pointing to a different scapegoat for society’s violence.

I come from a country that puts a lot of American movies on and has more graphic violence within it’s live drama on the BBC than anywhere else, and there is a lot less violence in the United Kingdom than there is here. There are 200 million guns in America, and that has a lot to do with violence. ” He feels it has to do with gun control, which others have suggested. But there are so many violent acts, that one can’t focus on the guns, just like one can’t focus on the media. David Phillips, one of the men we discuss later put it perfectly, “It’s like watching rain fall on a pond and trying to figure out which drop causes which ripple.

There have been many studies conducted on the effects of violence on children, and on the effects on society as a whole. There have been about 3,000 studies performed on this topic. Two of the most prolific studies were the UCLA Television Violence Monitoring Report, and the Mediascope, Inc. test sponsored by the National Cable Television Association. Of course there were many other studies done, but these made headlines because of their results. The UCLA study focused on all of the television media, and discovered some interesting facts from their study.

Prime Time Series raised the least concern. Theatrical films raised more concern and had a lot more violence. The Saturday morning cartoons had mixed reviews. 23% of the cartoons raised concern, but that was only rating the most popular cartoons: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, X-Men, etc. They termed the action in cartoons as “Sinister Combat Violence” which basically means the whole story line leads to violence. Mediascope, Inc. focused on the amount and context on cable, effectiveness of rating systems and parental advisories, and the success of anti-violent messages.

They found that perpetrators go unpunished in 73% of all violent scenes, one out of four violent interactions involved the use of handguns, and premium cable channels present the highest percentage of violent programs (85%). There was more to their findings, but these were the more prevalent findings. University of Michigan psychologists Dr. Leonard Eron and Dr. Rowell Huesmann conducted a study, which continued for decades. This was conducted beginning in 1960. They took 800 eight-year-olds and found that children who watched many hours of violent television tended to be more aggressive in the playground and the classroom.

They checked back with these kids 11 and 22 years later. They found the aggressive eight-year-olds grew up to become even more aggressive. They testified before congress in 1992 stating, “Television violence affects youngsters of all ages, of both genders, at all socioeconomic levels and all levels of intelligence. The effect is not limited to children who are already disposed to being aggressive and is not restricted to this country. “David Phillips, a scientist at the University of California in San Diego conducted a study on prizefights on television.

He thought of this topic, because he felt there wasn’t enough research being conducted on the copycat violence. He found that after prize fights on television, there would be about a 10 percent increase in murders for a few days afterwards. He quoted, “It also seems to be the case that the kind of person killed just after the prizefight is similar to the person beaten in the prize fight. “There are four major theories of television violence. The “arousal” theory, the “social learning” theory, the “disinhibition hypothesis,” and the “catharsis hypothesis.

These four hypothesis/theories are old and new conclusions to the question at hand. It is notable to see that some of these theories were stated as early as 1961. Most would have to disagree with these theories just because of the age of their births, but to most people’s surprise they still hold in the 21st century. The arousal theory is basically self-explanatory. This was theorized by P. H. Tannenbaum in 1975. He said exposure to television violence increases aggression because violence increases excitation, or “arouses” viewers (Tannenbaum & Zillman, 1975).

This is also being found in the recent studies, which shows the progression in the media’s will to change. The “social learning” theory was described by Dr. Bandura. This theory says ways of behaving are learned by observing others, and that this is a major means by which children acquire unfamiliar behavior, although performance of acquired behavior will depend at least in part on factors other than acquisition (Bandura, 1973). A perfect example of this theory was when the murders occurred after the prizefights. The “disinhibition hypothesis” was L. Berkowitz’s investigation.

This hypothesis explains that television violence in certain circumstances will result in increased interpersonal aggression because it weakens inhibitions against such behavior (Berkowitz, 1962). The final theory, “catharsis hypothesis” was written by S. Feshbach. This theory explains that under certain conditions exposure to television violence will reduce subsequent aggression (Feshbach, 1961). What this is saying is that if someone sees a fantasy on TV, or now with technology, entertains themselves with virtual reality, that fantasy is fulfilled, which makes them not feel they have to do that in real life.

So many people have discussed the topic of media effecting society, from Aristotle to the President of CBS. It has always been a question, but never as needy for an answer as now. Hopefully the government has some say in this soon, so the drama of centuries will finally be over. But that probably won’t occur anytime soon. Aristotle was a big supporter of “catharsis. ” He believed that the audience became psychologically involved with the story on stage, even though they knew it was 100% fiction.

He felt when aggression climaxed with the actors, there was a “catharsis” in the audience, which was pleasurable to experience and left the audience “cleansed, uplifted, and less likely to act violently among themselves. “Sigmund Freud also felt as Aristotle did by saying, “Unless people were allowed to express themselves aggressively, the aggressive energy would be dammed up, pressure would build, and the aggressive energy would seek an outlet, either exploding into acts of extreme violence or manifesting itself as symptoms of mental illness . But there is no direct evidence for this conclusion (Aronson, 1995, p. 258).

President Clinton looks at it in a different light saying, “for people who have never been taught to understand the consequences of their action these things can unintentionally set forth a chain reaction of ever more impulsive behavior. ” Hollywood figures of the 21st century blame factors such as poverty, drugs and alcohol, poor schooling, lax gun control and a general breakdown of families but not screen violence. University of Iowa professor of Journalism and Mass Communication Albert Talbott said, “In the 30s, when I was a toddler, one of the things that concerned parents were comic books and the violence in them.

As soon as the modern media started to develop, we have all kinds of things on how we are affecting people. “Technology today isn’t helping everyone to feel better about this dilemma. It is actually going to get worse before it gets better. There isn’t only movies or news reports someone can watch to see violence, but also the new video game craze. Video games have become an enormous industry in the past decade. People from 4 years old to 70 years old own their own Sega Genesis or Nintendo Play Station. Of course there is a number of games to choose frombut what is the highest wanted game? None other then Mortal Combat.

The name speaks for itself. Just for the record, this game consists of choosing a character, a weapon and then fighting another character until one is dead. It also is equipped with sound effects for when someone is punched or stabbed, and also shows the blood flying from the body when hit. So many studies have been done on the affects of media violence on children. Most are concerned with the results, especially parents. If the government, parents or others are so concerned with the effect of their child seeing violence on the television, maybe they should practice what they preach when Christmas rolls around.

They should think twice before buying that Mortal combat III for their son. This is where it gets sticky. Parents need to draw the line between appropriate and not appropriate. It would be a nice convenience to have a rating system on the television, but parents should be aware enough of what their children are doing and watching that they are the rating system themselves. The question now is what is happening to help this situation currently? The answer is quite relieving. All of the networks are on their “tippy toes” so they won’t get a bad name.

The Entertainment Industries council, which distributes suggestions to the writers and producers of network shows and TV movies on social issues, is now meeting with writers to develop ways for dramatizing conflict without violence and showing the consequences of violence. MTV is the most risque station on cable right now. It shows a good amount of sex and violence everyday. Usually more sex then violence, but there is a good amount of both. But at MTV, almost one out of three music videos submitted is being ruled inappropriate for broadcast.

The V-Chip is another work in progress for parents. This device will be in all televisions within 5 years. It is a rating system for parents, and they can program it to cut off shows with violence or nudity, etc. This will help parents regulate what their children will watch, even when they aren’t around. It will be like on-line shopping, a convenience, but you still have to choose what you want to buy. Film director Oliver Stone says, “Films have become more sanitized. We’re moving away from reality. We’re in the grip of a political correctness that’s bothersome.

Obviously there will be some who are concerned with the action government is taking, because media should be realistic and educating, even if it is gruesome. Some would disagree with that statement, and those are the ones taking action now. Photojournalist Assistant Professor John Kimmich Javier said, “News isn’t always pretty or nice. People must face that reality. ” People have had to face that reality, and now are taking action to stop that from continuing to be reality. Should it be stopped is the real question. What is the effect of violence in media with children compared to with adults?

Children model behavior they see in the media. If they don’t see the consequences of violence, it will teach them that violence doesn’t cause serious harm. Adults see more violence in the media than actually exists in real life. That’s because producers believe that they have to include extraordinary violence in order to keep the viewer. When heroes use violence, children think that violence is an appropriate way to respond to problems. Children are younger, so they see things and apply that to their lives, because they are learning everything at that age.

Adults look at it as the “mean world syndrome” in which they see how society is portrayed on TV, and they think that every neighborhood is dangerous, like shown. When in fact most neighborhoods are nothing like they are portrayed on TV. The writers and producers are exaggerating, to make it all interesting. There is also discussion of violence on TV not having any affect at all. People have seen so much, that they don’t really think about the actual act occurring on screen. Hanno Hardt, a professor at J-MC School said, “It’s lost it’s shock value. Maybe 20 to 30 years ago we would have been shocked.

Now, a generation later, we know that this is a violent society. And when we read about violence, it only reinforces what we know. ” People have become used to seeing violence on television, but this has become somewhat surreal to them. They don’t think of it as reality until it happens to them. “When violence happens to people or their family, they become eyewitnesses to this violence. They have personal experiences – compassion sensitivity, fear. People haven’t lost that. “We have covered a huge amount of information about the effect of violence in media on society. Did we answer the question though?

I don’t think we did, but I do think that the answer is making progress. We are also a lot more informed now of what exactly is in the media right now, and what studies have shown to be happening. There has always been an issue of something effecting society, and there will always be a plentitude of scapegoats. What is the actual answer though? No one seems to have it. There is a lot of gray area, but society seems to be making this more of a black and white issue. Will the government ever really take action? Does action need to be taken? Hopefully after reading this, one is more educated on the difficulty in answering these questions.

Stereotypes In Media

My topic will address how minorities and women are misrepresented in the media and how they are stereotyped. I plan to show how minorities and women are depicted or stereotyped unfairly in the news, on television, and in general.

In an article from USA Today magazine, it illustrated that if you have watched, listened to, and read media all your life, you probably have filed these images into your thinking process: African-Americans are mostly rap stars, professional athletes, drug addicts, welfare mothers, criminals and/or murderers; Latinos are illegal aliens, ignorant immigrants who take, but give little back to the ountry and can’t even speak the language, or drug-crazed thugs who have no respect for law or order; Asian-Americans are either weak, model citizens or inscrutable, manipulative, or uncaring invaders of business, especially in the United States; Native Americans are illiterate, drunken Indians who hate all Caucasians and sleep away their lives. (Saltzman, 1994) If you are like most middle-class Americans, most of what you know about members of other races or religions comes from what you read in the paper, hear on radio, or see on television. It is easy to see that racial and ethnic stereotypes still dominate uch of reporting today.

In today’s media, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and Native Americans either are treated as invisible or the source of a particular problem: crime, immigration, or the economy. In reference to Native-Americans: when you watch a sport such as the Atlanta Braves baseball team or the Washington Redskins football team, you see the tomahawk chop and chants at these baseball or football games. Anything wrong with this? As for Hispanics, “You find a few Hispanics sprinkled through the networks but in supporting roles” says Hollywood publicist, Luis Reyes. They are put there for color. ” (Heller 1994) In 1993, Hispanics who numbered 25 million in the United States, played in only eleven of the 800 prime-time network TV parts, according to a March 1993 Newsweek study.

Another study conducted by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, found that of more than 7,000 TV characters on 620 prime-time shows between 1955 and 1987, there were 2 percent Hispanics and 6 percent Blacks. Last year, Common Law lasted only four episodes on ABC. Today, there are no shows that I can think of that are all Hispanic — you have to go to cable TV to find a show. Now turning to Asians on TV, if you remember the show “All American Girl” which depicted a Korean family, it is no longer on the air. Where do we see them now? No where. Now let’s focus on African-Americans. Television’s most prominent black men are athletes and entertainers. On the court, on the field, on the rap stage, they are heroes to both Whites and Blacks, particularly to the young. What does this do?

They may give an impressionable viewer the notion that speed, strength, and bad language will do for them what it has done for its heroes. Elsewhere on the small screen an be found black news anchors, reporters and commentators as well as actors, social workers, teachers, and public officials who represents different roads to achievement. But not even Colin Powell can compete in the dreams of most youngsters with that of a Shaquille O’Neal or Michael Jordan. Dr. Camille Cosby, who received her doctorate in education (her husband is Bill Cosby) has written a book: “Television’s Imageable Influences: The Self Perception of Young African-Americans,” which charts the damaging impact of derogatory images of African-Americans produced by our media.

She observed that self-esteem is considered a pre-requisite for success. She states, “What impact would it have on your psyche to see your people constantly portrayed as the devoted servant, the chicken and watermelon eater, the sexual superman, or the social delinquent, among many other derogatory images? ” It is for these and other reasons that Dr. Cosby wrote her book to emphasize the real human cost of media misinformation and indifference. Dr. Cosby also states, “As a mother, I am very aware of what children watch and how they are influenced by TV, movies, ewspapers and art. The way the media distorts our differences is a covert divide and conquer strategy which I regard as a violation of human rights. (Johnson, 1995)

When Blacks are invited into homes via television, it evidently is easier for viewers to laugh at African-Americans than to see them effectively addressing their problems. Former TV comedies such as the highly rated Roseanne and Grace Under Fire, addressed serious issues such as wife abuse, forced unemployment, and divorce within the white working class, but similar issues come up short on black shows. This suggests that Blacks must be fun-loving and happy-go-lucky no matter how dire the circumstance. This “Don’t worry, be happy” mentality was illustrated in “A Different World,” a comedy about black college life as a spin-off from the ground breaking Cosby Show.

But it focused on more partying; more relationship matters than on serious academics. As for women, a report which analyzed media coverage of women, found that the “white male, as reported by the media, is the subtle norm by which all else is gauged. ” For example, when the subject is a white male, eference to his race and gender is rarely noted, whereas descriptive phrases, such as “black leader” or “female candidate” are often employed in addition to that person’s name and title. Images and beliefs concerning women are far more prominent in our society than those of men. Women are always the ones cooking, cleaning, doing household tasks or taking care of children.

They are portrayed as being emotionally and physically inferior and submissive to men. Women are visualized as weak creatures. They tend to be confined to a life dictated by family and personal relationships. Men almost always dominate television programs. Figures show that in television drama women are outnumbered by men 3:1 or 4:1; in cartoons women are outnumbered 10:1; and in soap operas women are outnumbered 7:3. (Ingham 1997) In daily shows such as soap operas, women are usually hysterical, crying and emotionally out of control. This personifies women as being the inferior sex, which leads to many false stereotypes. Women as sex objects are the most common stereotype of women on television.

Now turning to the television network, Fox executives first mbarked on their quest for the young-urban market dollar, by offering performers such as Keenan Ivory Wayans and Charles Dutton titles that promised an unusually high degree of creative control for African-Americans. Of course, the deals weren’t exactly what they were cracked up to be. When the TV show, In Living Color hit big, the upstart network got greedy and attempted to make syndication dollars on Thursdays while continuing with first-run episodes Sundays. Naturally the Wayans family walked. And when the TV show Roc failed to earn big ratings, Fox began using its veto power over the shows content. The shows Roc and South Central depicted reality-based black families. Even though Roc was canceled, it went out with a fight.

In a last ditch effort to salvage the working-class dramedy (comedy/drama), 29 black members of congress signed a letter of protest to Rupert Murdock (President of Fox network) while Congressman Ed Towns even issued a statement that members of the congressional black caucus will not stand for the “paternalistic” cancellation of positive black shows.

The star of Roc, Charles Dutton in commenting on his show in the magazine Village Voice” says, “It is my opinion that if I was doing what Martin Lawrence was doing, if I was doing what some of the baffoon male characters on Living Single were doing, if our show was made of fluff-lightweight material such as Family Matters and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, I would have been on the air for five more seasons. ” (Zook, 1994) Now some solutions for the news.

More than 5,000 minority journalists at a unity ’94 conference in Atlanta, said the solution is to increase racial and ethnic minorities in news management ranks so that those who report, edit and decide hat goes on via the media are proportionately representative of the public at large. The number of minorities in the media have increased in recent years, but that rate isn’t fast enough. It is unjustifiable that the men and few women who manage the media continue to do so without the benefit of enough input from racial and ethnic minorities to make a difference. (Sunoo, 1994) Perhaps in the television arena, we could ask viewers what they think about the shows on the air; we need to encourage open dialogue.

We need to show that diversity is a long-term commitment to change. Don’t just focus on diversity when it’s black history month or Cinco De Mayo; focus on diversity all the time. In summary, I hope I have enlightened us all to know that there is minority misrepresentation in the media, whether it be Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans or Women. There are a number of solutions possible, but until mainstream America sees it as a problem, I don’t think it will change too fast. As for stereotyping, the familiar saying, “Don’t be too fast to judge a book by its cover” is easy to say, but unfortunately most look at the cover before opening the book.

Does the mass media cause undesirable social behaviour

It started by way of messengers and scribes, evolved through the presentation of newspapers and radio, brought us together with television, and now serves us world-wide via the ever-popular Internet. It is the mass media, and even from the earliest days of its existence, it has contributed greatly in ways that both enlighten and enrich society, and ways that deteriorate and perplex it. It is not a surprise to learn, then, that the mass media is the most powerful source of information we have, and nothing else in todays world influences public perception quite as heavily.

Unfortunately, however, most of what is broadcast or transmitted in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging. But the news on television is not the only type of media taking the criticism of society. Other forms of mass media, specifically movies and television programs containing pornography and violence have been heavily criticized. The underlining concept to be debated here is that society is negatively influenced, specifically, by these images of pornography and the result is increased violence against women.

This assumption, and it is indeed only an assumption, is completely fallacious, however, as no concrete and completely conclusive evidence has ever been formulated in support of the theory. The key premise here is that the mass media does not cause undesirable social behaviour and in actuality, the media people should not be dubbed as the bad guys. They simply use their power in the most constructive ways possible in order to promote their ratings and popularity. One way to do that is to concentrate on what sells: sex, violence and disaster.

Having said this, why is it then, that many in society still believe otherwise; why do they continue to believe that pornography is evil and is a major cause for violence against women, specifically rape? There are many reasons for this misinterpretation and through the following few points, an attempt will be made to show that pornography has very little to almost no correlation with violence against women (of course nothing is absolute in society). In order to demonstrate this, it must be made evident that pornography is not evil and does not cause undesirable social behaviour by displaying nude women in sexually explicit circumstances.

Thus, it is important to indicate that women are not treated only as sexual objects through the media. This is done in an attempt to quash any traces of evil in pornography. Subsequently, a second point, that some may consider to be completely bizarre, can be addressed; that pornography actually reduces the amount of violence against women. For thousands of years, sex itself has been considered evil and revolting. This is exactly why the concealment of the sex organs and teaching feelings of shame toward human sexuality is so common worldwide (Christensen 1990:4).

These same feelings of shame are the chief reasons that sex is considered a personal and private matter. Contrary to the beliefs of many, the mass media did not create these settings; society creates this image. In some societies, women have no reservations with regard to living their entire lives completely naked, while in other societies, females cover themselves from head to toe, only revealing their eyes. The media has been bombarded with criticism, overwhelmingly from the female community, relative to the amount of sexually explicit material that is published in magazines and that appears on television and in the cinemas.

A common argument against pornography is that the media portrays women as being nothing more than sexual playthings and objects to satisfy male sexual desires. As before, the media once again, is not to be held responsible for creating this image; these views are products of society. It would be downright absurd to assume that women in this society are treated as sexual objects only because the media releases or broadcasts pornographic material. A magazine associated with make-up and skin care, for example, will quite obviously not be concentrating on much else.

Such a magazine would not display pictures of women who mountain-climb or women who water-ski; only images of make-up and text referring to skin care would be relevant. Clearly, society does not consider women to be beings whos only purpose in life is to worry about make-up and skin care; but why are the complaints only directed towards pornographic media then? The answer to this question may be more complicated, however, what remains obvious is that the media does not portray women as only being able to fill male sexual desires.

To say that pictures featuring nudity, etc, are making objects out of women is foolish. One should consider females who pin-up posters of male rock stars or children who collect hockey or baseball cards. Society, however, does not say that objects are being made out of these rock stars and sports heroes; pictures of clothed people are no less objects than pictures of naked people. Many complaints are also made to the effect that pornography only offers a one- dimensional view to life; that women are seen as nymphomaniacs who are hysterically addicted to sex.

It should be pointed out that events such as hockey games, boxing matches, horse races and operas all offer a one-dimensional view of life. One does not attend an opera hoping to see a horse race. The underling problem here is that the above mentioned events are socially acceptable; media displaying pornography is not. It is also said that the media reduces women to a collection of body parts through pornography (Christensen 1990:74). But why then are their no complaints of advertisements in magazines displaying only ears, for example, or a nose, or feet?

The reason is a simple one; society considers certain body parts to be shameful or disgusting and once again, the media can be let off the hook. Realistically, the only way to prevent women from being seen as sex objects is for them to be seen as other things as well; but to say that women are not sexual beings would be misleading because both men and women are very much sexual (Christensen 1990:42). Similarly, to say that women are singled out in the media is fallacious due to the many examples of media where men are seen catering to the needs of women; something known as chivralic sexism (Christensen 1990:42).

Take, for instance, a recent television ad portraying young men groveling at the feet of supermodel Cindy Crawford, almost begging to be the one to cater to her needs. There were no lineups of men aching to announce their displeasure with the sexist ad; and this is precisely why male stereotyping in the media often goes unnoticed. Similarly, it is pornography in the media that is noticed and shunned by anti-pornographic and censorship organizations because it seemingly singles out females for their bodies.

It should be well noted, however, that paperback romance novels, which make up an incredible 40% of total paperback sales (Gerbner 1988:15), depicts males as sexual objects, performing what is called Sweet Savagery (rape), just as pornography depicts females as sexual objects. But once again, this goes unnoticed. It is fundamentally important to realize that the media does not deliberately create images of hate or disagreement (Howitt, Cumberbatch 1975:80). They just influence the more appealing things in society (thus directly increasing their ratings).

Although it is obvious that pornography is largely a male interest, a noted increase in female interest would certainly cause an increase in the amount of pornographic material geared for women; this relates to the laws of the business world (Christensen 1990:50). Having discussed the untruthfulness of the claims against pornography and showing that pornography is not evil, it is now possible to consider the violence issue. Are men who are exposed to pornography likely to commit violent acts, such as rape against women, more so than men who are not exposed to pornography?

It is tempting to believe that media influences males and overstimulates them through pornography to the point that they become aggressive towards females. But this is completely baseless; just as pornography arouses or stimulates, it also satisfies. The American Commission on Obscenity and Pornography performed a study in which several college students were asked to spend one and a half hours in an isolated room with a large volume of pornographic media, as well as a large volume of non-explicit media such as Readers Digest (Howitt, Cumberbatch 1975:80).

The study was conducted over a three week period over which time it was discovered that the males involved in the experiment began to lose interest, or become desensitized to the erotic media nearing the end of the experiment, even if new material was added. To address the argument that males are pushed over the brink into committing rape because of pornography, one may point to the evidence above; to cover the female body would theoretically only increase male sexual desires. Four more separate experiments were conducted of which the above was one.

Three other experiments came to the conclusions that pornography does not cause violence against women and reported that the number of sex offenders that had been exposed to pornographic material were smaller in number than the amount of sex-offenders that had not been exposed to pornography (Christensen 1990:130; Harmon, Check 1988:28-30). These results can be offered as evidence against the claim that males become overstimulated and thus dangerous when exposed to pornography.

Other experiments conducted in the early 1980s by the Williams Committee in England, reported that as the availability and abundance of sexually explicit material increased, the number of violent sex crimes such as rape did not increase, but in fact decreased in many areas (Christensen 1990:128-129). So what is it about pornography that women and anti-pornography organizations do not like? Violence! One of the greatest myths about pornography is that it contains an excess of violence against women inevitably resulting in real-life violence against women.

Anti-pornography groups release propaganda that the media approves of violence against women through pornography. In actuality, however, the total amount of violence in sex-related movies was found to be approximately 6% in a study by T. Palys in the early 1980s in Vancouver, Canada. Even this material was almost entirely composed of verbal threats and spanking (Christensen 1990:59). In addition to the above, studies in Ohio also found that the amount of violence in G-Rated movies was a staggering two times more than in X-Rated movies.

In fact, major films such as Die Hard: With A Vengeance and Terminator 2, contain extreme violence 85-90% of which is directed solely at men. There are, however, exceptions; the slasher genre of movies contain much more violence towards women, possibly due to the desensitization to violence in other genres of films. Because women are involved, violence against them could create a true sense of horror. However, this does not suggest that men should go into society and rape a woman any more than it suggests that men should go out and kill other men.

Horror movie fans choose to watch these movies because they enjoy portrayed violence. Needless to say, no sane individual would wish for this violence to become a real-life conception. Similarly, sex also excites people and because these two elements offer the most thrills in movies, they are often combined. It should be pointed out that women, and not just men, also enjoy these thrills based on numerous studies. When discussing pornography, it is scarcely noted that men are not the only ones who enjoy fantasizing about sex. Women also enjoy pondering sex; just not through pornography.

In fact, most of these fantasies involve some degree of violence or force and are largely driven by the romance novels discussed earlier (once again supporting the evidence that romance novels prove to be the female equivalent to male-geared pornography). Recent reports published by Nancy Friday, show that the number of female fantasies involving rape far outweigh the number of male fantasies involving rape. What comes as a surprise to many is that in male fantasies, the woman rapes the man and conversely, in female fantasies, the man rapes (Sweet Savagery), the woman! (Christensen 1990:66).

Fridays reports also provided some interesting reasoning for the female fantasies. Her reports find that females fantasize about rape to show that they are not acting in accordance with such sinful actions; to show that sex is being forced upon them. Any other feelings towards the fantasized rape would prove to be undesirable social behaviour and amazingly, the media is not even involved! Actual laboratory experiments (Hawkins, Zimring 1988:103) have shown that when groups of women were shown erotic scenes involving rape, their reactions to the scenes were as or even more stimulating than less violent consensual lovemaking scenes.

This is not to say that all women want to be raped; far from it. This is to say that if women can fantasize about rape but not wish to experience it, then men, too, can fantasize about rape and not wish to commit it. In addition to the many other accusations against pornography, many in society believe that there is definite connection between organized crime and pornography. Although this may be true, the idea is largely over-exaggerated. The reasoning behind this theory is very simple, yet very shallow.

Consider, that pornography is created by organizations and contains sexually explicit material that may be thought to be legally obscene in some areas. To make the connection, these anti-pornography organizations assume that the organizations (hence organized) that produce the legally obscene (hence crime) material, are operating illegally. It is obvious why pornography is attractive to criminals; just as anything that is banned or is made illegal, there is always someone who will pay the high black-market price for it.

Having considered the issues at hand, it can be said that since there is no concrete evidence to support otherwise, pornography in the media does not cause undesirable social behaviour. As mentioned before, sexually explicit movies and magazines do not just arouse, but also satisfy. It is an undisputed fact that feelings of love and happiness cancel out violent feelings (Zillman, Connections Between Sex and Aggression) and to say that pornography endorse violent feelings fails to make sense; if it did, why would men want to be exposed to it.

To suggest that pornography causes men to go over the edge and commit rape is as ludicrous as suggesting that pictures of food cause the hungry to steal more food. It has even been said by some women that rape is the fault of women who dress provocatively; they ask for it. According to this logic, in the event that pornography is banned, then an attempt should be made to force women to cover their skin and wear clothing that completely hides the shapes of their bodies so as not to provoke rape. Absurd. As members of society, we recognize the power of the mass media. We understand that public perception can be easily persuaded.

But it should be clearly understood that pornography in the media alone cannot persuade men to cause harm to women; it cannot cause men to do things that are socially unacceptable. As was mentioned earlier, pornography only causes feelings of excitement and satisfaction and these feelings overpower those feelings of violence. For these reasons, it can be said that until a positive link can be found between pornography in the media and violence against women, it will remain that sexual violence such as rape is the result of sexual frustration, and not of sexual arousal.

A Stereotypical Media

The media of todays society plays the peddler to the stereotypes that plague our country. However, the media is not solely to blame. Susan Sontag states in her essay The Image World: Through being photographed, something becomes part of a system of information, fitted into schemes of classification and storage(Sontag 196). Through our own demand as consumers, the use of advertising in television, newspapers, and especially magazines relays to the public an erratic system of stereotypical information.

The system of information relayed through photographic imagery in advertising directly affects the thoughts of society, on how a woman should look and feel. Thus, mixing the stereotypical woman of delicacy, and grandeur with sex and sexuality. The vast amount of stereotypical advertising today is directed at the middle-class, American worker. This specification in advertising is due to the fact that the middle class workers are the main consumers. This idea is represented in the magazine, Newsweek.

Printed on April 3, 2000, Newsweek prints numerous articles of news that are not so focused and in-depth, but still contains valid consistency. The magazine is M/C Phillips, Page 2 truly tailored to the middle class and so is its advertising. In the midst of clutter, from articles of political power, to the rise of the doughnut culture, sits an ad of poise and content. Posted by the Target Corporation, a store tailored to the middle class, the ad displays, a very young, beautiful woman covered shoulders to toe in ivy, holding a rayon handbag.

She is poised, illustrious and elegant, a mirror image of a statue. The backdrop of the image is calm, organized and serene. The ad reads ivy plant $6. 99, rayon crochet bag $14. 99(Newsweek 7). However, the ads imagery at first glance does not fully portray the stereotypes within it. The appearances of stereotypes in this serene ad are hard to find, but are found deep in the text of the image. The apparent purpose of the ad is to sell items such as a handbag, and ivy plants. However, the apparent does not relay the reality. The use of a womans stereotypical sexuality covers up the real with the fantasy.

A stereotype as defined by the Module, Images of Women and Men, is viewed today as a process that distorts reality(Unger & Crawford 219). So in essence this is what the image, or the advertisement has done. Advertising takes the process of photography, and distorts its reality by applying such methods as stereotyping. This creates a desired and common appearance of the perfect, beautiful, fantasy woman. The posture of this image relays a sense of refinement, such M/C Phillips, Page 3 refinement that would be found in the stereotypical elegant, sexy woman.

The placement of her hands gives way to the image of elegance. They are poised, and hold to the endearment of elegance, beautiful but refined. Even when with the sense, or stereotype of the refinement, comes the sexuality of the image. With the refinement comes the notion of sex. To explain this, one must consider that the woman is covered shoulder to toe in ivy. This is the same ivy that is on sale for $6. 99. The ad leads to the fallacy that even the elegant and refined woman can be sold. This ad also carries with it, the stereotype of the fantasy, or the storybook notion.

When looking at the ad, one can see reality redefined. As stated by Susan Sontag, in her essay The Image World, Photographs do more than redefine the stuff of ordinary experience, they add vast amounts of material we never see(Sontag 196). The material in this case, is the application of the fantasy image. From birth, we are confronted with the stereotype of the fantasy woman, relayed to us by fairy tales and myths. Fairy tails and myths that convey the common illusion that all women must be beautiful, and graceful, re-confirming the fantasy stereotype.

The ad in question has also re-confirmed this childhood belief. Covering the young, beautiful woman almost completely in ivy brings her to the fantasy level. This image is almost comical in a sense, but is an erratic M/C Phillips, Page 4 stereotype. The image portrays her as a common fantasy, directly out of a childs storybook, posed in ivy, controlled by a mer plant. This image relays the attitude all women are controllable and must adhere to the fantasy. Strive to be young, skinny and beautiful. In analyzing the ad, another prevailing stereotype can be seen.

The use of gender stereotypes also plagues this ad, more specifically, the stereotype of the desirable, attractive woman. Gender stereotypes can be defined as consensual beliefs about the different characteristics of men and women(Unger & Crawford, 213). The consensual belief portraying the misconception of reality. Or rather, the common views of stereotyping shared by our culture and re-enforced by our media. The classification, or stereotyping of such attributes of the sexy woman(Unger & Crawford, 217), can be clearly seen in the advertisement at hand.

The concepts of a good figure, long hair, and pretty face are all combined in this ad to further enhance this classification. However, no one concept is more clearly used in this ad than the concept of the pretty face. In fact the face is directly focused on. Her hair is also a prevailing factor of stereotyping. The hair gives the woman an exotic, yet refined look. The surrounding borders of the ad are a dark shade of purple and pink, but in the center is a focused illumination of the womans face. The illumination does not focus on the M/C Phillips, Page 5 products for sale, but focuses the effect on the woman.

Directly enhancing her face and upper chest area, focusing the attention on her sexuality and so-called main control factor. Media has successfully continued to suppress women and enhance the stereotypes that women are to adhere to. By applying supposed unconscious effects such as stereotyping and classifying, we as a society have fallen victim to medias ploys in advertising. For years the common belief that a womans only power is her sexuality has been instilled into our society by media propaganda, in advertising. The media is seen as playing to the crowd.

The common notion that sex sells is directly represented in such ploys of advertising and more over in this ad. As Robert L. Heilbroner states, advertising is not only a bearer of messages; it is the message(Heilbroner 99). The message that advertising carries is the underlying faction of stereotypes. The stereotypical ploys that will attract the consumer to the product, the selling feature. In this ad, the woman and her fantasy image are not only selling common stereotypes but selling the very woman herself. Placing the woman in the ivy makes the statement that woman is the ivy. She is the very object that is for sale.

The ad is also, selling the very ploys that have been conflicting with the struggle to pursue equality and not the products stated to be for sale. M/C Phillips, Page 6 We as a society will never be equal unless, we strive to rid the propaganda at hand. Media and advertising are vessel of all ruin, in the advancement for a stereotype free image of a woman. What good is it for a woman to declare herself an individual, if she is continuously plagued with the common stereotypes of classification and sex? To truly be equal, we must strive to see the degradation that all stereotypes in media and advertising bring upon our society.

The Mass Media

The mass media can be defined as the means of communication that reach large numbers of people in a short time, such as television, newspapers, magazines, radio and the internet. In terms of reach, mass media can easily be accessible to people internationally and across continents. Throughout the 20th Century, the arrival of mass media was driven by technology that allowed the massive duplication of material at a low cost. Physical duplication technologies such as printing, record pressing and film duplication allowed the duplication of books, newspapers and movies at low prices to huge audiences.

Television and radio allowed the electronic duplication of content for the first time. Mass media had the economics of linear replication: a single work could make money proportional to the number of copies sold, and as volumes went up, units costs went down, increasing profit margins further. The purpose of the mass media is debatible; Some see its purpose is to inform or select information relevant to its large audience. Others see it having a hypoderitic needle effect. In brief, it is the idea that the makers of media messages can get up to do whatever they want us to do.

This last view has caused concern since the Orson Welles & The Mercury Theatre broadcast of War of the Worlds on October 30th 1939. He made an adaption of the book, except it was made like a live news broadcast of a Martian invasion. People packed the roads, hid in cellars, loaded guns, even wrapped their heads in wet towels as protection from Martian poison gas, in an attempt to defend themselves against aliens. In the future, it seems media convergence will become more apparent.

Already we have radio shows giving extra information and track listings through their website, TV news stations with their own broadband information services and I feel this is just the beginning. We will not have a media brand using one outlet any more, we are in a world where media conglomerates control too much of the media to avoid this. Companies like News Corporation, Viacom and AOL Time Warner own so much of it that not only will more of it become apparent, but also brands that have only one outlet will struggle greatly. This issue of globalization is still contentious.

For the western world, it poses a great threat as it means our information is from the one country. It has the potential to destroy cultures internationally, plus with the US being the only world super power, no one can compete or challenge their views and beliefs. Many countries may stop creating their own media for the public and simply but American media. The US can easily afford to do so, as their outlets will have made enough profit in the motherland. This means people will not fully have their native freedom of speech or viewpoints.

Global media conglomerates can often have a progressive impact on culture, especially when they enter countries that had tightly controlled corrupt media systems (as in much of Latin America) or nations that had significant state censorship over media (as in parts of Asia). The global commercial media system is uncompromising in that it will not respect tradition, custom, or balance, if it stands in the way of profits. A problem is becoming more apparent is that, as Major American companies merge together, minority voices in society will quickly lose their voice in the public domain.

In this country we have the BBC Asian Network, the communist newspaper Morning Star which give outlets to minorities but with globalisation and more specifically Americanisation, their views and beliefs will easily be erased from the public, purely if the media sees no substantial profit in them, rather than looking at ethics and freedom of expression. Now that the British media is monitored by the one body, Ofcom, traditional worries about taste, decency, fairness etc are not being abandoned.

However, there is a growing concern that the media is not giving us the full picture of news and information around us. The notion that Osama Bin Laden was sending coded messages in his video messages to terrorists does seem a bit far fetched, yet expressed journalists and reporters went along with the US Administration without question. Also in the early 1992 where Bill Clinton ran for leader of the Democratic Party in the US, one of his rivals Senator Robert Kerrey of Nebraska was literally snubbed by the media during the campaign.

As the opinion polls came in, Kerrey was found to be third in the running, yet the media was hardly giving him enough airtime to put his views across. The election trail continued and the other candidate got more exposure, Kerrey was soon out of the running altogether. The views in the media are not a fair representation of the cultural diversity around us. With most of the focus on white British people, those from other minority groups and with special needs are not given enough time in the media.

However, within the last ten years changes have been made to improve this situation as the BBC created the Asian Network, also last February the BBC unveiled quotas to boost the number of disabled people in their shows. Then again, the BBC itself is a public-funded, non commercial broadcaster which needs to change with the publics interest. If changes like these continue for the other TV and media networks, not only will it create better integration in our society, but would counter the hypodermic needle effect the media can easily put in place.

Rupert Murdoch is a media entrepreneur who owns and has shares in the largest media conglomerate, News Corporation worth $12. 5 billion. His holdings include: FOX Networks, BSkyB, 20th Century Fox, New York Post, HarperCollins Publishers, Regan Books and sports teams. His empire covers four continents and reaches two in every three people worldwide. Though the concern as to his power potential is that with so many media outlets to utilize, he can put his views across them without any room or regard for other peoples view, which undermines the principle of democracy.

On the upside, Rupert Murdoch has forever changed the way the media works. He brought tabloid papers to the UK, colour newspapers and has manage to create ties between the media and government. He is the most powerful political media influence in the world; he has frequently been courted by politicians, especially current and past British and Australian Prime Ministers, who try to persuade him to run favourable coverage. He is however, accused of running partisan media coverage for political parties that promote policies and decisions which favour his commercial interests.

In my view, Rupert Murdoch is threat to the media and democracy around the world itself. He has an overwhelming desire to own more and more of the worlds media, without compliancy. Furthermore, with the Federal Communications Committee deregulating their policies, it is only allowing Murdoch more room to flex his muscles. During the September 11th attacks in the United States I found myself watching news coverage on the Fox News Channel which Sky Digital, only recently carried.

I noticed an American bias in its coverage but it only became more apparent during the War on Terror. On every single show, in the top left hand corner, the American flag waves constantly for 24 hours a day which is unusual, considering Rupert Murdoch attacked the BBC for spending too much money on American programming. He buys a station in America and pretends its pro-America, has it tell us Americans that theyre best because that sells, plays countries against each other because it breeds loyalty.

Then, he buys a station somewhere else like here in Britain, has that station tell them they are the best because that sells and then starts playing them against whichever country will serve his purpose at the moment. If he determines anti-American talk will sell to Britons, he starts attacking the very country his FOX News claims to speak for. Rupert Murdoch is only working to help himself, his assets and his security. He is assaulting those that try to free speech, the BBC being a prime example but he has been doing this across the globe. He simply uses any means possible to get more money.

In 1985 he became a US citizen in order to satisfy current legislation that only American citizens could own US television stations and yet also managed to have himself defined as an Australian citizen in order to retain his ownership of Australian media outlets. During the build up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, all 175 Murdoch-owned newspapers worldwide editorialised in favour of the war. The fear is that, if Murdoch continues to get richer and richer, he could eventually buy up the entire worlds media and centrally control all the ideas and views released which would slowly kill off democracy and stop people thinking for themselves.

Japanese Media Overview

Physically, the mass media in Japan are quite similar to those in any developed nation, although perhaps somewhat more advanced. In organizational structure, however, Japanese media are unique. Individual elements of the Japanese media mix may resemble counterparts in other nations, but the combination is purely Japanese. The primary characteristics of Japanese mass media are the influence of the national daily newspapers and the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (Nihon Hoso Kyokai, or NHK) and the relative lack of localism. The importance of newspapers

Japanese media are dominated by five national daily newspapers. The Asahi, Mainichi, Nihon Keizai, Sankei and Yomiuri Shimbun (newspaper) all publish both a morning and an evening edition, with total circulation of more than 40 million copies per day (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 53). Of the world’s ten highest daily circulation newspapers, the top three are Japanese, with the fourth highest having a circulation of just over one-third of the circulation of the Yomiuri Shimbun (The United States is not represented in this list) (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 54).

It is not surprising that Japan has the highest ratio of newspapers to people in the world, with 578 copies per day for every 1000 people (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 52). Local newspapers are smaller than the nationals, and many are published only once or twice a week, even in cities with populations above 100,000. However, the national newspapers all have regional sections. The national daily newspapers are also involved in other media. All of the commercial television networks are either affiliated with or owned by a national newspaper (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 115).

They are also heavily involved in radio broadcasting, although their presence is less influential. Japanese book and magazine readership are also quite impressive. In addition, Japan has a thriving comic book, or manga, industry. Japanese comic books are for all ages and all types of people. One can see people reading manga in restaurants, coffee shops, trains, buses, even schools and offices. Sales of manga for 1984 totaled 297 billion yen (US$ 1. 2 billion), although this figure does not include any of the income from manga-related products (Schodt, 1986, p. 38).

Nature of television broadcasting There are five major commercial and two public television networks in Japan. The public networks, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) general and education, are funded by annual license fees paid for every television set in the country. Although NHK is an independent entity, it enjoys a close and favored relationship with the government. NHK is modeled after the British Broadcasting Corporation in many ways. NHK also oversees radio networks, including shortwave broadcasts.

In addition, NHK runs a publishing arm that prints workbooks that accompany its educational programs and guidebooks that provide additional insight into its historical dramas. On average, Japanese citizens watch over three hours of television per day. The average Japanese television set is turned on for eight hours and eight minutes per day (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 105). 54. 9 percent of Japanese citizens surveyed by NHK (1995) watch at least three hours of television per day on average. Generally speaking, Japan is a heavy television viewing nation.

Local broadcasting is relatively uncommon in Japan. With a population approaching 200 million, there are barely more than 100 local affiliates of national television networks, with these local affiliates carrying the network schedule for 70 to 90 percent of the broadcast day (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 113). Large cities, such as Tokyo and Osaka, certainly get a great amount of local broadcasting, whereas a city of more than 250,000 (Mito in Ibaraki prefecture) has no local television broadcasting, but retransmits a signal from Tokyo, 100 km away.

Retransmission is the nature of Japanese television broadcasting. Of the 1,502 VHF and 9,453 UHF television stations operating in 1992, NHK used 1,113 and 5,338 of them, respectively, to retransmit its signals (DeMente, 1992, p. 276). The remaining stations were operated by 46 commercial broadcasting companies, with the majority owned by the “big five” commercial networks — NTV, TBS, Fuji, ABC and TV Tokyo (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 113). Other traditional media NHK was the only player in broadcasting until 1950. Commercial radio broadcasts began in that year.

Growth continued steadily so that by the end of the decade, all of Japan could receive both NHK and commercial radio broadcasts (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 108). Localism is more common in radio broadcasting than in television. Most cities of even moderate size have their own radio station. As of 1992, there were 1,018 radio stations in Japan. 504 were AM stations, 491 were FM stations and 23 were short-wave stations. NHK owns 315 of the AM stations, 484 of the FM stations and 21 of the short-wave stations (DeMente, 1992, pp. 239-240). Starting in 1970, “mini-FM” radio stations began broadcasting in densely populated areas.

Although these stations had signals that only carried a kilometer, they could reach thousands of people in urban areas. An incident in 1985 resulted in the arrest of a mini-FM broadcaster and, since that time, mini-FMs have become much less common (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 109). New media It is ironic that Japan, a nation with a high-tech image, until very recently had one of the lowest rates of Internet use. A 1996 study found that Japan had only three percent of the world’s Internet-connected computers (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 221). The United States had 70 percent. This is a great disparity, but is worded ambiguously.

Stated differently (and taking into account the relative proportions of computer ownership), Japan was only one-tenth as “wired” as the United States. Some of the reasons for this: Computer ownership is, by some estimates (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 221) more than three times more common in the United States than in Japan; Japan’s telephone company (NTT) was extremely slow in meeting customer needs; Internet expenses were considerably higher in Japan; and there was very little Japanese content on the Internet. More recently, Internet adoption has picked up its pace in Japan (Cooper-Chen, 1997, pp. 21-222).

In other ways, Japan is a technological trendsetter. It began HDTV broadcasts in 1989 (under the direction of NHK), although only 2. 1 percent of households in Japan had a receiver in 1995 (NHK, 1995, p. 17). It had major a DBS system in place in the same year (under the direction of NHK) (Cooper-Chen, 1997, pp. 218-219). Satellite receiver penetration was 27. 9 percent in 1995 (NHK, 1995, p. 17). Cable television penetration, however, is relatively low, with figures varying between 7 percent (NHK, 1995, p. 17) and 25 percent (Cooper-Chen, 1997, p. 107).

Evolution of Media Violence

The evolution of broadcast programming can be identified into four stages. The first stage covers the debut of commercial radio in the 1920’s. At that time the tone was considered proper, and formal. For several years radio broadcasting emphasized classical or semi-classical music, and historical drama. Commercials were kept brief and always discreet In the second stage of programming, which was called The Golden Age of Radio, shows were action adventures.

Vaudeville-Comedy was also popular. The hard ships of the 1930’s and then World War II, made it important for citizens to be able to relax as adio brought popular entertainers and adventure stories into their homes. The third stage of programming lasted from 1945 until the early 1950’s, when television had a explosive growth. Television was preserved as “radio with pictures. ” Many entertainers and entire programs were transferred successfully from radio to television.

At the beginning of the fourth stage, known as The Golden Age of Television, variety shows were the most popular program format. Another television staple of this era was the western. In the late 1950’s action-adventure became popular. Since the 1960’s there has been a increase in violence in the media (television). In 1968 censorship laws were relaxed in favor of a rating system that allowed any type of subject matter to be filmed. This permitted Hollywood to specialize in films featuring excessive violence.

Many individuals and citizen groups have expressed concern about the level of violence in television programs, particularly in action-adventure series and cartoons. They feel that viewers, especially children, may learn to see violence as the way to resolve conflicts. Television can influence peoples mental picture of the world. This is especially true for younger viewers who rely heavily on television and other media for their understanding of the world beyond their neighborhoods.

Television today is failing to provide a complete, unbiased picture of reality. United Stated has a long standing tradition of freedom of speech, and freedom of press. These freedoms have hampered the government in attempting to directly limit censor the depiction of violence on television. In reason times the networks and producers have felt pressure from concern citizens who are critical of the violence displayed on television.

Mass Media and the Effects on Public Perspective

Over the past century, mass media has evolved from informational for the public to a monopolistic situation where the public has lost its say in what is aired. Back in early 1900s, newspapers had entertainment, news, information, and public views which in turn earned the publics interest. As interest grew, of course the companies did as well. At the turn of the century, the U. S. labor movement published hundreds of newspapers in dozens of languages, and regional dailies issued by working-class political organizations and mutual aid societies to national union weeklies and monthlies (McChesney 151).

These newspapers practiced a journalism very different from that of the capitalist newspapers, which were produced and sold as commodities, which contended, were poisoning the minds of the public. The old papers gave information, news, and help, and had little for entertainment. This paper will investigate the changes in the media, focusing on newspapers, magazines, and television, and the effects upon public perspective it has had. In the decades that followed the emergence of radio broadcasting in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, much of the scholarship on the origins of the U. S. oadcasting setup was a fortunate success (McChesney 222).

It is assumed that the United States had adopted the best broadcast system imaginable and that the laws that had permitted and encouraged the development of a regulated commercial system had been products of well-intentioned public servants (McChesney 222). Sometimes the U. S. broadcasting system was characterized as being a result of a painstaking study and debate of a variety of alternatives. At other times, the notion that debate or study had even been necessary was dismissed categorically, as the existing system was the sole conceivable system appropriate for U. S. democracy (McChesney 223).

In either case this perspective, which had been encouraged strongly by the commercial broadcasting industry, remained prominent in mass communication circles well into the 1970s, thus the real emergence of media conformity. Conformity of the media means that less and less companies exist today and the major corporations have bought out all the smaller ones. What people watch, see, read, and even talk about has been effected by the media. With the emergence of these changes we are now more interested in entertainment. This will be explained later.

Effects and Changes in Mass Media A description of mass media in the United States can help to explain much of why they do what they do. There are two categories of media defined as follows: print (newspapers, magazines, etc); and electronic which is the radio, television, movies, and the internet. These media carry messages quickly to a wide range of audiences (Heibert 4-5). With this technology media has conformed slowly over time, and less companies produced because they have either been bought out or fell off the charts as these numbers show (Heibert 4-5).

At the end of the twentieth century, about 1,550 daily newspapers were published, which is down from about 2,600 at their peak earlier in the century (Heibert 5). Some questions can be brought to light such as, do the media make things happen, or do they merely report what has happened? Do they make us act? Do they influence peoples opinions? Obviously this cannot be answered with undeniable certainty, but one can argue. In the 1950s, television was still primarily a limited adult activity. Most peoples values had already been shaped by other forces – namely, family, religion, teachers, and print media (Heibert 7).

By the end of the twentieth century, social scientists were ready to assign a more direct and powerful impact to television (Heibert 7-8). The most important has been the work of George Gerbner, whose cultivation analysis is based on theory that television, as a dominant medium, has a cumulative effect, ultimately creating the culture in which we live (Gerbner 23). Today many experts say it is television – not parents, teachers, or religious leaders – that establishes the values of young children.

Many scientific studies have confirmed that for the news and information we need about ourselves, our communities, and our world, we now turn more often to mass media, especially television, than to our families, friends, or neighbors (Bagdikian 23). At the beginning of the twentieth century, the average American spent a few minutes each day reading a daily newspaper, a few minutes more reading magazines, maybe less than an hour reading a book – and no time at all watching movies or television, listening to radio or recordings, or surfing the World Wide Web, none of which existed as a public medium.

By the end of the twentieth century, Americans spend more than half their leisure time – activities other than eating, sleeping, or working – on mass media, and the majority of that time is spent watching television. Today the numbers are 3,400 hours a year on media (such as TV, computers, etc), or about 40% of our total time, more than we spent time sleeping (2, 900 hours, 33%) or working (2000 hours, 23%), or all he other things people do (only 460 hours, 5 %) (Heibert 9). Conformity To understand he changing media at the end of the twentieth century, it is important to analyze the anatomy of the big bang.

The best place to start is with history. America was expected to be a diverse society, in terms of perspectives, and the mass media were supposed to represent and ensure that diversity. The fact is that by the end of the twentieth century the mass media had become less diverse, less competitive, and more standardized despite more television channels to watch, more radio stations to listen to, and more printed material to read (McChesney 223). Media critic Richard Harwood points out that the Golden Age for diversity in American press was the period from 1880 to 1930.

During that time, some 2,600 dailies were published, and every major city had a half-dozen or more competing papers. By the end of the twentieth century, only a handful of cities had competing dailies, and few independently owned newspapers remained (Harwood 143). Nearly all daily papers in the U. S. had become politically independent with bland or conformist political convictions, or none at all. The ethnic press had declined to 236 papers and lost much of its distinctiveness, Harwood writes, and the shrinking black press been enfeebled (Harwood 143). So, while newspapers are more profitable than ever today, they also are more efficient.

They can operate with fewer employees, meaning that even within the newsroom, fewer voices are being heard. According to a study by the Freedom Forum, the newsroom labor force of 53, 700 in the mid-1990s was expected to decline to 50, 000 by the year 2001 (Heibert 10). This is due to the fact that major publishers have bought the independent companies and only publish and limit what is sent out today. Radio and television have never been nonconformist, extremist, or highly partisan. They have always broadcast middle-of-the-road programming that would reach the largest possible audience.

The Fairness Doctrine, which mandated that broadcasting gives all sides equal time and opportunity, in fact discourages stations from taking a strong stand on issues(Bagdikan 25). Corporate Ownership and Interesting Numbers Patterns of ownership have changed as well. Daily and weekly newspapers once were locally and family owned businesses. Of the 1,550 or so daily newspapers published in America today, more than three-fourths are owned by newspaper groups or larger corporations. Somewhere around 145 account for more than four-fifths of the total circulation of the U. S. dailies (Heibert 11).

All this is the same for book and magazine publishing companies. Most of the publishing companies headquarters are in New York and there exists only several major companies across the country (Heibert 11). Radio and television were also small and locally owned businesses, mandated as such by Federal Communication Commission regulations that limited ownership to seven AM, seven FM, and seven TV stations. The other rule was that no owner could operate more than one in any given listening area. With deregulation happening in the Reagan administration, limitations on ownership were relaxed.

When deregulation completed with the overhaul of the communications law in 1996 – states: including no limits at all on the number of radio stations an individual or corporation can own- mergers began on the dime (Heibert 11). Within a few months the Fox network, with 22 TV stations, was the larger than ABC, CBS, and NBC, and its stations reached around 40 percent of American homes, being located in 11 of the top 12 markets. By 1996, writes McChesney, only about 50 firms controlled the majority of the worlds mass media, nine of those 50 – Time Warner, Disney, Bertelsmann, Viacom, Murdochs News Corp.

TCI, General Electric (NBC), Sony, and Seagram- held the dominant share. Right behind them were Comcast, Westinghouse (CBS), New York Times, Hearst, and Gannett (Bagdkian 25, McChesney 227). Also, fourteen out of fifteen of the worlds largest media corporations list the U. S. as their headquaters (Baran 522). Effects on the Public Whether the issue is online hate groups, televised violence, the absence of minority characters in prime-time television programming, or a decline in the quality of political discourse, the topic of the effects of mass communication has been hotly debated for a long time.

An important term to understand is selective exposure. This is the process by which people expose themselves to or attend to only those messages consistent with their preexisting attitudes and beliefs (Baran 424). This is where our public perspective has been mostly effected. The major corporations know about this selective exposure and have used that to their advantage (Baran 424). Taking a look at the numbers in the previous paragraph, it is clear that there exists fewer companies related to the media that ever today. With that, it is also true that what the people see and hear is what the corporations want them to see.

In a country of free enterprise, these corporations air what will give them high ratings, thus, in turn, more profit (Bagdkian 25). So, since we only see what they air, we are limited to the information that we do not have. We no longer talk about the news. Instead we talk about NYPD Blue, or any other sitcom, or what interests us. Another interesting fact is that we rarely here much about politics these days. This is because entertainment has become more important because it creates revenue (Baran 522). Conclusion Over the course of many years, it is astonishing to read the numbers as conformity has taken over rather than diversity.

Its amazing to look at the evolution of mass media over past century. It has changed the country and world in such a manor thats hard to describe. Within the United States, media changed the way people looked at each aspect of life. They no longer read newspapers for news, or watched TV for information; they watched out of curiosity and for entertainment. Competing companies had to make the same sort of shows that the leading companies were airing, thus the conformity of media. Whatever made them money is what mattered. Our loss of perspective as a people has happened because of this media frenzy.

We no longer turn to our neighbors or family members for information (Bagdkian 24). We listen to the people on TV, on the radio and in the newspapers. With the economic imbalance the world has today, there is no telling what might happen in the future with the mass media. At the current rate it is going, one massive company will eventually own everything and limit everything an individual may hear, read, or watch on any network. Yet, these conclusions cannot be proved by this paper, it is only what may happen in the future and there may be no real solution either, but that is also just an inclanation.

Pornography in the Media

It started by way of messengers and scribes, evolved through the presentation of newspapers and radio, brought us together with television, and now serves us worldwide via the ever-popular Internet. It is the mass media, and even from the earliest days of its existence, it has contributed greatly in ways that both enlighten and enrich society, and ways that deteriorate and perplex it. It is not a surprise to learn, then, that the mass media is the most powerful source of information we have, and nothing else in todays world influences public perception quite as heavily.

Unfortunately, however, most of what is broadcast or transmitted in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging. But the news on television is not the only type of media taking the criticism of society. Other forms of mass media, specifically movies and television programs containing pornography and violence have been heavily criticized. The underlining concept to be debated here is that society is negatively influenced, specifically, by these images of pornography and the result is increased violence against women.

This assumption, and it is indeed only an assumption, is completely fallacious, however, as no concrete and completely conclusive evidence has ever been formulated in support of the theory. The key premise here is that the mass media does not cause undesirable social behavior and in actuality, the media people should not be dubbed as the bad guys. They simply use their power in the most constructive ways possible in order to promote their ratings and popularity. One way to do that is to concentrate on what sells: sex, violence and disaster.

Having said this, why is it then, that many in society still believe otherwise; why do they continue to believe that pornography is evil and is a major cause for violence against women, specifically rape? There are many reasons for this misinterpretation and through the following few points, an attempt will be made to show that pornography has very little to almost no correlation with violence against women (of course nothing is absolute in society). In order to demonstrate this, it must be made evident that pornography is not evil and does not cause undesirable social behavior by displaying nude women in sexually explicit circumstances.

Thus, it is important to indicate that women are not treated only as sexual objects through the media. This is done in an attempt to squash any traces of evil in pornography. Subsequently, a second point, that some may consider to be completely bizarre, can be addressed; that pornography actually reduces the amount of violence against women. For thousands of years, sex itself has been considered evil and revolting. This is exactly why the concealment of the sex organs and teaching feelings of shame toward human sexuality is so common worldwide.

These same feelings of shame are the chief reasons that sex is considered a personal and private matter. Contrary to the beliefs of many, the mass media did not create these settings; society creates this image. (Howitt). In some societies, women have no reservations with regard to living their entire lives completely naked, while in other societies, females cover themselves from head to toe, only revealing their eyes. The media has been bombarded with criticism, overwhelmingly from the female community, relative to the amount of sexually explicit material that is published in magazines and that appears on television and in the cinemas.

A common argument against pornography is that the media portrays women as being nothing more than sexual playthings and objects to satisfy male sexual desires. As before, the media once again, is not to be held responsible for creating this image; these views are products of society. It would be downright absurd to assume that women in this society are treated as sexual objects only because the media releases or broadcasts pornographic material. A magazine associated with make-up and skin care, for example, will quite obviously not be concentrating on much else.

Such a magazine would not display pictures of women who mountain-climb or women who water-ski; only images of make-up and text referring to skin care would be relevant. Clearly, society does not consider women to be beings whose only purpose in life is to worry about make-up and skin care; but why are the complaints only directed towards pornographic media then? The answer to this question may be more complicated, however, what remains obvious is that the media does not portray women as only being able to fill male sexual desires.

To say that pictures featuring nudity, etc, are making objects out of women is foolish. One should consider females who pin-up posters of male rock stars or children who collect hockey or baseball cards. Society, however, does not say that objects are being made out of these rock stars and sports heroes; pictures of clothed people are no fewer objects than pictures of naked people. (Strossen). Many complaints are also made to the effect that pornography only offers a one-dimensional view to life; that women are seen as nymphomaniacs who are hysterically addicted to sex.

It should be pointed out those events such as hockey games, boxing matches, horse races and operas all offer a one-dimensional view of life. One does not attend an opera hoping to see a horse race. The underlying problem here is that the above-mentioned events are socially acceptable; media displaying pornography is not. It is also said, that the media reduces women to a collection of body parts through pornography. (Melton). But why then are their no complaints of advertisements in magazines displaying only ears, for example, or a nose, or feet?

The reason is a simple one; society considers certain body parts to be shameful or disgusting and once again, the media can be let off the hook. Realistically, the only way to prevent women from being seen as sex objects is for them to be seen as other things as well; but to say that women are not sexual beings would be misleading because both men and women are very much sexual. Similarly, to say that women are singled out in the media is fallacious due to the many examples of media where men are seen catering to the needs of women; something known as chivalric sexism.

Take, for instance, a recent television ad portraying young men groveling at the feet of supermodel Cindy Crawford, almost begging to be the one to cater to her needs. There were no lineups of men aching to announce their displeasure with the sexist ad; and this is precisely why male stereotyping in the media often goes unnoticed. Similarly, it is pornography in the media that is noticed and shunned by anti-pornographic and censorship organizations because it seemingly singles out females for their bodies.

It should be well noted, however, that paperback romance novels, which make up an incredible 40% of total paperback sales, depicts males as sexual objects, performing what is called Sweet savagery (rape), just as pornography depicts females as sexual objects. But once again, this goes unnoticed. It is fundamentally important to realize that the media does not deliberately create images of hate or disagreement. They just influence the more appealing things in society (thus directly increasing their ratings).

Although it is obvious that pornography is largely a male interest, a noted increase in female interest would certainly cause an increase in the amount of pornographic material geared for women; this relates to the laws of the business world. Having discussed the untruthfulness of the claims against pornography and showing that pornography is not evil, it is now possible to consider the violence issue. Are men who are exposed to pornography likely to commit violent acts, such as rape against women, more so than men who are not exposed to pornography?

It is tempting to believe that media influences males and over stimulates them through pornography to the point that they become aggressive towards females. But this is completely baseless; just as pornography arouses or stimulates, it also satisfies. The American Commission on Obscenity and Pornography performed a study in which several college students were asked to spend one and a half hours in an isolated room with a large volume of pornographic media, as well as a large volume of non-explicit media such as Readers Digest.

The study was conducted over a three-week period over which time it was discovered that the males involved in the experiment began to lose interest, or become desensitized to the erotic media nearing the end of the experiment, even if new material was added. To address the argument that males are pushed over the brink into committing rape because of pornography, one may point to the evidence above; to cover the female body would theoretically only increase male sexual desires.

Four more separate experiments were conducted of which the above was one. Three other experiments came to the conclusions that pornography does not cause violence against women and reported that the number of sex offenders that had been exposed to pornographic material were smaller in number than the amount of sex-offenders that had not been exposed to pornography. These results can be offered as evidence against he claim that males become over stimulated and thus dangerous when exposed to pornography.

Other experiments conducted in the early 1980s by the Williams Committee in England, reported, that as the availability and abundance of sexually explicit material increased, the number of violent sex crimes such as rape did not increase, but in fact decreased in many areas. (Melton) So what is it about pornography that women and anti-pornography organizations do not like? Violence! One of the greatest myths about pornography is that it contains an excess of violence against women inevitably resulting in real-life violence against women.

Anti-pornography groups release propaganda that the media approves of violence against women through pornography. In actuality, however, the total amount of violence in sex-related movies was found to be approximately 6% in a study by T. Palys in the early 1980s in Vancouver, Canada. Even this material was almost entirely composed of verbal threats and spanking. In addition to the above, studies in Ohio also found that the amount of violence in G-Rated movies was a staggering two times more than in X-Rated movies.

In fact, major films such as Die Hard: With A Vengeance and Terminator 2, contain extreme violence 85-90% of which is directed solely at men. There are, however, exceptions; the slasher genre of movies contain much more violence towards women, possibly due to the desensitization to violence in other genres of films. Because women are involved, violence against them could create a true sense of horror. However, this does not suggest that men should go into society and rape a woman any more than it suggests that men should go out and kill other men.

Horror movie fans choose to watch these movies because they enjoy portrayed violence. Needless to say, no sane individual would wish for this violence to become a real-life conception. Similarly, sex also excites people and because these two elements offer the most thrills in movies, they are often combined. It should be pointed out that women, and not just men, also enjoy these thrills based on numerous studies. When discussing pornography, it is scarcely noted that men are not the only ones who enjoy fantasizing about sex. Women also enjoy pondering sex; just not through pornography.

In fact, most of these fantasies involve some degree of violence or force and are largely driven by the romance novels discussed earlier (once again supporting the evidence that romance novels prove to be the female equivalent to male-geared pornography). Recent reports published by Nancy Friday, show that the number of female fantasies involving rape far outweigh the number of male fantasies involving rape. What comes as a surprise to many is that in male fantasies, the woman rapes the man and conversely, in female fantasies, the man rapes (Sweet Savagery), the woman!

Fridays reports also provided some interesting reasoning for the female fantasies. Her reports find that females fantasize about rape to show that they are not acting in accordance with such sinful actions; to show that sex is being forced upon them. Any other feelings towards the fantasized rape would prove to be undesirable social behavior and amazingly, the media is not even involved! Actual laboratory experiments have shown that when groups of women were shown erotic scenes involving rape, their reactions to the scenes were as or even more stimulating than less violent consensual lovemaking scenes.

This is not to say that all women want to be raped; far from it. This is to say that if women can fantasize about rape but not wish to experience it, then men, too, can fantasize about rape and not wish to commit it. In addition to the many other accusations against pornography, many in society believe that there is definite connection between organized crime and pornography. Although this may be true, the idea is largely over-exaggerated. The reasoning behind this theory is very simple, yet very shallow.

Consider, that pornography is created by organizations and contains sexually explicit material that may be thought to be legally obscene in some areas. To make the connection, these anti-pornography organizations assume that the organizations (hence organized) that produce the legally obscene (hence crime) material are operating illegally. It is obvious why pornography is attractive to criminals; just as anything that is banned or is made illegal, there is always someone who will pay the high black-market price for it.

Having considered the issues at hand, it can be said that since there is no concrete evidence to support otherwise, pornography in the media does not cause undesirable social behavior. As mentioned before, sexually explicit movies and magazines do not just arouse, but also satisfy. It is an undisputed fact that feelings of love and happiness cancel out violent feelings and to say that pornography endorse violent feelings fails to make sense; if it did, why would men want to be exposed to it.

To suggest that pornography causes men to go over the edge and commit rape is as ludicrous as suggesting that pictures of food cause the hungry to steal more food. It has even been said by some women that rape is the fault of women who dress provocatively; they ask for it. According to this logic, in the event that pornography is banned, then an attempt should be made to force women to cover their skin and wear clothing that completely hides the shapes of their bodies so as not to provoke rape. Absurd. As members of society, we recognize the power of the mass media. We understand that public perception can be easily persuaded.

But it should be clearly understood that pornography in the media alone couldnt persuade men to cause harm to women; it cannot cause men to do things that are socially unacceptable. As was mentioned earlier, pornography only causes feelings of excitement and satisfaction and these feelings overpower those feelings of violence. For these reasons, it can be said that until a positive link can be found between pornography in the media and violence against women, it will remain that sexual violence such as rape is the result of sexual frustration, and not of sexual arousal.

Media Violence is No Problem

Violent movies and television shows have been popular since the mediums were invented. Westerns and Police shows have kept us inundated with gun play and car chases. However many feel that entertainment companies have gone too far. Politicians, like Al Gore and Bill Clinton, have officially asked the producers and television stations to tone down the violence in their products and try to have more family orientated messages. Why the sudden change in heart? The recent rash of schoolshooting and teen violence has made many Americans look for a reason; the reason they have found is the media.

The entertainment industry is not a willing scapegoat. They have given some ground but refuse to give anymore. At the forefront of the battle are directors like Wes Craven who’s violent scary movies, the Scream trilogy and Vampire, are squarely blamed for the rise in violent teens. On television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and especially professional wrestling are being forced to calm down the violence they show and have been pushed back to later hours so that younger children can’t watch (Clinton 3).

While the Media industry have bent, the body count in Scream 3 was lowered and wrestling has promised to depict women more appropriately and tone down their violent bouts, they refuse to break which is what many parents are calling for. According to some According to the American Psychological Association, the average American child views 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence before finishing elementary school (Anonymous 1). That is a lot of violence for a young adult, but the question is not whether they see it but whether it drives them to be violent also.

There are, however, no conclusive studies on the effects of violence in the media on children. Still the shear number of violent acts is bothersome and should be controlled. “There is still too much violence on our nation’s screens, large and small,” Said Bill Clinton at a benefit in California after one of the shootings (Clinton 1). He also urged for the rating system to be reevaluated and parents to watch programs along with their children. While many have clamored for a change nothing has been done.

No effective bills have been passed and no groups have stepped forward to take on the media. There are many possible reasons for this. One of the major reasons is that the entertainment industry is large and very influential. Many politicians fear taking on such a large foe for fear of ending their career. Another reason is that it would be unconstitutional. Lynne Cheney remarked, “They know you can’t enact legislation,” she said on CBS’ “Face the Nation. ” “This is wallpaper, a spin … to make people think they are on the side of parents. ” (Cheney 1).

Any legislation against the industry would be in violation of free speech and would never stand in the Supreme Court. Another possible reason for the lack of litigation is that it probably wouldn’t work. There may be an abundance of numbers documenting the amount of violence children see but no one can tell whether it effects them or not. While cases of children imitating wresting moves have been documented, this doesn’t show that they intended to hurt the other person. They are also the minority rather than the majority. Most people simply watch the shows and take them for entertainment.

Another flaw in the argument to ban media violence is that none of the school shootings have been blamed on the media. None of them has claimed it influenced them or that they had done it because they saw it on television. In fact there has never been a case where the defense that a movie or television show caused the crime. While many try to over look these facts the fact remains that until a connection is definitely made between media violence and real life violence many including myself will remain against the censorship of entertainment.

Media Violence Essay

American children and adolescents are being exposed to increasing amounts of media violence, especially in television, movies, video games, and youth-oriented music. By age 18, the average young person will have viewed an estimated 200 000 acts of violence on television alone. [1] Video game violence, children’s cartoons, and music lyrics have become increasingly graphic. In movies, action films depict anatomically precise murders, rapes, and assaults; with each sequel, the number of deaths increase dramatically. ] Although media violence is not the only cause of violence in American society, it is the single most easily remediable contributing factor. [3]

According to recent Nielsen data, the average American child views 21 to 23 hours of television per week. [4] By the time today’s children reach age 70, they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching television. [5] Although movies and video games are more graphic in depictions of violence, television is the single most important medium in the lives of young people (98% of all American households have at least one television set). ]

Despite public concern about television violence, the amount of television violence has not changed appreciably in the past two decades: the level of prime-time violence has remained at three to five violent acts per hour, and violence in Saturday morning children’s programming ranges between 20 to 25 violent acts per hour. [6-8] American media are the most violent in the world, and American society is now paying a high price in terms of real-life violence. [9,10]

Some people in the entertainment industry maintain that: 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violence in the media and aggressive behavior in children and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. [11] Unfortunately, they are wrong on both counts. Over 1000 studies–including a Surgeon General’s special report in 1972[12] and a National Institute of Mental Health report 10 years later[13]–attest to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children.

Studies show that the more “real-life” the violence portrayed, the greater the likelihood that it will be “learned. “[16,17] Likewise, the portrayal of violence as being justified (particularly by the “good guy”) is the single most prevalent notion in American media and the most powerfully reinforcing one. [9,18] At young ages (before age 8), children cannot uniformly discriminate between “real life” and “fantasy/entertainment. ” [14,16,19] They quickly learn that violence is an acceptable solution to resolving even complex problems, particularly if the aggressor is the hero.

The only country in the world with nearly as much entertainment violence as the United States is Japan. Yet Japanese society is far less violent than American society. If media violence contributes to real-life violence, why isn’t Japanese society more affected? A 1981 study[20] found that the nature of the portrayal of violence is different in Japan: the violence is more realistic and there is a greater emphasis on physical suffering (ie, the consequences of violence are emphasized).

Interestingly, in Japan the “bad guys” commit most of the violence, with the “good guys” suffering the consequences–the exact opposite of American programming. In this context, violence is seen as wrong, a villainous activity with real and painful consequences, rather than as justifiable. [10] Media violence may: 1) facilitate aggressive and antisocial behavior; 2) desensitize viewers to future violence; and 3) increase viewers’ perceptions that they are living in a mean and dangerous world. ,21,22] Although less is known about video games and their effects, the media violence literature provides grounds for concern. [23]

Media studies range from content analyses (monitoring the amount of violence contained in programming), to naturalistic studies (studying children as television is introduced into their culture), to longitudinal correlational studies (following a population of children for years and sometimes decades). [14,24] As one leading researcher noted recently, the controversy is over. 5] The vast majority of studies conclude that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between media violence and real-life violence.

This link is undeniable and uncontestable. Even if the overwhelming scientific evidence did not exist, there would still be ample reason to oppose violent programming based on common sense, philosophical, humanistic, or aesthetic grounds. [26] American media have also succeeded in glamorizing guns in a way that endangers the public health of youngsters and adults.

At a time when guns rank as one of the leading causes of death among children and adolescents,[27] gun-play and references to guns are still rife on prime-time television, in the movies, in video games, and in music lyrics. The United States is the most heavily armed nation on earth. [28] Any programming that makes these instruments of killing more attractive, glamorous, or desirable is dangerous, unhealthy, and unethical.

Media Crime Essay

In a single generation, communications technology has turned the planet into one small global village. Within minutes television and radio relay stories across the country and around the world. The same edition of newspapers can be printed simultaneously in cities everywhere and be on the street within hours. And, as we are all aware, the future of the mass media may not be just in the traditional forms of television, radio and newspapers but in the emerging technologies like the Internet that will shape the information highway.

The Internet is an informal and rather anarchic network of computer networks spanning the globe. It has given access to the entire world for anyone possessing a computer and a modem. These new technologies and their impact on how we share information will force us to revisit fundamental issues such as freedom of expression and associated issues such as crime and crime prevention as well as cultural integrity. It is the pervasiveness and immediacy of this whole enterprise that has given mass media enormous power in shaping public opinion.

For some, the tendency has been to view the pervasiveness of the current and emerging mass media in a negative light. After all, these communications technologies are being used to spread images of crime and violence more widely. For most, the new technologies mean less control over the images that are spread, especially among young people. But there is another way to view the mass media technologies. We can see them as providing new opportunities to reach out to people. Rather than viewing the media as culprit or villain, we could begin to see it as a partner.

Police courts and prisons alone cannot effectively prevent crime. Although the criminal justice system is essential to controlling crime, crime prevention is fundamentally about the use of social resources to change the conditions that breed crime. The ultimate goal of crime prevention is to create safer communities and any crime prevention effort, therefore, must actively involve all sectors of society. The media has a role to play in crime prevention precisely because of its ability to shape public opinion.

Do the Media Help Create a Circle of Violence? In 1960, a psychology professor at Yale University, Dr. Leonard Eron, began a study on the causes of aggression among children. He questioned families about the amount of television watched by their children. Ten years later, Dr. Eron interviewed the same families. He was surprised to learn that what he called “the best predictor of aggression” among the boys who were then in their late teens, related to the amount of TV violence they had watched a decade earlier.

Findings like these have been controversial and contradicted by various authorities over the years but there is a body of opinion that contends that media violence does lead to crime. George Gerbner, Dean Emeritus of Communications, University of Pennsylvania, who is recognized by many as the dean of research into violence on television, has documented these statistics: “We have scenes of violence an average of six times per hour in prime time in the evening. In children’s programming there are between 20 and 25 times violent scenes per hour.

But even this violence is not evenly distributed in the media says Gerbner. The victims, he says are victims as well of stereotyping: “For every ten males who commit violence, there are ten males who are victimized. For every female who is written into a script to assert that kind of power, there are seventeen women who get victimized. For every ten women of color who are put into a script there are 22 women of color who get victimized. ” But stereotyping as a major problem on television is not exclusive to programs. Often the content of commercial messages inserted in programs can be just as damaging.

Research done by George Gerbner and others has shown that the average North American watches 10,000 hours of violent entertainment before the age of 21, and witnesses 36,000 murders before attaining the voting age. But whether media violence does contribute to aggressive and antisocial behavior has been open to lively debate. Since the media are part of the problem in creating our current culture of violence, the potential exists for them to become part of the solution. However, stories of community-based crime prevention programs do not often make the news.

Many community groups feel a sense of powerlessness about media and technology, and are working on becoming more effective in using communications media and cooperating with local media to crate safer communities. In addition, advertising or consumer purchase is the lifeblood of the media, and this means the public can potentially exert an enormous influence over the industry. Members of the public can regulate their viewing choices, pressure media to choose responsible programming and boycott the products of advertisers who sponsor programming that is unacceptable.

Most companies cannot afford to be callous about censure; there is a growing awareness that they will be held responsible for the programming their advertising money puts on the air. While this approach to pushing for change has the potential to be very effective, it will work best if there is no gap between public values and private consumption. At a 1994 symposium at Hofstra University, Jonathan Friedman, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto, made this point: “Consider the differences between countries that have equally violent television.

Children in Canada and the United States watch virtually the same television. Yet the murder rate in Canada and the rate of violence in general is much lower than in the United States. Children in Japan watch probably the most violent, the most lurid and graphic television in the world and the rate of violent crime there is minuscule compared to Canada and the United States. If television violence really had a substantial effect, these differences among countries would be unlikely. It makes it clear that if television violence had any effect at all, it is vanishingly small.

In a review prepared for the Department of Canadian Heritage on the effects of TV violence on children of different ages, Wendy Josephson pointed out that the viewing patterns children establish as toddlers will influence their viewing habits throughout their lives. Josephson noted that “children who are exposed to television violence may become desensitized to real life violence, may come to see the world as a mean and scary place, or may come to expect others to resort to physical violence to resolve conflicts.

She added that the effects of television violence lead “at risk” children to be even more aggressive than they would otherwise be. Of concern to many, might be not what television is doing but what it isn’t doing. This medium has the most powerful ability to shape our perception. It can educate its audience, combat stereotypes, provide models of pro-social behavior and attitudes. But for the most part television and other media too, have not picked up the challenge.

In a 1990 study two Canadian researchers, Julian Roberts and Michelle Grossman, carried out a systematic survey of articles appearing in Canadian newspapers and periodicals between 1982 and 1989. They wanted to estimate the number of crime stories pertaining to crime prevention that appeared in the print media. Their search revealed 17,562 stories dealing with some aspect of crime or criminal justice. Of the total, fewer than one percent dealt with crime prevention. Part of the challenge today is to get the media to assume its role in crime prevention.

Mass Media – Princess Diana of Whales

From the moment she stepped foot outside, Princess Diana of Whales had camera lenses and microphones pushed in her face. She was constantly pursued and for this reason she sometimes had to hide or disguise herself in order to avoid the unyielding persistence and constant harassment of the press. Eugene Robinson, a journalist in England said, “For the tabloids, day in and day out, no story is bigger than the royal family. All the tabloids employ royal-watching reporters, some of whom have become celebrities in their own right.

The story of Princess Diana of Whales was the biggest story of all. Sabjan, 1998) Princess Diana could not even Stay out of the public eye when she was behind the walls of the royal estate. The press broke the story of her failing marriage, her intercepted phone conversation with a male friend, and finally her new relationship. The Princess often complained about the coverage, saying, “Any sane person would have left (Britain) long ago. ” (Sabjan, 1998) But with an abundant amount of freelance photographers stalking her every move upon her leaving Kensington Palace, that idea proved impossible.

Pushed almost to the edge by constant press harassment, Princess Diana was ready to consider making an attempt to avoid the public altogether. During her last interview, Princess Diana told writer Richard Kay that she was “Going to complete her obligations to her charities and then completely withdraw from her formal public life. ” (Sabjan, 1998) The public had forced itself into the life of a celebrity and caused the pressure from the media to become overwhelming. Princess Diana did stay in England, however, and used the incredible amounts of Media attention to her advantage.

Princess Diana had numerous charities and good causes that were important to her so she used the press to promote them, all the while helping to shape her own image. Unfortunately, in the case of Princess Diana, the press and their use of aggressive tactics resulted in a tragedy. Princess Diana and her friend Dodi Al-Fayed had just left the Ritz Hotel in Paris, France, late Saturday night, August 30, 1997. Sending a regular chauffeur and limousine ahead as a decoy, Princess Diana and Al-Fayed left out of a different hotel entrance and entered a Mercedes S-280 driven by Henri Paul. Some photographer’s saw

This, and began to follow the Mercedes on motorcycles and cars. Henri Paul tried to lose the photographers as he increased the car’s speed, but the photographers continued to follow, chasing the car through the streets. Eyewitnesses saw the motorcycles swarming the Mercedes as it entered a tunnel traveling over 60 miles per hour. The speed limit in the tunnel was 30 miles per hour. Inside the tunnel, the Mercedes hit a curb, lost control, and slammed into a concrete barrier post, then flipped several times. Do dial-Fayed and driver Henri Paul was killed at the scene of the accident.

Princess Diana was brought to a hospital where doctors had to open her chest to fix a wound to a major blood vessel. Princess Diana’s heart was directly massaged for 2 hours, but the doctors were unsuccessful in saving her life. Princess Diana was pronounced dead at the hospital 4 hours after the accident. (Sabjan, 1998)Soon after their deaths, seven of the photographers were arrested, declared by police as manslaughter suspects because they were The reason the car was speeding in the first place. The Princess’ death had a large impact on the United States.

She was a public figure that others could model their lives after and she was involved in several charities in the United States. The First Amendment tithe United States Constitution grants the press immunity, but several arguments have risen for some type of further regulation. The press has an extensive history that must be observed and understood for an accurate analysis of the problems that face the press today. When the United States Constitution was written in 1787, primary authors James Madison and Alexander Hamilton had to” sell” it to the American people. The Constitution articles were written in newspapers throughout the country.

These articles are now collectively known as The Federalist Papers. Without these articles, it is doubtful that the experiment known as The United States would have ever happened. Seeing the power of the press, the founding fathers guaranteed its complete freedom on the first Amendment to the Constitution. (Schwartz, 1992, p. 174) The Freedom of the press was designed to act as another independent outside check system. A check on the Executive, Legislature, or Judiciary branch of the government. (Wilson, 1999) Along with this responsibility, the freedom of the press clause was designed to lead to an informed populace.

As Thomas Jefferson said,” The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right, and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. ” (Schwartz, 1992, p. 18) “The Press” is an extremely broad term and includes all systems that make information available to the public: newspapers, television, radio, magazines, books, lectures, movies, art, dance, telephone, cassettes, CDs, video discs, electronic bulletin boards, computer networks, billboards, and so on.

It is generally referred to as “The Press” because the founding fathers, which wrote the freedom of the press into the Constitution, knew only of the printing press, at that times the most popular form of mass communication. Today, because of it’s variety, it is known as “The media. ” “The media” would continue to present the public with information that influenced our society in several diverse ways. One of the most influential books of the 1800s was Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Published in 1852, Stowe portrayed African American slaves as human beings, rather than animals with petty uses, and their white owner, Simon Legree, as the novel’s villain. The book became extremely successful, selling over 300,000 copies in its first year. (Levy, 1999, p. 91) Of these 300,000, a countless number we repurchased in the South with the sole purpose of burning it. However, this book swayed popular opinion in the North towards the abolition of slavery. Without Uncle Tom’s Cabin, anti- slavery might never have been a major cause of the Civil War (Levy, 1999, p. )

In 1906, Upton Sinclair wrote a book entitled The Jungle. Using groundbreaking techniques in investigative reporting, Sinclair exposed to the public the deplorable conditions at a Chicago meat packing industry. Sinclair worked undercover, then wrote about the conditions he observed in his book. The Jungle changed the way food products were handled in the United States, when in response to the book, the government founded the Food and Drug Administration to prevent further widespread food handling abuse.

McWilliams, 1998) In the late 1930s, American’s were gently prodded into taking sides in World War II by what they heard on the radio. From Germany, American’s heard the incoherent sounds of a ranting lunatic followed by masses lock-stepping and shouting,”Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! ” From England however, American’s heard the warm, gentle, sometimes humorous voice of Winston Churchill. Surely it would be okay to lend this nice man some boats and lease him a few airplanes. And so, lend-lease was born, and the United States was no longer neutral. (Levy, 1999, p. 4)

The free press was responsible for major changes in America’s society. From the American Revolution, to the civil war, to the World Wars, the Press of America has shaped the way the public views and interprets certain events. It is important for Journalists to remember however, that they are responsible for informing the public in a certain fashion. Article IV of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) Statement of Principals, entitled “Truth and Accuracy,” states that “Good faith with the reader is the foundation of good journalism. Iggers, 1998, p. 39)

In order for the press to maintain “Good Faith” with the reader, they must follow certain guidelines or ethics. The Society of Professional Journalists gathered in 1996 to revise their previous codes, established in 1926. The society focused on four primary aspects of newsgathering and reporting. The first being seeking and reporting the truth. (Iggers, 1998, p. 40) According to the Society, Journalists should take many steps in assuring themselves that the information they have gathered is truthful and accurate.

In order to do so, the Society suggests that the reporting journalists should test the accuracy of their information. Journalists should always seek out the subjects of their reporting and give them the opportunity to respond to the allegations that are being brought up against them, while identifying their sources, which should be checked thoroughly for reliability, and never plagiarized. By following these guidelines, the harm induced on those being reported is minimized, which is the Society’s next aspect in their code of ethics. (Iggers, 1998, p. 2)

To inimize the harm caused to those being reported, journalists are simply reminded to be sensitive when seeking interviews or photos of people affected by tragedy or grief, realizing that private people have a right to control certain amounts of information regarding them. (Iggers, 1998, p. 42) In doing so, journalists become more respected by the public, and become accountable for their reports, the third aspect of the Society’s code. The Society states that in order for a journalist to be accountable for their reporting, they must admit any to any mistakes they may have made, and attempt to correct them immediately.

Journalists should clarify their coverage and invite the public to discuss and voice any grievances against the news media that they may have, as well as properly exposing unethical practices of fellow journalists and the news media. (Iggers, 1998, p. 43) In doing this, journalists will be working independently, the Society’s final rule. Journalists must remain free of associations that could damage their own personal credibility, which may involve accepting gifts, favors or concealed fees in exchange for reporting something your that benefits their source, contradicting the interests of the public.

Iggers, 1998, p. 38-47) Journalists have these guidelines to help them concentrate their efforts to reporting honestly and accurately. There are some journalists however, that choose not to follow such guidelines. That is why there are limitations on how journalists obtain their information, and how that information is reported. The First Amendment does not list any specific exceptions, but it does not protect all types of speech and press. The US government can limit the freedom of the press when it comes to the invasion of one’s privacy.

Privacy in a tort concept embraces four branches of protected interests: protection from unreasonable intrusion upon one’s seclusion, from appropriation of one’s name or likeness, from unreasonable publicity given to one’s private life, and from publicity which unreasonably places one in a false light before the public. (Find Law Constitution, 1998) The Sedition Act of 1798 made criminal the malicious writings which defamed, brought into contempt of disrepute, or excited the hatred of the people against the Government, the President, or the Congress, or which stirred people to edition. FindLaw Constitution, 1998)

The press can be sued for libel if the reported material involves those who are not public figures or public officials that do not have the burden of proving that the publication was done with a reckless disregard of the truth. Libel occurs when a statement that is false about an identifiable person is published to a third party, causing injury to the subject’s reputation. (Schwartz, 1991, p. 59) Through million dollar damage settlements, high-profile lawsuits and fraud, the credibility of the press is continually being questioned.

Although the First Amendment immunizes the press against liability to public figures for most damages resulting from unfavorable coverage, a majority of the population believes this freedom has impelled the press to go to far in obtaining news. The Press greatly affects many people in different negative ways. Possibly the most often and exclusively covered are those involved in mainstream politics, especially when the members of the congress or other important positions in the government do something that contradicts what is acceptable in society today.

One of the most prominent events in this nation’s political history occurred recently when current President Bill Clinton was romantically involved with a woman other than his wife. In1995, Monica Lewinsky, a recent graduate of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, began an internship at the White House in Washington, D. C. She quickly became close acquaintances with the President, as she transferred to a job in which she worked very closely to him. (Isikof, 1998) Linda Tripp, a friend of Monica Lewinsky’s, taped several phone conversations that she had with Ms. Lewinsky in which Ms. Lewinsky talked about giving oral sex to the President in a private study in the oval office.

These tapes were then turned over to Kenneth Starr. Independent counsel Kenneth Starr led the Whitewater investigation, which were financial situations that Bill Clinton and his wife Hilary were involved in previous to Clinton’s first term as President, when he was the Governor of Arkansas. (Isikof, 1998) Starr wrote and sent a 445-page report on President Clinton and his acts of perjury to the House Judiciary Committee on Sept. , 1998.

Clinton was accused of lying under oath regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky and impeding justice when he supposedly told Monica to lie about their relationship. The historic report, which was released to the American public, outlined 11 possible grounds for impeachment and contained explicit descriptions of Clinton’s sexual encounters with MonicaLewinsky. (isikof, 1998) For months the evening news was dominated by in depth discussion focusing directly on the President and his physical relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The Starr report was available to anyone in America over the Internet.

Summaries were printed in nearly all newspapers and magazines, and continued discussion swarmed everywhere on television and radio programs. Despite the fact that Clinton was accused of committing perjury, the American public remained on his side. 64%2 of Americans polled said they wanted Bill Clinton to remain in office. Even after all of the negative publicity that the President had received, the American public was still behind him, and it was not because the American public believed that the President was nnocent of the charges.

Seventy nine percent of those polled believed he was guilty of perjury. However, 68% of those polled believed that Clinton was performing his duties as President extremely well, and that the press was overly invading his personal life, which the press is often accused of. (Holland, 1998) The press has been accused of having a profoundly negative impact on the lives of public figures. In the last 30 years, journalism has changed from reporting only what was of importance to the public, to focusing on the private events of public figure’s lives.

As Jeremy Iggers, author of Good News, Bad News said it, “Network television news has become a world of UFOs, psychics, daydreams, miracle cures, cuddly animals, O. J. Simpson1, Jon Benet Ramsey, and from time to time, at least for a few minutes, actual news. ” (Iggers, 1998, p. 114) It is extremely easy to find a case in which the press held the right to privacy in disregard. John F. Kennedy Jr. was in the spotlight of the press his entire life, following in his father’s footsteps. Millions around the world followed he life.

He became a prominent prosecutor in New York, then started a new political and socially orientated magazine entitled “George. ” Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette in 1996, and life was going well for him. Then in 1999, tragedy struck. On July 16, 1999, Kennedy Jr. , his wife Carolyn, and her sister were flying over the coast of Massachusetts, when their plane crashed into Martha’s Vineyard. All three were killed, and their ashes were spread not far from where the plane went down. (Kennedy, 2000) Within minutes of the news breaking that John Kennedy Jr. ‘s plane had disappeared, the media went into overdrive.

Within hours, major networks and 24-hour cable news channels had top anchors in place, keeping up a steady drumbeat of coverage, pounding on the same few facts amid great speculation, historical reminiscences, and anecdotes. Tom Rosenstiel,director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism said that, “In 12 hours of coverage, there were only about 10 minutes’ worth of actual facts. ” Stephen Lacy, acting director of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism in East Lansing said through the coverage of the Kennedy tragedy, he saw, “a bigger disconnect between the press and the public.

It was a bit of overkill, especially on television. ” He went on to say that “The media have not quite realized that overplaying does not help their credibility, but continues to show examples of the news industry exploiting a tragedy in a push to stem a 20-year slide in ratings, readers, and credibility. ” Not only is the press hurting the public figures by this kind of reporting, it is also affecting the public. When asked whether or not the Press had too much freedom in the United States today, 53% of those polled said yes. This percentage is up from 37% in 1997.Sabjan, 1999)

Paul McMasters of the First Amendment Center attributes the shift solely on the deeper dissatisfaction that the public feels towards  the media. He believes that the public feels a sense of being overwhelmed in major stories (like the Kennedy crash) by speculation and the pervasiveness of news outlets. (Kennedy, 1999) The clash between the public and the press goes beyond insensitive reporting. The biggest question that faces the Press in the 90s, is the ongoing confusion regarding what the press’ actual motives in reporting the news are.

Many believe that is the demand for high ratings on television or newspaper that leads journalists down the wrong path towards tabloid journalism, instead of reporting truthful, accurate and important information. Walter Cronkite, a broadcast journalist of the 60s and 70s, known for his coverage of the first man to walk on the moon, and the death of President John F. Kennedy said in 1998, “instead of these TV magazine programs offering tough documentaries and background on the issues that affect all of us, they’re making them into television copies of ‘photoplay’ magazine.

Cronkite goes on to say that “News executives know better, but are helpless when top management demands an increase in ratings for profit protection. (Levy, 1999, p. 61-63) The motives behind newsgathering could be considered by many to be contrary to what their responsibilities are. Changes in the autonomy3 and accountability of journalists in the past few years has resulted in questioning whether journalists are more interested in reporting what is important and necessary for public information, or personal gain in their field. The classic example of this is the story of Janet Cooke.

Janet Cooke was a well-respected journalist who worked for the Washington Post in the late 70s to 1981. In 1981, Cooke wrote a gripping story entitled, “Jimmy’s World. ” “Jimmy” was an eight-year-old African American boy, who had become addicted to heroin due to the constant harassment and abuse from his mother’s live-in boyfriend. Her story was so well appreciated that it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. Shortly afterwards however,” Jimmy” was revealed as a falsity. Never was there a Jimmy, as Cooke later admitted to completely making up the story.

Her Pulitzer was taken away, and Janet Cooke was forced to resign from journalism. Many refer to her as the new model journalist. Now, Not only are their journalists lying about their information and their stories, but top media executive decisions are also affecting whether or not the public receives information that is relevant. With several corporation mergers and consolidations, clamping down on costs and budgets, regardless of the effect on the news coverage, can make a company a more attractive take over target, an advantage to major shareholders in that corporation.

Top executives in media operations often own even larger amounts of stock options, resulting in more income than their salary. Because of this, they have a personal interest in their companies’ profit. The more viewers they have, and the more the can squeeze out of their employees, the richer they will be in the end. (Levy, 1999, p. 70)This results in focusing on getting ratings rather than truthfulness and importance. Television programs such as American Journal and Hard Copy are filled with stories being covered simply for ratings.

In the last twenty years, similar to television and magazines that have strayed toward reporting what will get ratings rather than good solid news, journalists have done the same. The goals of more and more journalists have gone from reporting solid and useful material to whatever will make them the most money. AndrewKohut, director of the Pen Research Center for People and the Press says, “The public feels that journalists are too aggressive in the way they play their watchdog role, and are doing it not because they are seeking the truth, but to advance their careers.

Whether or not this is the case, the public cannot deny the fact that without the free press, it would be impossible to retain an informed populace. That is why many believe the press should be free to report anything truthful, honest and accurate. Throughout United States history, the Supreme Court has maintained and guaranteed the right to a free press. One of the most widely known cases in which this right is secured is in the case of New York Times Co. v. United States. The Pentagon Papers were top-secret information.

The Papers were a study that detailed government deceptions about United States policy relating to the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg, one of the analysts who helped write and publish the study in 1971, revealed the Papers to the New York Times. These revealed that the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which led to increased U. S. military involvement in Vietnam, had been formulated months before the corresponding incident took place, and that President Lyndon Johnson had been committing infantry to Vietnam while telling the nation that he had no long-range plans for the war.

The U. S. government took the New York Times to court on basis publishing material that challenged national security. However, the Supreme Court agreed that stopping the publication violated First Amendment protections. Justice Hugo L. Black commented on the case saying, “I believe that every moment’s continuance of the injunctions against these newspapers amounts to a flagrant, indefensible, and continuing violation of the First Amendment. In the 1992 case of Food Lion v. American Broadcasting Channel Co.

ABC), two producers from the ABC news magazine show called “Prime Time Live” went under cover and started working at Food Lion grocery stores. The two ABC reporters used false resumes to get jobs at a Food Lion store in North and South Carolina, then secretly videotaped employees for a story on food-handling practices that accused the grocery chain of selling rat-gnawed cheese and rotting meat. The report alleged that Food Lion employees ground out-of-date beef along with new beef, bleached rank meat to remove its odor and redatedproducts not sold before their expiration date.

In 1992, the jury that found ABC guilty of fraud under a state law awarded the supermarket chain $5. 5 million in punitive damages, but that was cut to $315,000 by a federal judge. (Associated Press, 1999) This past year, the charges were reversed, and ABC was found not guilty of the charges brought against them. ABC intended to benefit the consuming public by letting it know about Food Lion’s food handling practices,” said the opinion by Judge M. Blane Michael. “And Moreover, ABC was not competing with Food Lion, as it did not have any actual or potential business relationship with the grocery chain.

The appeals panel affirmed the jury finding that the two ABC employees who worked for Food Lion–Lynne Dale and Susan Barnett — breached their duty of loyalty to Food Lion and committed trespass. It upheld nominal damages of $1 each against them. (Associated Press, 1999) “This is a victory for the American tradition of investigative journalism. In the end, after Food Lion spent millions of dollars on legal fees and public relations offensives, the court ordered ABC News to pay only $2 in damages,” said David Westin, ABC News president.

Associated Press, 1999) In the argument of the press over emphasizing coverage of public figures, several things must come into consideration. First and foremost, the press has the right to publish personal information about a public figure. As Supreme Court Justice Douglas said, “Such privacy as a person normally has ceases when his life has ceased to be private. ” (Leahy, 1991, p. 31) The First Amendment was intended for full freedom of expression for the press. For “a right to engage in rasping, corrosive, and offensive discussion on all topics of public interest. ” (Levy, 1999, p. )

Many believe that the blame for the change in journalism from honest to tabloid journalism can be placed squarely on the public. The tabloid television shows have always done well in daytime ratings, as the public most often views television shows that focus on celebrities involving, crimes, or daily life. Joe Saltzman, a columnist for USA today, in an article to the public said: “This is the way you want it. When you stop embracing celebrity journalism, when it is no longer profitable to publish pictures of every facet of a celebrities’ daily life, then all of this will end.

And all media will look for something else that you want. To complain about the way things are, is simply to add more hypocrisy to the stench already surrounding us. ” (Hamill, 1998, p. 175) In order for the media and the public to coexist on better terms, certain things must occur. Journalists must try to follow codes of ethics that have been implied on them. By personally following the ethics that the American Society of Newspaper Editors have written, the public will once again begin to trust the press as truth seeking and honest.

Journalists must also remain focused on the important issues that effect the American people. Issues involving political issues and votes in congress, not just what a political figure did on the weekend. Journalists should shy away from reporting consensual crimes. Consensual crimes corrupt our free press. Because committing a consensual crime is breaking the law, and since breaking the law is news, reporters are often sent out looking for drug busts, hookers, or stories on who is sleeping with whom and whether or not they’re married to someone else.

As George Bernard Shaw, winner of the Nobel prize for literature commented, “You’d think America was populated solely by naked women and cinema stars. “(McWilliams, 1999) The press not only cheapens itself by playing tattletale and reporting the consensual exploits of others; it also” eats it’s young” by reporting on the consensual activities of its own. An example of this involves an attractive female “reporter” who invited Larry King up to her hotel room, which happened to have a barrage of hidden cameras.

Time went on and on, Mr. King did not make a single improper move. But, as dull and unimportant as it was, they aired the tape anyway. (McWilliams, 1999) News like this benefits no one, and should have no place in journalism. The public, just like the press, has to adapt and change as well if the press is expected to change the way they report information, and what kind of information they report. The public can no longer maintain such a high appreciation for obtaining information regarding the personal lives of those with very public lives.

If this occurs, horrible tragedies like the death of Princess Diana could possibly be avoided in the future. The press will always report events that occur in the lives of public figures, but if the public as a whole loses its insatiable curiosity regarding these public figures, the press will begin to look elsewhere for stories that hold the public’s interest. Over the course of the 20th century the Supreme Court has breathed life into the text of the First Amendment by upholding the right of the press to pursue its mission, no matter how detestable that might seem to those in power.

The courts have imposed some limits on liberty, and some questions remain as to how far this liberty will extend to new media and to some of the more aggressive efforts employed by journalists to obtain the news. Still, as Justice Stewart wrote in the Pentagon Papers case, “without an informed and free press there cannot be an enlightened people. ” The U. S. Supreme Court has yet to address many of the important issues raised by surreptitious newsgathering. And the issue at hand may be much larger than the pure legality of journalistic methods and behavior.

The Effect Of Media Images

It was fashionable to be fat throughout most of history. Obesity was attractive because it was considered to be a sign of wealth. Those who could obtain enough food to keep themselves and their family well fed were people with money. In the past century, however, food has been abundant in most of the developed nations, and thinness has become fashionable. Eating disorders have increased significantly over the past thirty years. The two most common eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa is a disease in which women become very self-conscious about their weight and have an intense fear of becoming fat. They go to such extremes as starving themselves in order to keep thin, and some use additional methods such as vomiting, taking excessive amounts of laxatives, or exercising profusely. Bulimia nervosa on the other hand is an eating disorder in which the patient eats large amounts of food in a short period of time, also known as binge eating. Another symptom of bulimia is ridding oneself of food through vomiting, using laxatives, or over-exercising, commonly known as purging.

Women with anorexia nervosa or bulimia often experience fatigue and decreased energy, headaches, personality changes, and abdominal pain. If an eating disorder is left untreated, it can lead to serious health damage, even death. These eating disorders are usually brought on because a girl is unsatisfied with her own body image. Oftentimes she feels out of control, and restricting her intake of food is one way to regain control. The patient has a sense of power over food, and this makes her feel more secure about everything else going on in her life.

Many times, girls with low self-esteem are the victims of eating disorders because they often seek approval from their peers. By being thinner, they believe that they will become more desirable. Studies have shown that the majority of women with eating disorders are adolescents. What makes a young woman associate thinness with beauty? Many are now beginning to believe that the media has much to do with how women view themselves. Young women see thin models and actresses in magazines, advertisements, and television shows. The media have portrayed the successful and beautiful protagonists as thin.

They have promoted the image of thinness through popular programming.. Thinness has thus become associated with self control and success. The average American woman’s body weight has increased over the past thirty years, yet the models that represent American women have become increasingly thinner. The media’s portrayal of happy, successful women being extremely thin makes a huge impact on women’s perception of beauty. When girls begin to compare themselves to the famous and thin women they see on television, or in magazines, they equate thinness with beauty, and many strive to become beautiful.

An increase in the number of diet and health articles and advertisements had also risen along with the number of eating disorders. Articles on weight loss can be found in almost every issue of women’s magazines, and new “miracle” diet books are constantly being published. Many of these diets are unhealthy, and some are even dangerous. Weight loss advertisements are found in almost every type of media, and women are constantly obssessed with the topic of weight. Many young woman can overlook the stream of thinness and diet propaganda that they encounter, but an increasing number of women are not so lucky.

As the media puts more and more emphasis on thinness, more women become dissatisfied with their own bodies. Some may argue that the media has nothing to do with a woman’s perception of herself. They believe that women want to look at people more beautiful than themselves, and that thin models inspire people to take better care of their own bodies. But researches suggest that exposure to thin models resulted in lower self-esteem and decreased weight satisfaction. Studies prove that the media does directly relate to and affect a woman’s body image and self-esteem, which is directly related to eating disorders.

There are ways that women can overcome social pressures about weight and appearance. One way to recognize stereotyping in the media and to appreciate and respect persons of all sizes. The media often portrays obese people as funny or stupid and they are frequently shown eating large amounts of food. Thin people, on the other hand, are portrayed as smart and successful. Acknowledging stereotyping will help to respect people of all sizes, and to accept all sizes as equal. Women also need to learn to reject negative messages from the media and to accept themselves as they are.

When women stop measuring themselves against the almost impossible standards that the media have set, and learn to like themselves, they will become happier with themselves and will not worry about their weight or appearance. One needs to find comfort in activities, people, or goals rather than food or appearance. When a woman learns how to love and care for herself correctly, she will be content with her appearance even if she is not what the media would portray as the “ideal” woman.

Katha Pollitt’s Argument About Media Being Biased Against Liberals

In the nation Katha Pollitt argues in her article “Kissing & Telling” that the media is against liberals, and or her views. Allan Levite in his article for the National review, “Bias Basics,” Levite argues that the medial is biased against conservatives. Both authors present arguments with deficiencies. They both have motives to be biased. One of them has to be right, but using the proof the two authors sight you could not tell which one. The two columnists each write biased columns that do not prove their points well. In Pollitt’s argument she says that the media ignores the real issue.

Which is a male harassing a female. She says that the media ignores the other cases of more serious offenses dealing with the same subject. She sights two other cases that she would have us believe are more commonplace than incredibly stupid elementary school kids. Her first example is the case dealing with the sixth grader who received death threats does not even clearly state what kind of hate was involved. It could have been sexual harassment, or it could have been because she carried Spam around on her forehead. She only names two cases as her examples.

So in her magical “evil people bash feminism land” her argument is ust as common as what she is complaining about, or maybe less common. No one is trying to bash feminism. This was not planned out to happen. (I hope) Also, kids in elementary school always are not thinking about getting their secretaries to have sex with them for raises. Personally, I think kids are stupid. Even I was a stupid kid. When I was in third grade a guy, Tommy, bit my ear. Because he bit my ear I have not become accustomed to Sado Masochist gay sex dealing around ear biting.

Tommy has not been going around biting people’s ears and getting turned on by this. He now cleans pools for a living. I doubt either of us cared at the time. Although I remember some crying. People who pee in their pants in grade school usually do not pee in their pants when they are grown up to be heads of the country. We would know about it if they did. Many children form weird attractions to doing many things when they are small. I used to think Bon Jovi was the coolest band ever. Now I laugh at my obvious immaturity, because I do not believe that anymore.

Kids have no idea what the hell they are doing they’re “dumb” and “cute. ” (And getting more sexual activity than me and those bastards can’t even multiply) Even Pollitt justifies my argument of the kid does not know what the hell he is doing. “De’ Andre’s whole family was famous, until they stopped returning reporters’ calls after he punched and bit a teacher. ” The kid probably will not grow up, and go around biting and punching teachers. Pollitt also tries to argue the point when she asks “And how can we raise children to respect another’s limits at 13– and– 30 if we think it’s cute when we do not.

She compares what the kids did to “sexual aggression and violence. ” This is a little bit strong comparison for a bunch of kids who robably have wet their bed’s recently. They do not exactly have secretaries to bribe with raises yet, or wives to beat. When I think of violence the first thing that comes to my mind is tearing one button from a skirt. (Really) I do not think these kids are anyway dealing with anything but their own ignorance. Charge them with stupidity or immaturity.

Come on, these kids are not even old enough to laugh in health class everytime someone says the word “penis. ” Another completely bogus thing that Pollitt suggest is if John Leo, who wrote the column on if he would have though it was so cute if the boys had issed other boys. Would the principal have thought that it was sexual harassment and suspended them in the first place? I doubt it. It would appear also that because of Pollitt’s past history she does hold some anger towards people who mess with others when they are children.

She does not appear to be too much a centrist when it comes to punishment of kids mistreating others. In fact, she probably holds some deep psychological grudge against kids who annoy others. Maybe to get back at the ones who annoyed and mistreated her she decided to write this column thinking that Johnathan and De’ Andre are just like the ones who angered her. This is the first reason for bias. There is probably a really good reason why this article is in a magazine that is so left winged it is probably communist.

Levite’s using the most incredibly dense, and stupid idea I have seen in quite a while. To decide whether the media is liberally or conservatively biased he uses a keyword search. Putting words into a keyword search is by no stretch of the imagination reliable for anything. Example: If I type “free porn” into the Internet search, InfoseekOOO I get some crap against child pornography, some Palmala Anderson non porn stuff, some crap on pay me some money “free” service, and actually only one real “Free Porn” site.

Keyword searches take two words and find them anywhere in the document. If I said, “I can see out over the airplane’s wing and on the right side I see a bird,” according to his search I am a pinko commie liberal bastard. A better example of keyword searches: I put the words ultra left and right wings into the searches. Right wing gives me information on cults. Left wing gives me information on flying. Consider Waco, and Montana cults and militias. That was front page news every day, and I do not seem to know of any left wing cults.

Probably because using a true Democrat a left wing cult cannot exist unless it happens to be a separate country. (See Aaron Burr) The fact that Levite did not actually check to see what ever the articles are on, or he just neglected to mention what they were about. If he did not mention them, might it be because it might hurt his argument so he left that subject out? If he did not even check the articles, why? Does he have an actual life? Or do his statistics prove what he wants to say so he decides why go any further? I also wonder how he decided upon what terms were considered offensive to each party.

Some terms considered to describe the right wing consist of everything from white supremacist rich capitalist to Nazi. Many of the psychotically dangerous right wing people I know skip the talk of “ultra liberal” and “liberal attack,” and go straight to “you pinko commie bastard” or the ever popular and multi-useful derogatory comment, “fag. ” As other essay’s discussed in class columnist can use the terminology more often than others, but there is still the same amount of columns biased on both sides. This is also ffected by other factors, such as editors who value comic strips more than columnist etc.

The methods used by Levite are not sufficient proof of the claim he does so well to argue in the first paragraph. He uses data that is based on the actual amount of reporters and editors who are liberal and conservative from the Los Angeles Times, and The Media Elite. If he would have used more data like the ones he used in the first paragraph then there would be no way to actually argue his entire essay. The first paragraph of the essay goes to prove his point beautifully. Damn shame the other three pages are completely useless because of he data he uses.

Quite possibly Levite’s data could be read by a left wing supporting columnist and turned around in his face with a look into the actual articles Levite uses in his search. If you plan on showing how something such as the media is biased then the one collecting the research should not be biased in the first place. Biased researchers look for what they are trying to prove instead of the whole truth, and might disregard something that does not prove their point. My suggestion is to get someone who hates both sides and will try to ruin them both.

The Effects of Advretising and Media on Society

Advertising is an important social phenomenon. It both stimulates consumption, economic activity models, life-styles and a certain value orientation. Consumers are confronted with extensive daily doses of advertising in multiple media. With the continual attack of marketing media, it is presumable that it will affect our individualism and society as a whole. Consumer minds’ can be changed, opinions molded. Images of men influence the gender role attitudes that men express soon after exposure to the images.

Men view magazine advertisements containing images of en that varied in terms of how traditionally masculine versus neutral they were and whether the models were the same age or much older than the viewers. Men who had initially been less traditional espoused more traditional attitudes than any other group after exposure to traditionally masculine models, although they continued to approve relatively nontraditional views after exposure to neutral models. This suggests that nontraditional men’s gender role attitudes may be rather unstable and susceptible to momentary influences such as those found in advertising.

Commercials are a way that gender roles are displayed in society. When you see a car commercial for a mechanic most of the time the mechanic is a man. But when you see a commercial about cleaning products for the house, normally a woman is the face you see. In other words, the media can help break the barriers on how gender roles are portrayed in society. The more that women represent strength on TV will also encourage them to build their self-confidence. A persons environment has a big influence on the roles deemed accurately for men and women. Media also plays an important role in the socialization process or young and old people.

Gender roles are as apparent in movies and TV sitcoms, as they are in commercials. For example, in the early days of TV, most sitcoms portrayed women as housewives that cooked and cleaned and men as the breadwinners(the worker that brought home the money to support the family). An example of this structure is the sitcom Leave It To Beaver. June Cleaver(the mother) stayed at home all times and never disciplined the children, where as Ward Cleaver (the father) was the dominant one who worked and disciplined the children. Todays TV sitcoms no longer abide by this structure.

Take for example the sitcom, Whos The Boss. Angela was a successful businesswoman and provided for the family and Tony was the housekeeper. The gender roles were completely reversed in this situation; back in the 50s, a male in the house and a woman in the workforce was unheard of. Gender roles can be a substantial issue in many movies. However, roles the characters take are mainly determined by the time period of the movie. For instance, the movie A League Of Their Own was set back in the 40s. A League of Their Own, is an awesome depiction, of how the All American Girls Professional

Baseball League players, fought for the right to play, became victorious as a sport, and faced cruel jibes by feminists, and men alike. A League Of Their Own, also displayed how these women forged through for women of our time, pushing limits, and bursting the binds of a mans world. These women, were looked down upon, for doing something, that they just loved. They were treated as if they were scum, and not really women at all. It was as if they were a disgrace to woman kind, but instead they were revolutionaries, in a field that is not recognized, and forgotten. Careers in higher education are leading to the masculination of women.

With enormously dangerous consequences to the home, the children, and our country. When our boys come home from war, what kind of girls will they be coming home to? And now the most disgusting example of this sexual confusion, Mr. Walter Harvey of Harvey Bars is presenting us with womens baseball. Right here in Chicago, young girls plucked from their families are gathered at Harvey Field to see which one of them can be the most masculine. Mr. Harvey, like your candy bars, youre completely nuts. Maida Gilespie (radio show social commentary from the movie) After seeing a documentary on HBO about the All American Girls Professional

Baseball League, I understood more aspects of the movie. The players were obligated to attend charm and beauty school, keep their hair a specific length, wear make-up at all times(including during games), and they had to play in skirts. This was because, the attitude of the time was that, since the girls played, they were probably homosexuals. They kept up an extreme female appearance to keep people convinced that they were heterosexuals. It helped them stay within their gender role. The book Our Guys, by Bernard Lefkowitz, was based on a true story. The book recalled a rape in Glen Ridge.

A young retarded girl was raped by a set of star athletes(jocks). The jocks that were convicted in the case were raise with the notion that they were, pure gold, every mothers dream, every fathers pride and they were put on a pedestal. They grew up being taught by fathers and coaches that they were all winners. Its as if their fathers were living through them vicariously. Also, throughout their lives, they could pull off acting disruptively and inappropriately, including in classes. This includes masturbation. When relating this situation to media, similar issues arise in the movie Varsity Blues.

In America we have laws… aws against killing, laws against stealing… and as a member of American society you will live by these laws. In West Caynon, Texas there is another society… which has its own laws… Football is a way of life. As a boy growing up in West Caynon, Texas, you never questioned the sanctity of football. You just listened to what the coaches said and tried as best as you could to win. Win at all costs. Jonathan Moxon (hero in movie) You boys dragged ass out there… Save it dad…. Save it? Save what? You got the opportunity of a lifetime…… Playing football at West Caynon is not an opportunity of a lifetime….

Your attitude is wrong, your tone of voice is wrong. This is your opportunity…… For you! Playing football at West Caynon may have been the opportunity of your lifetime. But I dont want your life! conversation between Jonathan and his dad The movie, just as the book, showed many instances where the jocks were able to get away with stuff regular people wouldnt be able to. In the movie, one of the players steals a police car and isnt punished. Also, the players are allowed to drink alcohol underage, are given alcohol at a convient store(didnt ven have to pay), and is allowed to go to a strip club and drink while there.

Under normal circumstances, this would not be tolerated. These instances cant be compared to rape, but the concept is the same as in the book. Another issue that came up in the movie was suicide. Due to the overwhelming demand for success by the teams coach, the happiness of one of the players started to diminish and led to his attempted suicide. This just provides another illustration of how a societys standards can cause harm to people. These instances cant be compared to rape, but the concept is the same as in the book. There is one area of media that must not be forgotten.

Music. The music industry is one of the most powerful and most influential sources in our society. It provides us with insight into the world and allows the artists to express themselves freely. Music is everywhere you turn; on the radio, TV, in movies, and even in commercials. However, not all music brings across a positive message. Artists such as Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osborne, and KISS have been known as controversial influences. Back in the 70s, many teenagers were forbidden to listen to the music of KISS. This was largely due to the onnotation of their name.

Knights In Satins Service. Many mothers saw it as defying God and therefore prohibited their kids from listening to the band. A couple of years ago, an incident occurred at Columbine High School. Two kids, who were outsiders, started a shooting rampage on their fellow students. After the incident, it was reported that the two students listened to the music of Marilyn Manson. The community soon started to place part of the blame on the influence of his music. Advertisements also have the possibility to encourage both positive and negative effects on people, especially on women.

In fact, most advertisements use women to promote the product. Often, as Kilbourne shows us, food is related to women in advertisements. In many of these commercials, the woman is not only rewarding herself, she is also coping with her disappointment at being unappreciated. Advertisers often offer food as a way to repress anger, resentment, and hurt feelings. It is interesting that the ad includes so many ways that people escape from difficulties with relationships (shopping, sleeping, watching TV) and yet encourages one of the most common escape routes of all, overeating.

Advertisers spend a lot of money on psychological research. They know that many people, especially women, use food to help us deal with loneliness and disappointment and also a way to connect. Despite the over excessive use of food in ads, overeating is not the only eating disorder influenced by the media. In most ads, especially for cigarettes and beer, thin, beautiful women are used to promote the idea of having a good time, which helps endorse the product. Therefore, creating an insecure self image in the consumer. The consumer begins to exert feelings of insecurity in heir own physical appearance.

This can lead to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. Although, the media promotes this outlook on self image, it seems as if it tries to correct the negative images by making people aware of the dangers of them. They do this by creating after-school specials that expose the risks and dangers involved in eating disorders. Ironically, while writing this paper, I happened to view a program, Mysteries and Scandals, on the TV network E!. The program exposed the lives of popular actresses that died through drug and alcohol dependencies. The segment on Judy

Garland especially drew my attention. At the age of 16, while taping The Wizard of Oz, her drug addiction started. The producers required Judy to be thinner to play the part of Dorothy, so they demanded that she started taking diet pills(speed), to up her metabolism. Her drug and alcohol dependency only increased in the years to come, leading to the overdose that took her life. Advertising is an essential part of our society, as is the role of the media. They help us define and break gender roles. However, apparent or not, they effect our individualism and influence our lives.

Influences of Mass Media in Sport

When communication is spread not just between two individuals but rather between tens of millions of people it is known as mass media. Mass media is known as the central nervous system of society and it functions as a medium of exchange of information across the globe. “Mass media has many different purposes, such as providing information, entertaining, persuading and also by carrying a vague general function of culture to millions of people. “(Frederick 18). In order for mass media to exist, there must be an audience.

Today’s society is very selective; each receiver reacts differently through his or her own experience and orientation. Therefore, mass media exists in many different forms such as magazines, television, newspapers, internet, motion pictures, and even plays. Some examples of these forms of mass media are cosmopolitan magazine for young modern women and TSN television network for sports fans. With such extreme varieties of mass media existing in today’s societies there are three major constraints that seem to have an impressionable impact.

These constraints can keep mass media very restricted. The major constraint of mass media is competition. Each form of mass media wants to be the one to target the audience, so therefore competition between mass media is very strong. The audience is the one who decides what information is important and this decides what groups of mass media get the most airtime. If your story isn’t important to the audience then your media is taking up space, so therefor you either have to produce what the audience wants or you will not be able to survive in the competitive world of mass media.

Money also puts constraints on what an individual gets to know. If a person can’t afford to buy a television that that is restricting them on the knowledge that they are able to consume. Also, companies run on budget plans, and if there is know money in the budget, they are unable to provide information to a society. For every story that is produced, or every television commercial aired that could have been may more, to follow. But with limited money in the budget plans, an audience’s view also becomes very limited.

Time is also another constraint because is doesn’t make a difference on the amount of media there is, there will only be twenty four hours in each day and not all a person’s time can be devoted to the effects of mass media. “All media within each other create noise, but with all the conflicting views, within lies a pattern, that shows some element of truth. ” (Frederick 10). The purpose of this paper is to state how mass media influences sport.

The point that is being made in this paper is to show how mass media influences society, and how it influences sports within a society. To show how sport influences society, the game of basketball will be used. Mass media is a reflection of society. “Mass media are essential agents of social change, and the specific kind of social change they are expected to help accomplish in the transition to new customs and practices, and in some cases, to different social relationships. ” (D’seuza ).

As a result of all these alterations a significant change in an individuals attitudes, beliefs, skills and social norms may result. Before the existence of radio, mass media was barely breathing but with all the developments in technology mass media is continually progressing, in many different directions. Different individuals are selective in the way that they let mass media influence their lives. For example, if a person decides to read a book they are getting to determine what aspects of the mass media they consume.

Books are the most individual of mass media. ” (Frederick 156). But when a person watches television it is not as personal as reading a book, television is built into society. ” Television’s commercial and entertainment emphasis both reflect and affect the hedonistic and acquisitive nature of contemporary America. ” (Frederick 264). Mass media has many positive effects on many people. In countries such as India, mass media had made a tremendous change. People in rural communities are now able to communicate back and forth.

Children of this country are now able to obtain and expand on their education, there are continuous improvements in their health care system and even modern agricultural techniques are being developed. Not everybody agrees that mass media has had a positive effect, some believe that it has damaged societies beyond repair. Since mass media has such an overwhelming influence on society, it may end up shaping the way and individual thinks. A good example of this is through advertising.

It is advertising, by and large, that supports the United States’ pervasive and extraordinary diverse mass media system. Advertising major focus is the better you display a commodity the more of the commodity you sell. The private sector gives the advertising industry the money to sell their products, and the company that offers the most capital is the one who gets their product aired. This is where one of our major constraints, known as, competition comes into play.

Whatever company holds the most capital decides what we as a society get to consume. Advertisers will say that they produce what the consumer demands but on the other hand they are putting many limits on what we get to consume. With the constant growth of mass media many opportunities for individuals have been arising. To show how mass media has opened many doors for many individuals, this paper will use the influences of mass media in the world of sports. Both the positive and negative effects of the mass media will be outlined.

Pornography In The Media

It started by way of messengers and scribes, evolved through the presentation of newspapers and radio, brought us together with television, and now serves us world-wide via the ever-popular Internet. It is the mass media, and even from the earliest days of its existence, it has contributed greatly in ways that both enlighten and enrich society, and ways that deteriorate and perplex it. It is not a surprise to learn, then, that the mass media is the most powerful source of information we have, and nothing else in today’s world influences public perception quite as heavily.

Unfortunately, however, most of what is broadcast or transmitted in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging. But the news on television is not the only type of media taking the criticism of society. Other forms of mass media, specifically movies and television programs containing pornography and violence have been heavily criticized. The underlining concept to be debated here is that society is negatively influenced, specifically, by these images of pornography and the result is increased violence against women.

This assumption, and it is indeed only an assumption, is completely fallacious, however, as no concrete and completely conclusive evidence has ever been formulated in support of the theory. The key premise here is that the mass media does not cause undesirable social behaviour and in actuality, the media people should not be dubbed as the “bad guys’. They simply use their power in the most constructive ways possible in order to promote their ratings and popularity. e way to do that is to concentrate on what sells: sex, violence, and disaster.

Having said this, why is it then, that many in society still believe otherwise; why do they continue to believe that pornography is “evil” and is a major cause for violence against women, specifically rape? There are many reasons for this misinterpretation and through the following few points, an attempt will be made to show that pornography has very little to almost no correlation with violence against women (of course nothing is “absolute” in society).

In order to demonstrate this, it must be made evident that pornography is not “evil” and does not cause undesirable social behaviour by displaying nude women in sexually explicit circumstances. Thus, it is important to indicate that women are not treated only as sexual objects through the media. This is done in an attempt to quash any traces of “evil” in pornography. Subsequently, a second point, that some may consider to be completely bizarre, can be addressed; that pornography actually reduces the amount of violence against women.

For thousands of years, sex itself has been considered -evil’ and revolting. This is exactly why the concealment of the sex organs and teaching feelings of shame toward human sexuality is so common worldwide (Christensen 1990:4). These same feelings of shame are the chief reasons that sex is considered a personal and private matter. Contrary to the beliefs of many, the mass media did not create these settings; society creates this image.

In some societies, women have no reservations with regard to living their entire lives completely naked, while in other societies, females cover themselves from head to toe, only revealing their eyes. The media has been bombarded with criticism, overwhelmingly from the female community, relative to the amount of sexually explicit material that is published in magazines and that appears on television and in the cinemas. A common argument against pornography is that the media portrays women as being nothing more than sexual playthings and objects to satisfy male sexual desires.

As before, the media once again, is not to be held responsible for creating this image; these views are products of society. It would be downright absurd to assume that women in this society are treated as sexual objects only because the media releases or broadcasts pornographic material. A magazine associated with make-up and skin care, for example, will quite obviously not be concentrating on much else. Such a magazine would not display pictures of women who mountain-climb or women who water-ski; only images of make-up and text referring to skin care would be relevant.

Clearly, society does not consider women to be beings who’s only purpose in life is to worry about make-up and skin care; but why are the complaints only directed towards pornographic media then? The answer to this question may be more complicated, however, what remains obvious is that the media does not portray women as only being able to fill male sexual desires. To say that pictures featuring nudity, etc, are making objects out of women is foolish. one should consider females who pin-up posters of male rock stars or children who collect hockey or baseball cards.

Society, however, does not say that objects are being made out of these rock stars and sports heroes; pictures of clothed people are no less objects than pictures of naked people. Many complaints are also made to the effect that pornography only offers a one-dimensional view to life; that women are seen as nymphomaniacs who are hysterically addicted to sex. It should be pointed out that events such as hockey games, boxing matches, horse races and operas all offer a one-dimensional view of life. One does not attend an opera hoping to see a horse race.

The underlying problem here is that the above mentioned events are socially acceptable; media displaying pornography is not. It is also said that the media reduces women to a collection of body parts through pornography (Christensen 1990:74). But why then are their no complaints of advertisements in magazines displaying only ears, for example, or a nose, or feet? The reason is a simple one; society considers certain body parts to be “shameful” or disgusting and once again, the media can be “let off the hook.

Realistically, the only way to prevent women from being seen as sex objects is for them to be seen as other things as well; but to say that women are not sexual beings would be misleading because both men and women are very much sexual (Christensen 1990:42). Similarly, to say that women are singled out in the media is fallacious due to the many examples of media where men are seen catering to the needs of women; something known as chivralic sexism (Christensen 1990:42).

Take, for instance, a recent television ad portraying young men groveling at the feet of supermodel Cindy Crawford, almost begging to be the “one” to cater to her needs. There were no lineups of men aching to announce their displeasure with the sexist ad; and this is precisely why male stereotyping in the media often goes unnoticed. Similarly, it is pornography in the media that is noticed and shunned by anti-pornographic and censorship organizations because it seemingly singles out females for their bodies.

It should be well noted, however, that paperback romance novels, which make up an incredible 40% of total paperback sales (Gerbner 1988:15), depicts males as sexual objects, performing what is called “Sweet Savagery” (rape), just as pornography depicts females as sexual objects. But once again, this goes unnoticed. It is fundamentally important to realize that the media does not deliberately create images of hate or disagreement (Howitt, Cumberbatch 1975:80). They just influence the more appealing things in society (thus directly increasing their ratings).

Although it is obvious that pornography is largely a male interest, a noted increase in female interest would certainly cause an increase in the amount of pornographic material geared for women; this relates to the laws of the business world (Christensen 1990:50). Having discussed the untruthfulness of the claims against pornography and showing that pornography is not “evil’, it is now possible to consider the violence issue. Are men who are exposed to pornography likely to commit violent acts, such as rape against women, more so than men who are not exposed to pornography?

It is tempting to believe that media influences males and overstimulates them through pornography to the point that they become aggressive towards females. But this is completely baseless; just as pornography arouses or stimulates, it also satisfies. The American Commission on obscenity and Pornography performed a study in which several college students were asked to spend one and a half hours in an isolated room with a large volume of pornographic media, as well as a large volume of non-explicit media such as Reader’s Digest (Howitt, Cumberbatch 1975:80).

The study was conducted over a three week period over which time it was discovered that the males involved in the experiment began to lose interest, or become desensitized to the erotic media nearing the end of the experiment, even if new material was added. To address the argument that males are pushed over the “brink’ into committing rape because of pornography, one may point to the evidence above; to cover the female body would theoretically only increase male sexual desires.

Four more separate experiments were conducted of which the above was one. Three other experiments came to the conclusions that pornography does not cause violence against women and reported that the number of sex offenders that had been exposed to pornographic material were smaller in number than the amount of sex-offenders hat had not been exposed to pornography (Christensen 1990:130; Harmon, Check 1988:28-30). These results can be offered as evidence against the claim that males become over stimulated and thus dangerous when exposed to pornography.

Other experiments conducted in the early 1980s by the Williams Committee in England, reported that as the availability and abundance of sexually explicit material increased, the number of violent sex crimes such as rape did not increase, but in fact decreased in many areas (Christensen 1990:128-129). So what is it about pornography that women and anti-pornography organizations do not like? Violence! One of the greatest myths about pornography is that it contains an excess of violence against women inevitably resulting in real-life violence against women.

Anti-pornography groups release propaganda that the media approves of violence against women through pornography. In actuality, however, the total amount of violence in sex-related movies was found to be approximately 6% in a study by T. Palys in the early 1980s in Vancouver, Canada. Even this material was almost entirely composed of verbal threats and spanking (Christensen 1990:59).

In addition to the above, studies in Ohio also found that the amount of violence in ‘(V-Rated movies was a staggering two times more than in “X-Rated” movies. n fact, major films such as Die Hard: With A Vengeance and Terminator 2, contain extreme violence 85-90% of which is directed solely at men. There are, however, exceptions; the slasher genre of movies contain much more violence towards women, possibly due to the desensitization to violence in other genres of films. Because women are involved, violence against them could create a true sense of horror. However, this does not suggest that men should go into society and rape a woman any more than it suggests that men should go out and kill other men.

Horror movie fans choose to watch these movies because they enjoy portrayed violence. Needless to say, no sane individual would wish for this violence to become a real-life conception. Similarly, sex also excites people and because these two elements offer the most thrills in movies, they are often combined. It should be pointed out that women, and not just men, also enjoy these thrills based on numerous studies. When discussing pornography, it is scarcely noted that men are not the only ones who enjoy fantasizing about sex. Women also enjoy pondering sex; just not through pornography.

In fact, most of these fantasies involve some degree of violence or force and are largely driven by the romance novels discussed earlier (once again supporting the evidence that romance novels prove to be the female equivalent to male-geared pornography). Recent reports published by Nancy Friday, show that the number of female fantasies involving rape far outweigh the number of male fantasies involving rape. What comes as a surprise to many is that in male fantasies, the woman rapes the man and conversely, in female fantasies, the man rapes (“Sweet Savagery”), the woman! (Christensen 1990:66).

Friday’s reports also provided some interesting reasoning for the female fantasies. Her reports find that females fantasize about rape to show that they are not acting in accordance with such “sinful’ actions; to show that sex is being “forced” upon them. Any other feelings towards the fantasized rape would prove to be “undesirable social behavior” and amazingly, the media is not even involved! Actual laboratory experiments (Hawkins, Zimring 1988:103) have shown that when groups of women were shown erotic scenes involving rape, their reactions to the scenes were as or even more stimulating than less violent consensual lovemaking scenes.

This is not to say that all women want to be raped; far from it. This is to say that if women can fantasize about rape but not wish to experience it, then men, too, can fantasize about rape and not wish to commit it. In addition to the many other accusations against pornography, many in society believe that there is definite connection between organized crime and pornography. Although this may be true, the idea is largely over-exaggerated. The reasoning behind this theory is very simple, yet very shallow.

Consider, that pornography is created by organizations and contains sexually explicit material that may be thought to be legally obscene in some areas. To make the connection, these anti-pornography organizations assume that the organizations (hence organized) that produce the legally obscene (hence crime) material, are operating illegally. It is obvious why pornography is attractive to criminals; just as anything that is banned or is made illegal, there is always someone who will pay the high black-market price for it.

Having considered the issues at hand, it can be said that since there is no concrete evidence to support otherwise, pornography in the media does not cause undesirable social behaviour. As mentioned before, sexually explicit movies and magazines do not just arouse, but also satisfy. It is an undisputed fact that feelings of love and happiness cancel out violent feelings (Zillman, Connections Between Sex and Aggression) and to say that pornography endorse violent feelings fails to make sense; if it did, why would men want to be exposed to it.

To suggest. hat pornography causes men to “go over the edge” and commit rape is as ludicrous as suggesting that pictures of food cause the hungry to steal more food. It has even been said by some women that rape is the fault of women who dress provocatively; “they ask for it”. According to this logic, in the event that pornography is banned, then an attempt should be made to force women to cover their skin and wear clothing that completely hides the shapes of their bodies so as not to provoke rape. Absurd. As members of society, we recognize the power of the mass media. We understand that public perception can be easily persuaded.

But it should be clearly understood that pornography in the media alone cannot persuade men to cause harm to women; it cannot cause men to do things that are socially unacceptable. As was mentioned earlier, pornography only causes feelings of excitement and satisfaction and these feelings overpower those feelings of violence. For these reasons, it can be said that until a positive link can be found between pornography in the media and violence against women, it will remain that sexual violence such as rape is the result of sexual frustration, and not of sexual arousal.

A Stereotypical Media

The media of today’s society plays the peddler to the stereotypes that plague our country. However, the media is not solely to blame. Susan Sontag states in her essay “The Image World”: “Through being photographed, something becomes part of a system of information, fitted into schemes of classification and storage”(Sontag 196). Through our own demand as consumers, the use of advertising in television, newspapers, and especially magazines relays to the public an erratic system of stereotypical information.

The system of information relayed through photographic imagery in advertising directly affects the thoughts of society, on how a woman should look and feel. Thus, mixing the stereotypical woman of delicacy, and grandeur with sex and sexuality. The vast amount of stereotypical advertising today is directed at the middle-class, American worker. This specification in advertising is due to the fact that the middle class workers are the main consumers. This idea is represented in the magazine, Newsweek.

Printed on April 3, 2000, Newsweek prints numerous articles of news that are not so focused and in-depth, but still contains valid consistency. The magazine is M/C Phillips, Page 2 truly tailored to the middle class and so is its advertising. In the midst of clutter, from articles of political power, to the rise of the doughnut culture, sits an ad of poise and content. Posted by the Target Corporation, a store tailored to the middle class, the ad displays, a very young, beautiful woman covered shoulders to toe in ivy, holding a rayon handbag.

She is poised, illustrious and elegant, a mirror image of a statue. The backdrop of the image is calm, organized and serene. The ad reads “ivy plant $6. 99, rayon crochet bag $14. 99″(Newsweek 7). However, the ad’s imagery at first glance does not fully portray the stereotypes within it. The appearances of stereotypes in this serene ad are hard to find, but are found deep in the text of the image. The apparent purpose of the ad is to sell items such as a handbag, and ivy plants. However, the apparent does not relay the reality. The use of a woman’s stereotypical sexuality covers up the real with the fantasy.

A stereotype as defined by the Module, “Images of Women and Men”, “is viewed today as a process that distorts reality”(Unger & Crawford 219). So in essence this is what the image, or the advertisement has done. Advertising takes the process of photography, and distorts its reality by applying such methods as stereotyping. This creates a desired and common appearance of the perfect, beautiful, fantasy woman. The posture of this image relays a sense of refinement, such M/C Phillips, Page 3 refinement that would be found in the stereotypical elegant, sexy woman.

The placement of her hands gives way to the image of elegance. They are poised, and hold to the endearment of elegance, beautiful but refined. Even when with the sense, or stereotype of the refinement, comes the sexuality of the image. With the refinement comes the notion of sex. To explain this, one must consider that the woman is covered shoulder to toe in ivy. This is the same ivy that is on sale for $6. 99. The ad leads to the fallacy that even the elegant and refined woman can be sold. This ad also carries with it, the stereotype of the fantasy, or the storybook notion.

When looking at the ad, one can see reality redefined. As stated by Susan Sontag, in her essay “The Image World”, “Photographs do more than redefine the stuff of ordinary experience, they add vast amounts of material we never see”(Sontag 196). The material in this case, is the application of the fantasy image. From birth, we are confronted with the stereotype of the fantasy woman, relayed to us by fairy tales and myths. Fairy tails and myths that convey the common illusion that all women must be beautiful, and graceful, re-confirming the fantasy stereotype.

The ad in question has also re-confirmed this childhood belief. Covering the young, beautiful woman almost completely in ivy brings her to the fantasy level. This image is almost comical in a sense, but is an erratic M/C Phillips, Page 4 stereotype. The image portrays her as a common fantasy, directly out of a child’s storybook, posed in ivy, controlled by a mer plant. This image relays the attitude all women are controllable and must adhere to the fantasy. Strive to be young, skinny and beautiful. In analyzing the ad, another prevailing stereotype can be seen.

The use of gender stereotypes also plagues this ad, more specifically, the stereotype of the desirable, attractive woman. Gender stereotypes can be defined as “consensual beliefs about the different characteristics of men and women”(Unger & Crawford, 213). The consensual belief portraying the misconception of reality. Or rather, the common views of stereotyping shared by our culture and re-enforced by our media. The classification, or stereotyping of such attributes of the “sexy woman”(Unger & Crawford, 217), can be clearly seen in the advertisement at hand.

The concepts of a good figure, long hair, and pretty face are all combined in this ad to further enhance this classification. However, no one concept is more clearly used in this ad than the concept of the pretty face. In fact the face is directly focused on. Her hair is also a prevailing factor of stereotyping. The hair gives the woman an exotic, yet refined look. The surrounding borders of the ad are a dark shade of purple and pink, but in the center is a focused illumination of the woman’s face. The illumination does not focus on the M/C Phillips, Page 5 products for sale, but focuses the effect on the woman.

Directly enhancing her face and upper chest area, focusing the attention on her sexuality and so-called main control factor. Media has successfully continued to suppress women and enhance the stereotypes that women are to adhere to. By applying supposed unconscious effects such as stereotyping and classifying, we as a society have fallen victim to media’s ploys in advertising. For years the common belief that a woman’s only power is her sexuality has been instilled into our society by media propaganda, in advertising. The media is seen as playing to the crowd.

The common notion that sex sells is directly represented in such ploys of advertising and more over in this ad. As Robert L. Heilbroner states, “advertising is not only a bearer of messages; it is the message”(Heilbroner 99). The message that advertising carries is the underlying faction of stereotypes. The stereotypical ploys that will attract the consumer to the product, the selling feature. In this ad, the woman and her fantasy image are not only selling common stereotypes but selling the very woman herself. Placing the woman in the ivy makes the statement that woman is the ivy. She is the very object that is for sale.

The ad is also, selling the very ploys that have been conflicting with the struggle to pursue equality and not the products stated to be for sale. M/C Phillips, Page 6 We as a society will never be equal unless, we strive to rid the propaganda at hand. Media and advertising are vessel of all ruin, in the advancement for a stereotype free image of a woman. What good is it for a woman to declare herself an individual, if she is continuously plagued with the common stereotypes of classification and sex? To truly be equal, we must strive to see the degradation that all stereotypes in media and advertising bring upon our society.

Does The Mass Media Cause Undesireable Social Consequences

Does the mass media cause undesireable social consequences with specific reference to It started by way of messengers and scribes, evolved through the presentation of newspapers and radio, brought us together with television, and now serves us world-wide via the ever-popular Internet. It is the mass media, and even from the earliest days of its existence, it has contributed greatly in ways that both enlighten and enrich society, and ways that deteriorate and perplex it.

It is not a surprise to learn, then, that the mass media is the most powerful source of information we ave, and nothing else in todays world influences public perception quite as Unfortunately, however, most of what is broadcast or transmitted in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging. But the news on television is not the only type of media taking the criticism of society.

Other forms of mass media, specifically movies and television programs containing pornography and violence have been heavily criticized. The underlining concept to be debated here is that society is negatively influenced, specifically, by these images of pornography nd the result is increased violence against women. This assumption, and it is indeed only an assumption, is completely fallacious, however, as no concrete and completely conclusive evidence has ever been formulated in support of the theory.

The key premise here is that the mass media does not cause undesirable social behaviour and in actuality, the media people should not be dubbed as the bad guys. They simply use their power in the most constructive ways possible in order to promote their ratings and popularity. One way to do that is to concentrate on what sells: sex, violence and disaster. Having said this, why is it then, that many in society still believe otherwise; why do they continue to believe that pornography is evil and is a major cause for violence against women, specifically rape?

There are many reasons for this misinterpretation and through the following few points, an attempt will be made to show that pornography has very little to almost no correlation with violence against women (of course nothing is absolute in society). In order to demonstrate this, it must be made evident that pornography is not evil and does not cause undesirable social behaviour by displaying nude women in sexually explicit ircumstances. Thus, it is important to indicate that women are not treated only as sexual objects through the media. This is done in an attempt to quash any traces of evil in pornography.

Subsequently, a second point, that some may consider to be completely bizarre, can be addressed; that pornography actually reduces the For thousands of years, sex itself has been considered evil and revolting. This is exactly why the concealment of the sex organs and teaching feelings of shame toward human sexuality is so common worldwide (Christensen 1990:4). These same feelings of shame are the chief reasons that sex is considered a personal and rivate matter. Contrary to the beliefs of many, the mass media did not create these settings; society creates this image.

In some societies, women have no reservations with regard to living their entire lives completely naked, while in other societies, females cover themselves from head to toe, only revealing their eyes. The media has been bombarded with criticism, overwhelmingly from the female community, relative to the amount of sexually explicit material that is published in magazines and that appears on television and in the cinemas. A common argument against pornography is that the media portrays women as being nothing more than exual playthings and objects to satisfy male sexual desires.

As before, the media once again, is not to be held responsible for creating this image; these views are It would be downright absurd to assume that women in this society are treated as sexual objects only because the media releases or broadcasts pornographic material. A magazine associated with make-up and skin care, for example, will quite obviously not be concentrating on much else. Such a magazine would not display pictures of women who mountain-climb or women who water-ski; only images of make-up and text referring to skin care would be relevant.

Clearly, ociety does not consider women to be beings whos only purpose in life is to worry about make-up and skin care; but why are the complaints only directed towards pornographic media then? The answer to this question may be more complicated, however, what remains obvious is that the media does not portray women as only being able to fill male sexual desires. To say that pictures featuring nudity, etc, are making objects out of women is foolish. One should consider females who pin-up posters of male rock stars or children who collect hockey or baseball cards.

Society, however, does not say that objects are being made out of hese rock stars and sports heroes; pictures of clothed people are no less objects Many complaints are also made to the effect that pornography only offers a one- dimensional view to life; that women are seen as nymphomaniacs who are hysterically addicted to sex. It should be pointed out that events such as hockey games, boxing matches, horse races and operas all offer a one-dimensional view of life. One does not attend an opera hoping to see a horse race. The underling problem here is that the above mentioned events are socially acceptable; media displaying pornography is not.

It is also said that the media reduces women to a collection of body parts through pornography (Christensen 1990:74). But why then are their no complaints of advertisements in magazines displaying only ears, for example, or a nose, or feet? The reason is a simple one; society considers certain body parts to be shameful or disgusting and once again, the media can be Realistically, the only way to prevent women from being seen as sex objects is for them to be seen as other things as well; but to say that women are not sexual beings would be misleading because both men and women are very much sexual (Christensen 1990:42).

Similarly, to say that women are singled out in the media is fallacious due to the many examples of media where men are seen catering to the needs of women; something known as chivralic sexism (Christensen 1990:42). Take, for instance, a recent television ad portraying young men groveling at the feet of supermodel Cindy Crawford, almost begging to be the one to cater to her needs. There were no lineups of men aching to announce their displeasure with the sexist ad; and this is precisely why male stereotyping in the media often goes unnoticed.

Similarly, it is pornography in the media that is noticed and shunned by nti-pornographic and censorship organizations because it seemingly singles out females for their bodies. It should be well noted, however, that paperback romance novels, which make up an incredible 40% of total paperback sales (Gerbner 1988:15), depicts males as sexual objects, performing what is called Sweet Savagery (rape), just as pornography depicts females as sexual objects. But once again, this goes unnoticed. It is fundamentally important to realize that the media does not deliberately create images of hate or disagreement (Howitt, Cumberbatch 1975:80).

They just nfluence the more appealing things in society (thus directly increasing their ratings). Although it is obvious that pornography is largely a male interest, a noted increase in female interest would certainly cause an increase in the amount of pornographic material geared for women; this relates to the laws of the business world Having discussed the untruthfulness of the claims against pornography and showing that pornography is not evil, it is now possible to consider the violence issue.

Are men who are exposed to pornography likely to commit violent acts, such as rape gainst women, more so than men who are not exposed to pornography? It is tempting to believe that media influences males and overstimulates them through pornography to the point that they become aggressive towards females. But this is completely baseless; just as pornography arouses or stimulates, it also satisfies.

The American Commission on Obscenity and Pornography performed a study in which several college students were asked to spend one and a half hours in an isolated room with a large volume of pornographic media, as well as a large volume of non-explicit media such as Readers Digest (Howitt, Cumberbatch 975:80). The study was conducted over a three week period over which time it was discovered that the males involved in the experiment began to lose interest, or become desensitized to the erotic media nearing the end of the experiment, even if new material was added.

To address the argument that males are pushed over the brink into committing rape because of pornography, one may point to the evidence above; to cover the female body would theoretically only increase male sexual desires. Four more separate experiments were conducted of which the above was one. Three other experiments came to the conclusions that ornography does not cause violence against women and reported that the number of sex offenders that had been exposed to pornographic material were smaller in number than the amount of sex-offenders that had not been exposed to pornography (Christensen 1990:130; Harmon, Check 1988:28-30).

These results can be offered as evidence against the claim that males become overstimulated and thus dangerous when exposed to pornography. Other experiments conducted in the early 1980s by the Williams Committee in England, reported that as the availability and abundance of sexually explicit material increased, the number of iolent sex crimes such as rape did not increase, but in fact decreased in many So what is it about pornography that women and anti-pornography organizations do not like? Violence!

One of the greatest myths about pornography is that it contains an excess of violence against women inevitably resulting in real-life violence against women. Anti-pornography groups release propaganda that the media approves of violence against women through pornography. In actuality, however, the total amount of violence in sex-related movies was found to be approximately 6% in a study by T. Palys in the early 1980s in Vancouver, Canada. Even this material was almost entirely composed of verbal threats and spanking (Christensen 1990:59).

In addition to the above, studies in Ohio also found that the amount of violence in G-Rated movies was a staggering two times more than in X-Rated movies. In fact, major films such as Die Hard: With A Vengeance and Terminator 2, contain extreme violence 85-90% of which is directed solely at men. There are, however, exceptions; the slasher genre of movies contain much more violence towards women, possibly due to the desensitization to violence in other genres of films. Because women are involved, violence against them could create a true sense of horror.

However, this does not suggest that men should go into society and rape a woman any more than it suggests that men should go out and kill other men. Horror movie fans choose to watch these movies because they enjoy portrayed violence. Needless to say, no sane individual would wish for this violence to become a real-life conception. Similarly, sex also excites people and because these two elements offer the most thrills in movies, they are often It should be pointed out that women, and not just men, also enjoy these thrills ased on numerous studies.

When discussing pornography, it is scarcely noted that men are not the only ones who enjoy fantasizing about sex. Women also enjoy pondering sex; just not through pornography. In fact, most of these fantasies involve some degree of violence or force and are largely driven by the romance novels discussed earlier (once again supporting the evidence that romance novels prove to be the female equivalent to male-geared pornography). Recent reports published by Nancy Friday, show that the number of female fantasies involving rape far outweigh the number of male fantasies involving rape.

What comes as a surprise to many is that in male fantasies, the woman rapes the man and conversely, in female fantasies, the man rapes (Sweet Savagery), the woman! (Christensen 1990:66). Fridays reports also provided some interesting reasoning for the female fantasies. Her reports find that females fantasize about rape to show that they are not acting in accordance with such sinful actions; to show that sex is being forced upon them. Any other feelings towards the fantasized rape would prove to be undesirable social behaviour and amazingly, the media is not even involved!

Actual laboratory experiments (Hawkins, Zimring 1988:103) have shown that when groups of women were shown erotic scenes involving rape, their reactions to the scenes were as or even more stimulating than less violent consensual lovemaking scenes. This is not to say that all women want to be raped; far from it. This is to say that if women can fantasize about rape but not wish to experience it, then men, too, can fantasize about rape and not wish to commit it.

In addition to the many other accusations against pornography, many in society believe that there is definite connection between organized crime and pornography. Although this may be true, the idea is largely over-exaggerated. The reasoning behind this theory is very simple, yet very shallow. Consider, that pornography is created by organizations and contains sexually explicit material that may be thought to be legally obscene in some areas.

To make the connection, these anti-pornography organizations assume that the organizations (hence organized) that produce the legally obscene (hence crime) material, are operating illegally. It is obvious why pornography is attractive to criminals; just as anything that is banned r is made illegal, there is always someone who will pay the high black-market Having considered the issues at hand, it can be said that since there is no concrete evidence to support otherwise, pornography in the media does not cause undesirable social behaviour.

As mentioned before, sexually explicit movies and magazines do not just arouse, but also satisfy. It is an undisputed fact that feelings of love and happiness cancel out violent feelings (Zillman, Connections Between Sex and Aggression) and to say that pornography endorse violent feelings fails to make sense; if it did, why would men want to be exposed to it. To suggest that pornography causes men to go over the edge and commit rape is as ludicrous as suggesting that pictures of food cause the hungry to steal more food.

It has even been said by some women that rape is the fault of women who dress provocatively; they ask for it. According to this logic, in the event that pornography is banned, then an attempt should be made to force women to cover their skin and wear clothing that completely hides the shapes of their bodies so as As members of society, we recognize the power of the mass media. We understand that public perception can be easily persuaded.

But it should be clearly understood that pornography in the media alone cannot persuade men to cause harm to women; it cannot cause men to do things that are socially unacceptable. As was mentioned earlier, pornography only causes feelings of excitement and satisfaction and these feelings overpower those feelings of violence. For these reasons, it can be said that until a positive link can be found between pornography in the media and violence against women, it will remain that sexual violence such as rape is the result of sexual frustration, and not of sexual arousal.

Media and Culture

The issue of the relationship between the mass media and the popular culture has always been a controversial issue in social sciences. While the political economists insist on the role of the media industry in the creation of this phenomenon of the twentieth century, its advocates such as John Fiske argue that popular culture is actually the creation of the populus itself, and is independent of the capitalist production process of the communication sector.

Basing his argument on the immense interpretive power of the people, Fiske believes that the audience are able to break all the indented meanings within a media message, and by giving new meanings to that specific message they can oppose the power bloc that is trying to impose its ideology to the public. Consequently, this anarchistic activity of the audience creates the popular culture as a defense mechanism. Even when we accept Fiskes ideas, we can not disregard the manipulative power of the media and its effects on cultural and social life.

Everyday, we are exposed to millions of different visual messages which tell us what to eat, what to wear, what to listen and what to watch. No matter how hard we try to avoid being influenced by these directives, only up to a certain point we can protect ourselves, and after that, no interpretive power can be helpful. Media, then leads us to a path that ends up in the same department store with our neighbor, with whom we have probably never talked before, but holding the same pair of socks or CDs, and we might never want to recall the TV commercial that had opened the gates of this path.

United States is the biggest economical power in the world today, and consequently has also the strongest and largest media industry. Therefore, it is essential to take a look at the crucial relationship between the media and the popular culture within the social context of the United States for a better understanding of the issue. For a simpler analysis of the subject we shall divide the media industry into three main branches: Entertainment, News and Commercials (which is the essential device for the survival of the industry, and shall be considered in integration with Entertainment).

Researches have shown that the most popular reason behind TV viewing is relaxation and emptying the mind. Therefore, the entertainment programs, being the only choice for relaxation, are the most effective tools of influence, since during these programs the viewers are least busy with conscious mental activities. The TV series (mostly soap operas) are the most popular programs within the entertainment group. The easiness of viewing them is the reason behind their popularity. Each of them is created for a certain type of audience profile: housewives, working men, teenagers, children etc.

Within these categories they are also divided according to social and economical bases. While Dallas would appeal to any average American, Thirty-something would mostly be popular among the yuppies, and Young and Restless among the housewives. However, this distribution is not intended to satisfy the viewer, but to satisfy the advertisers. Since, lets say an importer of French vines, is sure that mostly the viewers with high income and luxurious tastes would be watching Thirty-something, he can confidently advertise in the commercial breaks of this program, rather than of Married with Children.

However, the most striking characteristic of the series does not come from their commercialist structure and their power of encouraging consumerism, but from the cult that they create. In November 1980, 70 million Americans turned on their televisions to learn the murderer of J. R in the Dallas series, and after the show, 150 TV stations 3500 professional and 2500 amateur radio stations announced the murderer in the news headlines and broadcasted commentaries about the issue. During the specific episode of the series, a one minute commercial was sold for 500 000 US dollars (Senyapl, 112).

The fate of an imaginary character had become the most important subject of discussion in the United States. In other words, 70 million Americans were not able to interpret nor change the message of the series, and while back in the February of the same year, 30 to 50 thousand people in Washington were protesting the reestablishment of the registration for the draft, now they were mostly curious about J. R (Vietnam and America, 301). On the other hand, a TV channel that was fully established on the purpose of entertainment, MTV, took a mission that was totally not expectable.

In 1992 the channel started two campaigns called “Chose or Loose”, and “Rock the Vote”, in order to increase the voting rate among the young generation. The result was highly positive; polls taken in late October showed that 75% of the 18 to 29 age group said that they would vote, compared to the 40% in 1988. In addition the votes were heavily in favor of Clinton who had accepted to present himself on MTV, unlike Bush (Edelstein, 110). Although the picture may look positive at first, with a deeper perspective it becomes dramatic.

The only way of appealing to the young generation seems to be through a music channel, which is based on the creation and consumption of a popular culture. They get interested in politics only when their idols tell them to do so. Their free thinking ability is limited with the mediated message that appeals to them, and they act mechanically according to these messages, highly contradicting with the “free your mind” slogan of MTV. When we talk about the successes of TV campaigns, we shall always consider the inverse process that can also easily take place. Therefore, the picture can be viewed more critically.

At this point a question comes to mind. Why are we so much influenced by TV; How can it ever be such a powerful device? To understand this, we shall consider Festingers theory on social influence: “If one believes that a sheet of glass is fragile, one can test that belief by hitting it with a hammer. The subjective validity of this belief depends on physical reality testing. However, a belief like socialism is the way forward for humanity can not be tested the same way. Such a belief is correct, valid and proper to the extent that it is anchored in a group of people with similar beliefs, opinions and attitudes” (Turner, 19).

This hypothesis by Festinger is supported by three additional points: 1) If other people agree and share our attitudes, then we are more likely to consider them as subjectively valid. 2) We prefer to join groups of people with whom we agree, which in the end causes a stronger agreement of a specific issue. 3) And finally, the less we are able to make physical testing the more important becomes the agreement of similar others to validate our beliefs (Turner, 20). To get to a point where television takes its place as an instrument of conviction, we shall add a final hypothesis about influence.

According to Deutsch and Gerard, informational influence is influence to accept information from another as evidence about objective reality. Conformity is motivated by the desire to form an accurate view of reality and to act correctly, and is increased by the uncertainty about the correctness of ones judgment and the ambiguity of the stimulus situation (Turner, 34). We always have a considerable amount of uncertainty about our decisions, and always look for conformation from a friend or an authority. The role of the television at this point is its being the collection of all possible organs of conformation.

It is obvious that when we take two newspapers, say The Guardian and The Daily Mirror, we are more intended to believe the news covered in The Guardian. However, as Giddens puts it, according to a research, if a news report on TV differs from a newspaper account, more than twice as many people will believe the televised version as the newspaper one (Giddens, 79). The listeners of the Nixon- Kennedy debate on the radio saw Nixon as the obvious winner. However, the ones who watched the debate on TV were sure that Kennedy would become the new president of the United States (Hughes, 4).

The TV viewers were right, but what made them think that way if it was the ideas that mattered? According to Giddens, if the current trends in TV watching continue, by the age of 18 the average child born today will have spent more time watching TV than in any other activity except sleep (Giddens, 449). In 1947, there were 170 000 TV sets in US homes, by the year 1991 the number reached to 750 million, and considering the fact that an average 18 year old American is exposed to approximately 350 000 TV commercials, the picture becomes more dramatic (Coupland, 182).

The persuasive affect of the television, therefore follows two steps. First it is the synthesis of video and audio, which means that it involves action and sound as the most realistic forms of communication making it the most popular electronic device ever prodced. We are more likely to accept what it tells us as the truth than any other medium. It is in the most respectful corner of our living rooms, where once our grandfathers use to tell fairy tales. It is a member of our family, that holds some magical ties with the outer world, through which we learn the deeds of our times.

It is the head of the household in the traditional sense, that tells us the right way to behave, the right goods to consume, the right people to choose. It survives with our confidence, that lasts forever despite all our criticisms. It socializes our lives, which we deliberately try to hide behind the curtain of the fast city life. It does this by visually integrating our materially disintegrated society, with its promotion of a stereotyped consumption fetishism.

It is the most favored mean of communication which “demands not to be spoken to while it is speaking- in the name of the TV- a law that any child will invoke against its stuttering parents” (ONeill, 13). The second step in the visual influence process starts at this point. For all the reasons described above, television is the most trustworthy medium to give us the subjective validity of our beliefs which can not be proved physically. It is the ultimate source from which we can get evidence about objective reality, motivated by our desires to form an accurate view of this reality and to act correctly.

Our uncertainty about the future and more importantly about our own time, which is expressed by individualism and the loneliness of the individual itself, increases our dependency on the television, and the role of this magical machine at this point is giving us the feeling of being part of a well functioning and united system. As ONeill writes; “the specular function of TV lies in its ability to individualize the mass while treating the individual only as a member of the masses” (ONeill, 181).

However, the most important effect of media, and especially TV, is not derived from the exposure of visual images and commercials that tend to create a popular consumer culture, but actually from what we are not exposed to. The gate keepers of the news industry control all the information, and decide on what to publish or broadcast, based on the ideology and the structure of the institution. This is not censor in classical sense, but rather an auto-control mechanism that functions for the survival of the system and the controlling of the public.

Therefore, whatever is presented in the news would rather be a part of the popular culture (created by the entertainment industry) or would serve it, since the popular culture itself is created for the growth of the capitalist economy and the homogenization of the society, which are essential elements for a stable system. In 1961, president Eisenhower talked about an acquisition of unwarranted influence by what he called the “military- industrial complex”, and stated that measures had to be taken to guard against this “potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power” (Roach, 17).

Colleen Roach makes an addition to this analysis, and underlines that since 1961, a new component has been added to the military- industrial complex; communication, and gives the following example: “In 1986, the intersection between communication, industry and the military became most apparent when General Electric (GE), one of the worlds major defense contractors, bought RCA and with it NBC” (Roach, 17). Lee and Solomon give supporting evidence about the integration of the media and the military- industry:

The boards of directors of the Big Three (CBS,ABC,NBC) are composed of executives, lawyers, financiers and former government officials who represent the biggest banks and corporations in the U. S. , including military and nuclear contractorsThere are numerous interlocks between the board of directors of the New York Times and the nuclear industry, which partially explains why it has been a fanatical supporter of nuclear weapons (Roach, 18).

Understanding the connection between the media and the military- industry gives us something more than its war promoting function, but shows its role in the decision making mechanism of our age. Any capitalist regime, not considering a dictatorship, needs the private enterprise for survival, therefore the extent that it can act against the private sector is very limited, and television lives with advertisement and sponsorship, rather than audience. Therefore, what we mostly see on the screen is what the sponsors promote, which are usually mechanisms to keep the society stable.

As Mosco puts it; “electronic communication and information systems (from ATMs to TV) make it possible to gather massive amount of information about the choices of different groups of people, so as to better manage and control group behavior (Roach, 46). Lets, now look at different examples of the use of TV as a mean of control over the society. Before January 1991, public opinion polls showed that the American public was split into two groups, 50% each, about whether the U. S. ould attack Iraq or not.

However, says Roach, if any antiwar voices had been heard in the mass media at this time, the outcome could have been completely different (Roach, 20). The second example turns out to be a more tragic one, when we talk about the freedom of speech. After, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the pictures of the irradiated Japanese were not made available to the American public until 1980s (Roach, 25). The following is an example of this “hiding” policy of the gate keepers.

In November 1983 the Americans had the chance to watch ABCs The Day After, which was about the survival of a small number of Americans after an atomic blast. The film dramatically showed the dark side of the nuclear technology, and in 1982 a Canadian director, Terri Nash made a documentary called, If You Love This Planet, and won the Academy Award. In his work, he used the Japanese films about the effects of the atomic bomb. However, “as of 1987, the U. S. Justice Department requires registration of screenings and persons viewing the film which it classifies as political propaganda”, says ONeill, and continues:

The difference between the two films is one that nuclear TV cannot stand, namely, that in one case we see the actual horror of a bomb dropped by Americans and that, in the other case, we see the fictional horror of a bomb imagined by Americans to have been dropped upon Americans by someone else. Thus TV is engaged in a retrospective political history on the nuclear front which parallels the current remaking of the Vietnam War and Americas re-humanization of military adventure (ONeill, 190-91). In both cases, we see the stabilizing function of the television.

Through an auto-control mechanism, and the promotion of what the authorities define as suitable, it manipulates reality into a socially comfortable and acceptable rhetoric. As the audience, we consider the tales of the television to be the most reliable ones, for now it is our new grandfather. Therefore, the control of the society through TV, by those who control it, and directing the society towards a certain destination, which is found to be the “way forward for humanity”, and keeping the system together by creating a popular culture based on consumerism; turns out to be a post-modern way of practicing authority in our post-modern lives.

After all, we breathe visually; we live with images, both of ourselves and of other people; we talk with the symbols of a mechanized life, “everything is under control” ; we pet the remote-control, not our little puppies; and we thankfully worship our TV set, for He has enabled us to be what we are today. We are the children of a new clan, and TV is the Good Shepherd of the post-modern times, preaching the virtuous American way of life, and He has long established “His Kingdom on Earth”.

The Media and our Violent Society

As you read a newspaper or watch the news on T. V. , you probably have come to the conclusion that violence is becoming a real serious problem in the world were we live. The nation has witnessed many acts of violence through the past few years. Some prime examples would be: O. J. Simpson, who was accused of murdering Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson; Susan Smith, who was found guilty of killing her own children; Timothy McVeigh, guilty of the Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building; Jeffery Dahmer, who was killed in prison after he was sentenced for the murders of several men.

Violence is a very broad topic, although it is categorized into many small groups. There is domestic violence, juvenile violence, hate violence, terrorist violence, and violence displaced through various forms of mass media. Domestic violence is a form of violence that usually occurs between individuals that reside in the same living arrangement. Domestic violence is one of the leading forms of violence. If you have ever seen one episode of the T. V. show Cops , you would have witnessed at least a couple of domestic disputes that the police were called to respond to.

This domestic violence is usually a result of an argument about money, emotional problems, or drugs and alcohol abuse. Most of the domestic disputes that become violent are not reported because of the fear the victim has for the offender. A very publicized illustration of domestic violence is the double murder of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. The accused murder was Nicole Brown Simpson’s husband, Orenthal James Simpson. I am from Towanda, which is a small rural town in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. The population of Towanda is roughly 2,200 people.

Being raise in a small rural town, I haven’t been a victim of any crime, but I have witnessed an increase in violence, especially domestic violence. A prime example of this would be an incident in April 1995 that occurred in Windham Township. This violent act was a double homicide. The victims of the crime were Regina Ann Clark and her 9-year-old son, Ausin Wade Hopper. The suspects in the incident are John Joseph Koehler and William E. Curley. Our local newspaper reported that, “Koehler was the teacher in a contract-killing lesson in Bradford County” (Corie).

The other disturbing fact was that Regina Clark, one of the victims, was the girlfriend of John Koehler. The trial for John Koehler is now in progress at the Bradford County Courthouse. “John J. Koehler, 35, Blackwood, N. J. is charged with criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, burglary, endangering the welfare of a child and possessing instruments of a crime” (Corie). “William E. Curley, 19, Rome, also charged in these killings, waived his right to a jury trial earlier this month.

At his trial before President Judge Jeffery Smith, Curley was found guilty of first and second degree murder and burglary” (Corie). “The body of Ms. Clark was found stuffed inside a refrigerator at a make-shift dump site along a rural road in Stevens Township. Two days later the small boy’s body was located in a sluice pipe under a road in Windham Township” (Corie). Besides this disturbing act of violence, recently there has been an attempted kidnapping that occurred April 14 in Dushore, which is a small town 45 minutes away from Towanda.

The victim was a 9-year-old girl, who was not harmed and returned home safely” (Turissini). “According to the police, the suspects are a white male, 25 to 35 years of age, bald or a ‘skin head,’ with no facial hair or glasses, and a white female with brown hair, worn in a ponytail” (Turissini). The statics I received on domestic violence are almost unbearable. “In a national survey of over 6,000 American families, 50% of the men frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children” (Straus).

Men who have witnessed their parents’ domestic violence are three times more likely to abuse their own wives than children of non violent parents, with the sons of the most violent parents being 1000 times more likely to become a wife beater” (Straus). The spouse isn’t the only one at risk in a violent relationship. Statics show that the children are also at risk. “Over 3 million children are at risk of exposure to parental violence each year” (Carlson). “Child abuse is 15 times more likely to occur in families where domestic violence is present” (Stacy).

Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against peers, family members and property” (Peled). “A comparison of delinquent and nondelinquent youth found that a history of family violence or abuse is the most significant difference between the two groups” (Miller). From these statics it is obvious that the child’s fate is in their parents’ hands.

Sex And Media Viewer Discretion Advised

Sex plays a major role in today’s society. From television, radio, music, and advertisements, to video games, the Internet, and even art and pictures, all forms of media use sex to help sell their products. With the public being exposed to so many different types, the overuse and exploitation of sex is common. Is sex a useful tool, or a ploy to get the attention of the public? Before discussing sex in the media, one must understand why it has come to be that people use sex as a gimmick. “The writing of modern history has resulted in a viewpoint that is nothing short of a stag party.

The history of women is ignored, hushed up, and censored in the most literal sense of the term. This method of eliminating the social and political destiny of half of humanity is the most effective form of supremacy. ” (Janssen-Jurreit 189) The world as it exists today, is still man-made, no less now then in the nineteenth century. Alice E. Courtney states, “Women’s self-awareness as females has until very recently reflected the world’s (mostly men’s) image of them; how well their personal performance matched male expectations.

These individual roles, as described by Oneill and Leone in Male/Female Roles: Opposing Viewpoints as the relationship of a man or woman to society on the basis of gender, became essential in shaping male and female attitudes towards one another. Over the past twenty years remarkable changes in these traditional male and female roles have been witnessed. The subsequent impact on men, women, and families due to these changes is believed to be, by many social historians, caused by the re-emergence of the women’s movement.

Oneill and Leone 138) Though a positive alteration of roles has occurred, how is it that children of this century still may obey stereotypes? “A baby is born knowing nothing, but full of potential. ” (Oneill and Leone 78) believe that the process by which an individual becomes a creature of society, a socialized human being, reflects culturally defined roles and norms. The first crucial question asked by parents of a newborn is “What is it, a boy or a girl? ” (Oneill and Leone 25) Other queries about attributes of health and physical conditions are only brought up afterwards, the first priority is to establish its sex.

Indeed, almost immediately, gender identity is permanently stamped on the child by the name it is given. ” (Oneill and Leone 26) Recent research has established beyond a doubt that males and females are born with a different set of “instructions” built into their genetic code. Studies at Harvard University and show that marked differences between male and female baby behavior are already obvious in the first months of life. Females are more oriented towards people. Male infants, on the other hand, are more interested in “things.

Stanford psychologists Karl Pribram and Dianne McGuinness conclude that women are “communicative” animals while men are “manipulative” animals. Some people believe this is hereditary, while others think that if boys and girls were brought up in exactly the same way then all behavioral differences between men and women would evaporate. Beginning in early adolescence, children develop their own ideas of male and female roles with the perception of the conduct and activities of his or her parents and other adults in their world, including characters on television.

Young people are exposed to advertising from a very early age. The effect says the American Institute of Education, especially of advertising on television, “has a significant bearing on girls’ and boys’ behavior, and their aspirations. To most children the commercial message is another piece of information received from the television set. It is often difficult for them to distinguish truth from fiction, particularly when the fiction is packaged in compelling words, striking images, and catchy music.

An overwhelming amount of the visualizations that young kids see are the stereotypical images of women and girls. “This almost makes it seem legitimized, states Linda Holtzman, as it is reinforced and perpetuated by the mass dissemination of these images in broadcasting. (Holtzman 112) Children know in their minds that women, like men, come in all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors, but they do not see this represented in the broadcast media. The increasing diversity of women’s lives is also omitted in most broadcasting.

For example, commercials and programming most often portray women as mothers performing domestic tasks, as economically dependent homemakers, or as sexual lures for products or decorative objects. “Such images constitute a limiting or narrowing of women’s, men’s, and children’s perceptions of themselves and their roles in society. ” (Dines and Humez 256) The overall content of television nowadays has changed dramatically from that of the past. Today characters deal more and more with important issues such as teen pregnancy, STDs, spousal abuse, and birth control.

Five to ten years ago, this subject matter was unheard of for use in programming content, as TV families tended to be occupied with trivial things such as outrageous clothing and hairstyles. A recent survey, done by the National Institute of Broadcasting, states that the majority of America’s youth between the ages of four and thirteen will be subjected to up to three hours of sexually suggestive advertisements per day. This totals one thousand and ninety five hours of sex per year. (Holtzman 124)

Why so much? “Sex Sells,” the old adage goes. (Goffman 89) Sexiness, as a component of the good life, is a staple for advertisers – Coca-Cola decorated its drug-store posters at the turn of the century with coquettish young women who male drinkers wished to date and female drinkers to emulate. (Davis 119) Finnish yogurt makers ran an ad with hot, young, well-built Finnish boys holding containers of yogurt, with the slogan “Less fat, more taste…. Eat it. ” This aroused a scandal and nationwide debate.

A formal poll was conducted on these ads and some interesting statistics were produced. Two-thirds of respondents were male, and two-thirds thought the ad was sexist. There was a sharp contrast in the female contingent, as the vast majority of whom thought the ads were sexy and quite acceptable. (Davis 243) These statistics just prove that when the shoe is on the other foot, women view ads much in the same way that men do, and men too are offended at seeing themselves portrayed as objects. Nowadays everyone seems so sensitive about anything brought up in the media.

Even when it comes to the etiquette of using sex appeal in advertising, it seems that there is a wrong way (exploit women) and a right way (exploit men). The pendulum has swung the other way now. If one is to gaze upon an exposed chest in an ad these days, chances are it belongs to a man. Male models have emerged as the politically correct “babes” of the 90’s. Yet, pray tell, where is the massive public outcry? ” (Goffman 188) Mediawatch, an organization that “monitors” the depiction of women and girls in the media, admits that you certainly see more naked male flesh today, than you did three years ago.

They contend that the effects of objectification on men and women aren’t equal because “men and women aren’t equal to begin with. ” Isn’t a double standard, by any other name, still a double standard? ” (Goffman 109) There is another more serious problem then offending the genders, with sex in the media today. “Advertising images featuring young models in suggestive poses are sending out sinister messages to pedophiles,” according to one of Australia’s leading forensic psychiatrists, William Glaser. He argues that some advertising messages are giving pedophiles subconscious approval to commit crime.

It’s a very subtle thing, but a young girl posing suggestively in a revealing bikini can send out the wrong message,” Glaser says. He adds, “I don’t blame the advertising industry, but feels it fuels the fire when it comes to pedophilia. ” (Holtzman 243) Also, many newspapers have recognized the attractiveness of sexual aggression as crime news, and therefore as prime news, lately. “While comfortably hidden under the cloak of objective crime reporting, sexual violence can be endlessly exploited for its titillating value, its crypto-pornographic quality and its sexist slant.

As rape and sexual assault became a more serious social problem in the 80’s, this prime news story has helped many papers to sell more copies in the competitive news market, while creating an impression of responsive and responsible reporting. Authors Gail Dines and Jean M. Humez alleged: “Newspapers are adept in sensing issues that arouse general interest and they then subtly alter the terms of the debate to achieve the end result of selling newspapers and making a profit… There is a thin line when it comes to educating the public on a problem, or exploiting it for its shock value. \

Although this is a horrible exploitation, there is yet another form of media even farther reaching than broadcast TV that rivals this problem. Viewed as an invaluable resource instrument, the Internet is the worst for having excessive sex in the media, as it is not regulated. All of the other forms of broadcasting have some form of committee or association that analyzes and approves all ads and shows before they are released to the public.

With the Internet, there currently are no effective ways of suppressing or regulating the content. There are programs such as Net Nanny that will not open sites containing certain material, but what’s stopping a kid from going over to a friend’s house, or to school, and accessing internet pornography sites? With it’s vast geographical span, the Internet has the most numerous amounts of possibilities for media purposes, due to it’s ability to reach anyone that has access to a modem.

Problems such as pornography and hackers generate a fear in a lot of people and scare them from using one of the greatest information resources of our world. We’ve all seen and heard how sex is used in today’s media. With all of these problems and outcries being raised about it, some may ask why is sex being used in advertising at all? Well sex is a part of life, everyone’s life. It is a common ground to all people. Everyone will experience it or will be or have been affected by it.

Producers, advertisers, writers and musicians must believe that if they include it in what they’re trying to sell to the public, people will somehow relate to it, and be drawn in by it. A lot of times, writers and critics are quick to condemn, and often over-analyze issues that may not be as horrid as they make them out to be. Sex in advertising can be a useful and educational tool, when employed properly, but if people in the media offend just as much of society as they win over, by producing worthless, excessive overloads of eye candy, then the use of sex as an advertising device is pointless.

Violence And Media

Television programming today can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior (Bee, 1998: 261-262). Unfortunately, much of today’s television programming is violent. For instance, the level of violence during Saturday morning cartoons is higher than the level of violence during prime time. There are about six to eight violent acts per hour during prime time, versus twenty to thirty violent acts per hour on Saturday morning cartoons (“Killing Screens,” 1994). Also, well before children finish their grade school, they will witness up to 8,000 murders and 100,000 violent acts on television (Levine, 1995: 143).

Moreover, children spend more time learning about life through media than in any other manner. The average child spends approximately twenty-seven hours per week watching television, which means that children spend most of their time only watching television and sleeping (Minow & LaMay, 1995: 32-33). Also, it has been proven by many studies that there is a positive relationship between television violence and behavioral problems in children. For example, research by Wood, Wong, and Chachere (1991:378) have shown that “exposure to media violence increase viewers’ aggression.

This paper will discuss that repeated exposure of young children and adolescents can negatively effect children’s behavior. This negative behavior can be acted out by imitation of violent acts observed on television, by accepting violence as a way to solve problems, and by desensitization to the amount of violence seen on television. Also, it will discuss how parents and teachers can prevent excessive viewing of television violence in children and adolescents. Children between the ages of one to four cannot always distinguish reality from fantasy.

Television programs for people of all ages is more often than not a fantasy world, yet young children do not understand that their favorite character does not exists in the real world. For example, because young children do not understand the line between fantasy and reality, one may find children “crawling down storm drains looking for them [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]” (Minow & LaMay, 1995: 33). This example clearly represents that children do not understand that their favorite characters are only made-up characters and that they do not exist in reality.

However, many children may act upon their favorite movie or film character in such way, that they will try to imitate them. Young children instinctively imitate actions, or rather model human behavior by observation without always possessing the intellect or maturity to determine if such actions are appropriate. For example, in Bandura’s modeling studies children expressed more aggressive behavior toward the blow-up doll called Bobo, when they observed an adult model “verbally and physically attack the doll in real life, on film, or in a cartoon (Westen, 1996: 206).

Therefore, due to the televisions’ programs role-model capacity to promote real world violence, there is a deep concern that watching violent programs on television will cause children to become more aggressive. As a result of viewing violent programs on television, children may become more aggressive toward other children, use violence and aggressiveness in their play, and use violence to solve their problems (Buckingham, 1997: 33; Abbot, 1997: 112).

Also, it has been suggested that young children will more likely imitate violent acts seen on television and model themselves to the character they like, if “the perpetrator of the violence is rewarded or at least not punished and when violence is presented as justified” (Ledingham et al. , 1993:4). A study has shown that children will more likely “pretend” or “imitate” the aggressor from a violent television program, when the aggressor is presented as the “good guy,” who is often the person in the show that punishes the “bad guy” (Cantor, 1998: 98).

Thus, it may be that children may often interpret a violent behavior of a character on television as a positive behavior, if the character was rewarded for his or her aggressive behavior. Children may also be more aggressive toward other children or even their parents, in order to get what they want. In most violent programs, as noted earlier, the aggressor is often rewarded for his or her violent and aggressive behaviors towards others. Also, in many television programs “violence…is typically shown as a successful way of solving problems and…people who are violent get what they want” (Bee, 1998: 262).

Therefore, one may suggest that children will express more aggressive behavior toward others, if they are denied a specific toy or an activity, such as going to the zoo. Perhaps the most telling example of children’s aggression can be seen after children see an advertisement on a desirable toy which is, more often than not, seen during children’s programming. Indeed, in one year the advertisers alone will spend over $470 million “on broadcast sponsorship aimed at children [who are] one of the hottest and fastest-growing consumer markets” (Minow & LaMay, 1995: 55-56).

About $168 billion is spent by parents in one year on children’s merchandise; a merchandise children have seen on television and would like to have (Minow & LaMay, 1995: 56). Children generally do not understand that advertised toys or other products cost money, and many of which may be well over family budget. However, columnist in Advertising Age said that “when you sell a kid on a product [and] if he can’t get it, he will throw himself on the floor, stamp his feet and cry” ( as cited in Minow & LaMay, 1995: 45).

Thus, if children learn from violent television programs that aggressive behavior may get them what they want, most of them will, therefore, try aggression to make their parents buy them a desirable toy. As noted earlier, children are exposed to enormous amount of violence before they finish their grade school, which can have a negative effect on their behavior as children and also as adults. Leonard Eron, a professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, followed children from eight years of age into their adulthood.

These boys had been exposed to a large amount of violence on television during their childhood and later in their adulthood. As a result of the amount of the exposure to the violent programming on television, the adults had the potential to commit more serious crimes by the age of 30. Also, the same adults may “[have] more aggressive behavior when drinking, and [the more television violence they watched] the harsher the punishment they inflicted on their own children” (Levine, 1995: 145).

Thus, the evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between viewing violent television programs and aggressive behavior in children and adults. However, not only do violent programs increase aggression and violence, but also children, who are already aggressive, will prefer watching violent programs on television in order to meet their taste. It has been proven that all children are born with “temperamental qualities [that are] carried in their genes” (Bee, 1998: 145).

Also, children who are “cranky, temperamentally difficult babies continue to show many of the same temperamental qualities ten years later” (Bee, 1998: 147). Likewise, aggressive children may prefer violent programs on television because “the fact that aggressive behavior leads to peer rejection means that aggressive children have fewer options for alternative activities” (Ledingham et al. , 1993: 7). On the contrary, children may often not watch the violent television programs for the violence itself, but will more likely watch it for the action that is portrayed in most violent programs.

For example, in a 1986 study researchers found that children would still be interested in watching television programs even with the absence of violence, and “eliminating violent content reduces the likelihood of stimulating aggressive behavior” (Cantor, 1998: 92). However, not many studies have been conducted in this manner, therefore “it would be premature to draw any conclusions about the effects of violence on children’s enjoyment” (Cantor, 1998: 92).

Earlier in this essay we have seen that the more children watch violent television programs, the more aggressive they may become. However, in many cases children, who are exposed to frequent viewing of violence on television, may become emotionally “desensitized” or less sensitive toward real life violence. For instance, children, who were exposed frequently to violence on television may accept and tolerate aggressive behavior in others more, than children who were not exposed to violent programs on television.

This may, however, have a negative impact on the children’s life because “the child may behave in a manner which is inappropriate in real life settings” (Ledingham et al. , 1993: 8). Most violent television programs show us that “violence is a social relationship” (“Killing Screens,” 1994). Violence often tells us who can get away with it and who deserves to be the victim. For instance, for every twelve women involved in a violent act there are ten male aggressors and women are half the time more likely to be the victim than the aggressor in many violent television programs.

Also, minority women are twice as likely to become the victims than to become the aggressors (“Killing Screens,” 1994). Also, violent television programs often portray “members of racial minorities as less powerful and poorer than the majority” (Greenfield, 1984: 43). Thus, children from various minority groups, such as female children, black children, or Hispanic children, may grow-up feeling more controllable by the majority of people in the society (often white men).

They also may grow-up more cultivated to accept their second place in society, as it has been portrayed on violent television programs (“Killing Screens,” 1994). This portrayal of minorities as powerless and poor may also affect the children and adults of minority groups as becoming the victims of racism, which may often result in violence, inability to have a job, or other negative aspects racism may bring upon people (Greenfield, 1984: 43).

Other evidence suggests that repeated viewing of violent television programs can lead to “a mean world syndrome” (“Killing Screens,” 1994); a belief for many children and adults that the “world [is] a more dangerous place than it actually is because violence is more salient and frequent on television than it is in most life experiences” (Ledingham et al. , 1993: 9). Thus, children and adults with fewer opportunities in society due to poverty, lack of education, health problems or other social aspects may end-up watching more television (Rosengren et al. 994: 146).

As a result, these people may feel more likely to become the victims of violence, to feel more in danger, to feel more insecure in the real world. Thus, they will demand protection from people who tell them they will protect them, and whom they will trust (“Killing Screens,” 1994). Although there are many behavioral problems with children who watch excessive amounts of violence, television programs can also have a positive effect on children of all ages.

For example, children who watched the television program called Sesame Street “gained in cultural pride, self-confidence, and interpersonal cooperation [and] white children…developed more positive views toward children of other races” (Greenfield, 1984:43). This positive attitude in children towards each other, without the barriers of aggression or racism, was due to the fact that Sesame Street often “portrays characters from various minority groups in a positive, nonstereotyped way”(Greenfield, 1984: 42), and violence is often absent in such children’s programs.

As noted earlier, children often learn how to behave from what they see on television, and the impact of television violence may be evident immediately in the children’s behavior or it may surface later in life. However, parents can protect their children from excessive television violence in many ways. First, parents should pay attention to the programs their children are watching and they should also watch with them. This would give the parents a chance to spend some time with their children and a chance to explain that what they see on television is not real.

Especially, a chance to point out that although the actor has not been actually hurt or killed such violence in real life will result in pain or even death (“Killing Screens,” 1994; Minow & LaMay, 1995: 161). Second, parents should set limits on the amount of time they spend watching television and also parents should challenge television’s power with other alternatives, such as reading or playing with friends. Reading would enable the children to use their own imagination, which is often oppressed by television.

Also, playing with friends may enable the child to practice his or her verbal communication, which is also oppressed by viewing excessive amount of television (Greenfield, 1984: 85-89). Third, parents should often disapprove of a violent program in front of their children, stressing the belief that such behavior is not the best way to solve a problem. Also, parents should refuse to let their children watch television programs known to be violent by changing the channel or turning the television set off, with the explanation of what is wrong with the program (Ledingham et al. 993: 10-13).

Fourth, parents should remember that they also are citizens, and together with other parents should demand the installation of a device called the v-chip into every television set. This v-chip is “a programmable computer chip that would allow parents lock out programs they deemed unsuitable for their children” (Minow & LaMay, 1995: 109-110). Therefore, a v-chip in a television set will enable the parents to watch their own program without the fear of exposing their own children. Last, parents should demand critical thinking be taught in all schools.

Children should be able to discuss with their teachers in school and parents at home what they see on television and in what manner the children perceive it. This type of education should be enhanced in every school in order to “encourage the children to watch critically and thoughtfully (Greenfield, 1984: 93-94). In conclusion, extensive viewing of violent television by children has the potential to cause greater aggressiveness. Children who view programs in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated, and unpunished are more likely to imitate what they see.

It is due to their inability to distinguish reality form fantasy and their inability to understand right behavior from wrong. Parents and teachers should take measures to prevent harmful effects their children are susceptible from television violence, such as aggression, racial and sexual stereotyping. The amount of time children spend watching television and what they watch should be moderated, because television prevents children from other more useful activities, such as playing outside, reading a book, or just spending time with their parents.

Mass Media and Its Influence Negative Influence on American Society

“It is the power that shapes and molds the mind of virtually every citizen, young or old, rich or poor, simple or sophisticated” (Sweet Liberty, 2000, 1). The media is a part of everyday life in America. News and events outside of one’s home or neighborhood are brought to their area via the newspaper, magazines, radio, television, and the internet. As the quote above mentions mass media, and its components, are very powerful and are capable of influencing one’s mind, as well as their behavior.

The images and stories introduced to children and young adults make it difficult for these viewers to distinguish between fact and fiction (Cable News Network, 1998, 3), thus stimulating confusion and blind emulation. In Torr’s Violence in Film and Television, film and television editor, Harvey Roy Greenberg, says that different forms of aggression, either spoken, sung, danced, or written have appeared in practically every “clime and time”. In other words, the media and violent entertainment have been around since ancient times.

In the Stone Age, violent images were painted and carved into their stone canvases, the Romans enjoyed gladiatorial combat, and the Victorian English enjoyed plays and puppet shows often featuring murder and swordplay as ways of exciting the audience (Torr, 2002, 15). Violence on television, or portrayed in literary form, may have been more mild and censored in the past, but all the same, the public was still vulnerable and easily influenced by what they witnessed and experienced.

Hollywood, currently, is very candid and graphic in its productions, especially depending on the director and editor. However, in contrast with today’s wild interpretations and brutal killings, in the 1930s, Hollywood abided by production codes. These codes “regulated all aspects of screen content, with an elaborate list of rules outlining what was permissible to show and what was not” (Torr, 2002, 22). As times changed and American society became more informed about reality and the violence which took place, the codes were modified, eventually leading to film ratings.

Although Americans were more aware and the ratings provided some restrictions, this did not mean that emulation and confusion were eliminated completely. ” virtually from the cradle, children in the United States are bombarded by violence on TV, in movies, and in song lyrics” (Cable News Network, 1998, 2). Children are easily swayed and influenced by the many images and pictures presented to them through the media. By high school graduation, children will have spent roughly 50 percent more time in front of a television than in front of a teacher (Dudley, 1999, 32).

Parents, often times, are too drained or pre-occupied with their own lives, leading their children to find comfort in watching television or playing video games which, consequently, become the prime examples for their actions and behaviors. “For all too many Americans, the real world has been replaced by the false reality of the TV” (Sweet Liberty, 2000, 2). These children hear the news and watch shows and films where innocent people are being stolen from or being killed, but they have nobody there to teach them the difference between what is real and what is not, what is right and what is wrong.

An article printed in Time magazine, titled Suburban Smackdown, is a great example of how the media persuades children to impersonate what they view on television. The article concentrates on the violence of wrestling and how some children and young adults are putting on shows, costumes, masks and all, for their neighbors based on these wrestling characters they see on TV. “It may not be the Rock vs. the Undertaker on prime-time TV, but the high school boys of the Extreme Wrestling Federation of Sayerville, N. J. ry hard to make their contests look just as real'” (Fonda, 2000, 49).

It may be fun and games for a lot of these kids, but images seen on a Best of Backyard Wrestling video included kids jumping onto barbed wire, setting their opponents on fire, and other kids somersaulting onto mattresses studded with sharp objects (Fonda, 2000, 49). “And the violence seems to be trickling down from teenagers to tots” (Fonda, 2000, 49). The Wrestling Federation and the high school boys’ imitation is similar to a slippery slope.

The professional wrestlers are not setting a good example for these boys by promoting fights and violence for no reason, other than winning a trophy, and these high school boys are not setting a good example for even younger children because they are expressing that violence is fun and “okay”. One year before this article was published, in Dallas, a three-year-old boy was killed after his seven-year-old brother stiff-armed him in the throat, trying to imitate a move he had seen on television (Fonda, 2000, 49).

After hundreds and thousands of years of media influence, it cost children’s lives and innocence for the pro-wrestling federations to run don’t-try-this-at-home ads during their matches. Children are a large majority of the population influenced by the media, but it is not them alone who imitate and follow what they see and hear on a daily basis. “Media experts say the last four decades of research have shown a clear correlation between violence on television and the development and display of aggressive values and behavior by both children and adults” (Torr, 2002, 99).

Adults watching the news are influenced by the events occurring locally as well as internationally; however, it not so much what they hear, but more how it is being presented. For example: “which items are emphasized and which are played down, the reporter’s choice of words, tone of voice, and facial expressions; the wording of headlines; the choice of illustrations–all of these subliminally and yet profoundly affect the way in which we interpret what we see or hear” (Sweet Liberty, 2000, 2).

Not only does the news affect the way adults think and view the society, but film and violent entertainment also play a large role in influencing their behaviors and actions. A good, very recent example involves Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of Christ. “. . . A Fort Bend County man has fanned the flames of the fervor when he confessed to killing his girlfriend after viewing the movie in hopes of seeking redemption” (Klentzman, 2004, 1).

The Passion of Christ’s message influenced this man in a positive way, in confessing for his mortal sin, but the other side to this positive media influence is not so bright Leach, the man convicted of the murder, suffocated his girlfriend and got the idea of making it look like a suicide from the weekly series CSI (Klentzman, 2000, 2). Music and its lyrics have also played an enormous role in shaping and molding American society’s minds. Today’s music is absolutely nothing like the Oldies. The modern-day society is accustomed to hearing music where 50 percent of the lyrics are what are considered “bad words”.

Heavy metal and rap lyrics have elicited the greatest concern, as they compound the environment in which some adolescents increasingly are confronted with pregnancy, drug use, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, injuries, homicides, and suicide” (Dudley, 1999, 55). Artists like Marilyn Manson and Eminem have parents worried because they do not want their children being exposed to such vulgar language, afraid they will try to emulate these particular artists and the stories conveyed through their lyrics, often times including the subjects of beating their wives or slitting their wrists.

Another good example of how the music world influences people’s minds and behaviors is the suicide of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. “‘When Kurt Cobain died, I died with him’ was the note left by an eighteen-year-old who, along with two other friends, executed a suicide pact following Cobain’s death” (Dudley, 1999, 34). MTV and other music stations play a crucial role in young adults’ lives. With continuous coverage of celebrities and music artists, many people find the need to conform. “Parental awareness, supervision, and discussion are critical variables in heading off additional tragedies” (Dudley, 1999, 34).

Video games have become a more recent trend, but just as the other sources of media, these games have the potential of influencing and molding the minds of children and adults. In the past, video games like Pong, consisted of a ball which would bounce off of two sticks. Nowadays, video games like Mortal Kombat or Grand Theft Auto, consist of cursing, shooting, beating, and killing humans and monsters. The National Coalition on Television Violence found that more than 75 percent of video games contained violent images (Sherrow, 1996, 71).

Many researchers believe that video games have a stronger effect on children than merely watching television because the players take a direct and active role in the violence; the researchers also believe that the players of these games will become desensitized towards violence and disregard human life because, in these games, they are able inflict pain, but no pain is inflicted back on them (Sherrow, 1996, 71). Many of these images mimic reality, using lifelike scenes and situations.

What we see happening, is that there is so muchrealistic-type violence portrayed in movies and other situationsThey think that if you shoot somebody, they get up” (Cable News Network, 1998, 4). As well as promoting violence, video games also encourage anti-social behavior. Instead of going outside and playing sports or interacting with other people, many people choose to stay indoors, in a dark room, playing on their video game systems. With the advancement of technology, how can one forget the Internet? Since its development in 1993, the Internet has been an excellent resource for research, entertainment, and communication.

However, the Internet also has many flaws. Like video games, the Internet also encourages anti-social behavior; one may be able to communicate through AIM services and such, but it is possible to be addicted to the Internet. Those addicted to the Internet do not feel the need to socialize in another setting, perhaps outside. Also, the Internet has many websites for games, interesting facts, and useful yellow page information; however, it also has many websites very inappropriate for children and young persons, like pornography or violence.

As mentioned above, lines of communications are often opened up through the Instant Messaging services, although this may be a positive thing, it can also lead to dangerous and harmful situations. For example, children using the Internet and talking to their friends through instant messages may enter chat rooms. These chat rooms are full of strangers and people of all ages trying to take advantage of young minds. For instance, there have been many cases where older men have posed as 10-year-old boys in order to meet up with a child of the same age group and rape or kidnap them.

Parents may try to block and limit what their children see or do on the Internet, but with the education and information children and young adults receive today they can easily break the “locks” placed upon their access on the computer. Although media images may be enlightening, a lot of the time they are disturbing and provocative, especially depending on the audience. “Common sense just tells you that there’s obviously an influence. Television is the most powerful medium in the world. Movies, the entertainment industry, the music industry, they’re very powerful” (Cable News Network, 1998, 14).

As one is able to tell, the mass media is present in our everyday lives. By watching the news, reading the newspaper, watching the television set, or going to the movie theatres, the media is always there. Whether one may realize it or not, in one way or another, the media has influenced their behaviors and/ or actions. From birth to death, people in America will live in a society in which their education and their futures revolve around the mass media and its messages, whether they are positive or negative; it is the American way of life.

Influences of Mass Media in Sport

When communication is spread not just between two individuals but rather between tens of millions of people it is known as mass media. Mass media is known as the central nervous system of society. Mass media has many different purposes, such as providing information, entertaining, persuading and also by carrying a vague general function of culture to millions of people. (Frederick 18). In order for mass media to exist, there must be an audience. Today’s society is very selective; each receiver reacts differently through his or her own experience and orientation according to mass media.

Therefore, mass media exists in many different forms such as magazines, television, newspapers, internet, motion pictures, and even plays. Some examples of these forms of mass media are cosmopolitan magazine for young modern women and TSN television network for sports fans. With such extreme varieties of mass media existing in today’s societies there are three major constraints that seem to have an impressionable impact. These constraints can keep mass media very restricted. The major constraint of mass media is competition.

Each form of mass media wants to be the one to target the audience, so therefore competition between mass media is very strong, because capturing the inside of the sports world is critical. Apart from the competition among the various forms of media there is also competition among each form of the media example Fox network competes with all television networks for a market share of the audience. Network companies such as Fox buy the contracts to show American football games for millions of dollars, which they in turn make their money back through companies wanting to advertize on their network during these football games.

The audience Fox attracts by showing these games also provides an audience for companies wanting to advertise their products and provides potential customers for their products. This life cycle exists in all forms of media apart from just television, newspapers try to cover the best stories in all areas of life from tradegy to sports and entertainment. From a sociological stand point in today’s society sex and violence attracts audiences. By examining the internet, which is the newest form of mass media internet companies that provide the most outrageous websites with sex and violence are the most watched websites.

Media Companies compete with each other on those levels by looking at what attracts the most attention and trying to provide it. Although the audience are the ones who decide what information is important and this decides what groups of mass media get the most attention the influence of the media in today’s world really guides them in helping them make that decision without their actual knowledge. If your story isn’t important to the audience then your media is taking up space, so therefore you either have to produce what the audience wants or you will not be able to survive in the competitive world of mass media.

In order to survive in society you must offer the general public information they are interested in. Money also puts constraints on what an individual gets to know. If a person can’t afford to buy a television that is restricting them on the knowledge that they are able to consume. Also, companies run on budget plans, and if there is no money in the budget, they are unable to provide information to a society. For every story that is produced, or every television commercial aired that could have been many more, to follow.

But with limited money in the budget plans, an audience’s view also becomes very limited, because if the media doesn’t have the money to produce the information that is information that a society loses out on. Time is also another constraint because is doesn’t make a difference on the amount of media there is, there will only be twenty four hours in each day and not all a person’s time can be devoted to the effects of mass media. With the consideration of all these constraints this may create many difficulties for mass media, these difficulties will have a reflection on society as well.

In media these constraints are known as noise. All media within each other create noise, but with all the conflicting views, within lies a pattern, that shows some element of truth. (Frederick 10). The purpose of this paper is to state how mass media influences sport. The point that is being made in this paper is to show how mass media influences society, and how it influences sports within a society. To show how sport influences society, the game of basketball will be used. Mass media is a reflection of society.

Mass media are essential agents of social change, and the specific kind of social change they are expected to help accomplish in the transition to new customs and practices, and in some cases, to different social relationships. (D’seuza 27). Also agents of social control exist. As a result of all these alterations a significant change in an individuals attitudes, beliefs, skills and social norms may result. Before the existence of radio, mass media were barely existent except in print. But with all the developments in technology mass media continually progresses, in many different directions.

Different individuals are selective in the way that they let mass media influence their lives. For example, if a person decides to read a book they are getting to determine what aspects of the mass media they consume. Books are the most individual of mass media. (Frederick 156). But when a person watches television it is not as personal as reading a book, television is built into society. Television’s commercial and entertainment emphasis both reflect and affect the hedonistic and acquisitive nature of contemporary America.

Frederick 264). With the constant production of commercials and varying types of entertainment there seems to rising controversy throughout society. Mass media has many positive effects on many people, in countries such as India, mass media had made a tremendous change. People in rural communities are now able to communicate back and forth, children of this country are now able to obtain and expand on their education, there are continuous improvements in their health care system and even modern agricultural techniques are being developed.

These results of the mass media in India have had many positive effects on their society. But not everybody agrees that mass media has had a positive effect, some believe that it has damaged societies beyond repair. Since mass media has such an overwhelming influence on society, it may end up shaping the way and individual thinks. A good example of this is through advertising. It is advertising, by large, that supports the United States’ pervasive and extraordinary diverse mass media system. Advertising major focus is the better you display a commodity the more of the commodity you sell.

The private sector gives the advertising industry the money to sell their products, and the company that offers the most capital is the one who gets their product aired. This is where one of our major constraints, known as, competition comes into play. Whatever company holds the most capital decides what we as a society get to consume. Advertisers will say that they produce what the consumer demands but on the other hand they are putting many limits on what we get to consume. With the constant growth of mass media many individuals have been offered tremendous opportunities.

This paper will use the influences of mass media in the world of sports, too show examples of these opportunities. Both the positive and negative effects of the mass media will be outlined. The first reported Sports Coverage appeared on May 5 1733. Reporters used to report on the philosophy. Electronic media: (i. e. type written stories), started to be used in 1850. In the 1920’s radio stations started to broadcast sporting events live. Experimental Television broadcast where started in the 1950’s. Sports Illustrated prints an average of three million copies per week.

Sport has become an influential part of the entertainment industry, the mass media (particularly television) have become intimately involved in the growth, production, and control of modern sports. ( McPherson 146). The term mass media provides information describes the process that allows people to communicate rapidly and simultaneously with a large percentage of the population. ( McPherson 146). In our society sports are a major part of a new mass culture, as well as popular music, movies and television shows. Most people watch sports through the television.

People also follow sport thought magazines and radio. From watching the television programs and reading the reports our society learns to love and/or hate the sports icons in our world. The media does not seem to hold anything back. Media coverage is not just limited to professional sports. They cover amateur sports as well. These sports are covered at a local, provincial and national level. Coverage is from anywhere from little league to college sports. We as a society like to know all the information about our sports heroes. The mass media is more then willing to provide us with this information.

Sometimes they provide more information then most of us want to know. The boundaries of people’s personal privacy are denied. They find out the history, family background, current lifestyle etc. of these players. There are not to many other people in our society that this happens to. These players most feel that there privacy is being invaded almost all of the time. This is not just isolated to sports figures, politicians and key public figures are in the spotlight as well. Most major sports clubs pay reporters to report on their teams.

By doing this it protects them so that the reports will report on the positive aspects of their teams. The negative aspects are toned down to some extent. They need to provide some negative aspects because if they didn’t they then a lot of people may lose interest. An example of this is that you don’t see as many highlight reels of home runs anymore. They want to promote the game as more of technecical product The media chooses what they report or do not report they enhance certain act and downplay others. People perceive the media as just report in the facts.

In actuality they are report a narrated story that someone has composed. As Alan and John Clarke said: It selects between sports for those which make good television, and it selects within a particular event, it highlights aspects for the viewers. This selective highlighting is not natural or inevitable – it is based on certain criteria, certain media assumptions about what is ‘good television. But the media not only select they also provide us with definitions of what has been selected. They interpret events for us, provide us with frameworks of meaning in which to make sense of the event.

To put it simply, television does not merely consist of pictures, but also involves a commentary on the pictures-a commentary which explains to us what we are seeing … these selections are socially constructed-they involve decisions about what to reveal to the viewers. The presentation of sport thought the media involves an active process of re-presentation: what we see is not the event, but the event transformed into something else-a media event. ( Eitzen 98-99). Sports media has it’s own language. This language is both ethnically and gender focused.

When people are reporting sports events they report differently male then female players, black then white players, just for some examples. Most white players receive performance; related comments directed towards them. On the other hand black players receive negative comments and also you also hear negative comments about their level of play. White players received more attention in replays and more excuses for mistakes (e. g. , he is playing with an injury) (McPherson 155). While a black player they might say doesn’t possess the skills and that is way they couldn’t compete.

The media portray women in the sports society as not being the equal to men. More attention is focused on male sporting events. If an advertiser is going to fund a female basketball game and or a male basketball game then the money would be mainly directed the towards the men’s game. The advertiser has to go to the event that is going get the most viewers. If women are portrayed less frequently than their participation merits and if stereotypical or negative themes are stressed when women are included, this may have an impact on the socialization of young girls’ and boy’ view of women’s sport. (McPherson 155).

If we do not promote young girls to follow their dreams, not only in sport but: in every part of life then they may be missing out on something. When we do this it may discourage young girls to play sports. Because for so many years our society has told women and girls that they could not play sports or at least could not play them as well as men. This theory has been disproved over the years. The media is starting to release this and they are now focusing more time then they did to women’s sport. They are televising women’s basketball, tennis, golf, etc. more often. The part that still needs to be focused on again is the commentary.

People would suggest that all commentary is equal i. e. , black and white athletes as discussed earlier. Commentators tend to portray female athletes as the lesser/weaker of the two genders. In women’s basketball gender is marked both verbally and graphically. The NCAA final four is a prime example; the men’s final is known as and presented to us by the media as NCAA FINAL FOUR. Where as the women’s final four is presented to us by the media as NCAA Women’s Championship. In actuality they are both the final four but the media has created NCAA FINAL FOUR. This (the men’s final four) is the most viewed college tournament of the year.

If they differentiate them then they can focus on the markets they want to. The men’s championship they are going to focus mainly on males 18 to 22 years of age. This way they can gear their advertising accordingly. The media control sport in the fact that the teams and organizations depend on the media in order for them to survive financially. During major sporting events changes are made to appeal to the television audiences, some of these changes are; sudden death games, scheduling evening games, broadcasters to entertain instead of just report facts, TV time outs, more media representative at Olympics then competitors.

Sponsorship in the sports world is huge, Companies pay unbelievable amounts of money to teams as well as to players to promote their products. These companies may choose a player as a child and follow their career to help boost their sales in their products. The media helps create a link between the players or athletes and their audience by showcasing these athletes in programs even outside their playing arenas. The players are presented as gods or icons to the audience which makes these sporting events even more popular. Promoters use marketing ploys like to be best you need to wear what the best wears.

Children then go to their parents and express the desire for these items. The mass media are the main sources of capital for sports teams, college as well as professional. They dictate when and where games are going to be played and also decide which teams are going to receive the most attention by the audience who are the viewers. It is not by chance that Monday Night Football is on at that particular time because . This gives the promoter the choice to focus on their niche market. I’m sure the players don’t want to play on Monday night at 9:00pm.

If you are a promoter it doesn’t matter to you, you go where the money is. In a sense this make the players puppets for the promoters. Careers of players can also be affected by the mass media. Dennis Rodman would not be the person he is today if the mass media didn’t dive into every facet of his life. He loves the show and the media promotes his performance on and off the court to the public. Basketball was invented as a recreational sport, but now considered a universal sport. The introduction of this sport to the rest of the world started in the late nineteenth century as a form of recreation.

Universities began incorporating this new recreational game into their sporting activities and were considered a male oriented sport. Women were not recognized at the time as basketball players even if they had an interest in the sport. Throughout the years basketball was transformed from a recreational sport into competitive sport and the players competed for a prize which in its early existence was a trophy or medal. The media in all forms such as television, radio, Internet and newspapers never took an interest in the sport until the end of world war two.

At the time people’s interest in the sport was growing rapidly mainly because of the transformation of the sport from a recreational sport to a competitive sport. Universities and private businessmen who spotted the potential success of the sport invested their capital in building stadiums for athletes of the sport to compete. In the early 1950’s professional leagues were starting to develop across the United States as more private business men realized profits in relative terms meaning essentially the profits made were considered great in that time period.

At the time the main form of media in households across the United States was the radio and newspaper few households had televisions and live coverage of games were seen by a few. The rules and the format of the game had to be changed to make the game more interesting to fans of the sport and many sports historians contribute basketball transformation over the years to the media involvement. Media coverage of sporting events such as basketball grew dramatically as more and more households had both radios and televisions. In fact the television a medium contributed the most to the transformation of basketball.

The media has shaped the public’s opinion on basketball and through the media people seem to have a more profound interest in the sport of basketball. In the early years of basketball’s introduction to the western world the average age for men to participate in the sport was 17 years old now boys and girls start from the early age of 7 years old. The participation level in the sport was heavily influenced by the media, the sport which was label a male sport has now seen a drastic increase in women participation over the years due mainly to media attention and coverage.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s athletes competing in the professional leagues of basketball did not even make enough money sometimes to support themselves and had to find other jobs part time to generate a better source of income. The main mental frame of mind of athletes in that sport in the 1950’s was winning. Today with media coverage and the average life span of a players career increasing most players in their early years try to make money through endosments and large contract deals and do not concentrate on the main goal of a competitive sport which is winning until the later stages of the career when money no longer becomes an issue.

In the NBA, media coverage has increased the capacity of fans for teams mainly due to the fact that the invention of television and other technological advancements which attempts to bring the games and players into the households. People no longer have to attend games to be considered a fan of the sport or cheer their favorite team or player. Fans of the sport can enjoy the entertainment of a basketball game in the pleasure of their home which in sense could be considered better than actually going to the game live because it is much cheaper than going to the game.

Media coverage of basketball extends further than just the NBA to high school, NCAA (collegiate basketball) and both sexes male and female are showcased nowadays, although basketball was considered a male sport. The media attention on women’s basketball has actually increased women participation in basketball and could be considered the main contributor to the expansion of women’s basketball although women actually fought against sexism in basketball the media really helped their expansion efforts.

The media has really expanded the game of basketball to international arenas and countries have now established their own leagues, which are actually competitive with American leagues such as the NBA and CBA. Media in all forms has created such an audience for the sport of basketball countries with established leagues compete for players with the NBA although they probably don’t get the best players as yet but the growth of these leagues show the potential to reach the status of the NBA some day.

The media could take full responsibility of creating the growth of basketball in the world, most schools and government programs that provide recreation for children and adults build basketball courts, which shows the growth of the sport, which is as a direct result of media, attention. To really evaluate the effects of the media in sport focusing on basketball the positive and negative aspects should be analyzed. Some of the positive and negative aspects of the media on the sport of basketball are mentioned below.

Medias Importance to Society, In Spite of Adverse Effects

It has been said that the media is a bad influence on society. This is true in some cases, but we have to also add this to the statement; society also influences the media by what it chooses to promote or watch. Media is a very important part of society today. Even with its adverse effects, we could not live without it. To start with, it is only fair to ask why society thrives off the media. Society, at least the past few generations have always had an influence from media in some form or another.

Media in most circumstances is a way for the members of society to keep themselves informed on what is happening around them, which is even more vital with our world becoming globally connected. Media is also a major source of entertainment. Some forms of media are made for the sole purpose of entertaining the masses. However, the media is forced to produce entertainment that the society requests. So, if society is the one requesting the type of media being produced, how can we blame media for producing it?

We ask, What are these adverse effects being produced by the media? This topic is broad enough to be covered in a paper of its own but can basically be summed up in a few major parts: desensitization of society, general sense of fear and chaos, disconnection from God and morals, loss of imagination, and an excuse for laziness. Studies have found that by the age of sixteen years, most children have watched more television than they have spent time in school (Witt 322).

The Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy also questions the intent of some news programs, mentioning scientific research asking whether or not they are promoting science or sending out information they do not comprehend, thus generating scientific noise (Fitzpatrick 95). All of these are things that have stemmed from the mass broadcasting of an individual’s ideas through the media that are picked up by many. But, can we blame the media? For almost everything produced is produced with a target audience in mind, a group of people who want to and are willing to pay for the production of that media source.

Yet, we cannot leave out the positive effects of the media. The media is a tool for mass communication, entertainment, and knowledge, all of which are important to the way the society, as individual communities and as a whole global community, functions. Amy Dickinson, who worked for a network station and also claims to be an avid television watcher, says that television must be taken in moderation and should be done as a family activity. She states that media can be a positive influence when presented in the proper way (Dickinson 114).

In most cases, it is just easier to look at the flaws in something before realizing the positive effects it has. Again, sit back and take a look at how much we depend on the media in our lives, how it affects us in either a negative or positive way, and then we must make our decisions about the media. No matter what opinion we may have, similar or different, we all know the media is not going to be disappearing, but will only be growing. Therefore, if we do foresee problems with the way media and society influence each other, we need to correct them before we as a society become even more attached to its presence.

Violence in Media: You Are What You Watch

The rising tide of crime in North America exists primarily in the minds of the media. Television has created a perception that crime has multiplied, double or triple, in the past quarter-century due to violence. In fact, US Justice Department survey data shows, crime in the US has dropped 24 percent since 1971 and violent crime is down 2 percent. Crime statistics serve the media well. The single-minded reporting of violent news, the presentation of violent movies and violent reality-based “cop” shows has made violent crime a growth industry for the television, press, and media. Violence bombards us constantly.

Networks shoot in sequence one violent scene after another, delivering untold numbing horror into Canada’s living rooms, bedrooms, and nurseries. Taped TV violence, unlike real violence, repeats over and over in an accelerating pattern. The sounds and scenes of violence echo, firing in every direction without concern for targets or casualties. Canadians are developing a vision of themselves as hopeless victims of criminal forces they cannot control and cannot understand. While TV grows rich on violence, the nation is threatened by loss of self-esteem, fear of crime, and fear of our neighbours.

A permanent impression is made on the innocent minds of young children too young to read or speak. TV is destroying society’s respect for human life. Daniel Boorstin, librarian of US Congress, said that TV has the power “to conjure up a self-created reality that can mold public values and influence behaviour. ” The Canadian Government guarantees free speech and free press, but conjuring up anti-social values for our children is hardly what they had intended. Like it or not, TV has taken over the role of passing down the traditional values to our younger generation. It has replaced the role formerly filled by elders.

For a long time, elder members of the community have passed on family stories, history, and cultural myth. However, children who cannot yet talk can absorb the values transmitted by TV, ie. “violence is an accectable means, perhaps the preferred means to resolve conflicts and solve problems. ” TV violence makes a permanent impression on young children. It has been suggested that parents control the TV that children watch. Hardly. Many parents are working singles or couples who must rely on others for the parenting and raising of their children. Baby sitters use TV as the easiest source of entertainment for the children.

Media And Culture

A sign system is representation through communication which in turn leads to a shared meaning or understanding. We hold mental representations that classify and organise the world (whether fact or fiction), people, objects and events into meaningful categories so that we can meaningfully comprehend the world. The media use sign systems through newspapers, magazines, television,internet, and the radio etc. The conceptual map of meaning and language are the basis of representation. The conceptual map of meaning, are concepts organised, arranged and classified into complex relations to one another.

The conceptual map of meaning although allows you to distinguish your own individual interpretation of the world, at the same time as holding similar views to that of other people in your culture. As the meaning is produced and constructed and in turn learned by a particular group of people. Therefore sharing conventions and codes of their language and culture. Signs can only convey meaning if we possess codes which allow us to translate our concepts into language. These codes are the result of social conventions which lead to the shared maps of meaning.

These shared meanings are learnt unconsciously as we become members of a culture. If we have a concept of something in our minds we can say we know the meaning of this concept. However we cannot express or communicate this meaning without the second system of representation, language. Language is the only way in which meanings can be effectively exchanged between people, as people within the same culture are able to interpret the sign of language in the same manner. As the meanings become natural through the conditioning of culture.

For example the word white in Australia represents a colour of purity, however in China it is the colour of death. Demonstrating that different cultures have not only have different meanings in their shared conceptual maps, but a different language to express it. As meanings change rapidly throughout cultures to really understand another culture you must live there and speak the language for some time. Cultural, social, political, and linguistic conventions are learned over time. The three theories of representation, reflective, intentional and constructionist approaches explain how representations through language work.

The reflective approach is where language functions as a mirror of the particular elements perceived meaning. The intentional approach, is where the authors individual views of the world are expressed. Whereas the constructionist approach is where we the audience construct the meaning through our shared conceptual maps and language. The media use these sign symbols so that an association can be made to the object, person, event, or idea etc. With this information of representation and language the media can familiarise people with many things, such as cultural knowledge.

As advertising surrounds consumers, concern is often expressed over the impact on society, particularly on values and lifestyle. While a number of factors influence the cultural values, lifestyles, and behaviour of a society, the overwhelming amount of advertising and its prevalence in the mass media suggests that advertising plays a major role in influencing and transmitting social values. In his book Advertising and Social Change, Ronald Berman says; The Institution of the family, religion and education have grown noticeably weaker over each of the past three generations.

The world itself seems to have grown more complex. In the absence of traditional authority, advertising has become a kind of social guide. It depicts us in all the myriad situations possible to a life of free choice. It provides ideas about style, morality, and behaviour. While there is general agreement that advertising is an important social influence agent, opinions as to the value of its contribution are often negative. Advertising is criticised for encouraging materialism, manipulating consumers to buy things they do not really need, perpetuating stereotyping, and controlling the media.

The media must consider the cultural variables of each country, such as the complexity of learned meanings, norms, language, customs, tastes, attitudes, religion, traditions, education, lifestyle, values, and the ethical/moral standards shared by members of each society. These variables must be learnt by the media as not to offend the group they are portraying. Cultural norms and values offer direction and guidance to members of a society in all aspects of there lives.

Every country exhibits cultural traits that influence not just the needs and wants of consumers but how they go about satisfying them. The media must be aware of the connotations of words and symbols used in their messages and understand how advertising copy and slogans are translated. Advertisers can also encounter problems with the connotative meaning of signs and symbols used in their messages. However within a given culture there are found smaller groups or segments, whose variables (as listed above) set them apart from the larger cultural mainstream.

Known as subcultures the media must also learn about their variables as they are just as important due to their size, growth and purchasing power. Such as the Asian or Italian communities in Australia. The study of culture has led to generalisations that may apply to all cultures. Such characteristics are known as cultural universals, which are manifestations of the total way of life of any group of people. These include such elements such as bodily adornments, court-ship, etiquette, family gestures, joking, food, mealtimes, music, personal names, status differentiation and trade.

These activities occur across cultures, but their manifestations may be unique in a particular society, bringing about cultural diversity. Common denominators can be found, but how they are accomplished may vary dramatically. These elements are both material and abstract. Primarily through the media these images are where we find references to conjure images of other countries representations. These signs are made common to the masses through the media, which in turn through repetition reinforces the image as common.

The media use repetition and consistency of a few stereotypical elements to reinforce the central role of the image, linking it to a specific culture. These stereotypes produce otherness from the dominant culture, by focusing on a few different attributes of another culture. This often gets reduced to easy to digest differences such as food, clothes, appearance and music. Which suggests that culture is based on material things around us, a culture of possessions. However these representations avoid important issues that could be very different between cultures.

Advertising perpetuates some of the myths associated with certain cultural groups such as, African American men are good at sports, The French are arrogant and Australians are lazy. As Chiara Giaccardi said in TV Advertising and Social Reality;Advertisements tend to capitalise upon recurrent images and forms of presentation; in so doing they reinforce them, not so much through the individual texts as through the accumulation and repetition of ritualised representation during the entire advertising flow. Advertisements refer not only to things and situations but also a way of seeing and interpreting them.

Advertisements constitute a repotoire that viewers can draw upon both for representing and understanding themselves and for making sense of their external reality. Advertising shapes reality to serve capitalism and the post modern position, according to which advertising offers a pleasurable synthetic experience as a surrogate for reality. (Chiara Giaccardi,TV Advertising and Social Reality) Advertising is therefore meaningful as it creates a sense of familiarity with the ways of experiencing it in a represented form.

However as Gillian Dyer states in Advertising as Communication;We must recognise that the images conveyed by the media have, over the last thirty years, become so sophisticated and persuasive that they now organise our experiences and understanding in a crucially significant way. Advertisements encourage extravagant expectations because they are more dramatic and vivid than the reality – reality cannot match up to the image. Therefore cultural knowledge is obtained through the medias sign system.

Which is evident through my knowledge of many countries and cultures without ever travelling overseas. Stereotypical elements of particular cultures shown through the media allow me to have perceived meanings and understandings of other cultures. However the stereotypes of culture portrayed through media signs are predominately tourist stereotypes. There are many advertisements in the print, audio and visual media that portray cultural knowledge. Particular signs that we can link to specific cultures, due to the familiarisation with them through the media.

For example the television commercial for Simpson washing machines which showed Indian Dhobi washer women banging their clothes against a washing machine to clean them, instead of a nearby rock. Using the tag line The hardest working appliances in the world, suggesting that the product is trustworthy and has stamina. The sign systems that the media used where firstly the opening shot of the Ganges River in the foreground with Indian temples in the background. You then see a mass of Indian women in traditional dress washing clothes in a traditional manner.

Although hard working the commercial suggested that their product was also as strong as a rock. The use of the washing machine as a rock for clothes washing and the dumbfounded look on their faces when they saw the electrical plug, suggests that India is a third world country and the people do not have electricity. Although they did not know how to use the machine they continue to use it in place of a rock. Throughout the entire commercial traditional Indian music was played. The music and appearance of both the people and the structures clearly suggests to the viewer that it is India.

However these signs would not have been recognised without prior media familiarisation. Therefore through cultural stereotypes providing cultural knowledge. Another example is the West End Gold beer commercial. Animation is used to view two mosquitoes talking to one another. The setting is a barbecue with a group of stereotypical macho male friends getting together after a hard days work to eat food and drink beer. The mosquitoes are happy that the men are now drinking mid strength beer as they are not falling asleep, making fools of themselves, and they are able to drink more blood.

Although referring to themselves it was clear they were actually talking about the men involved. Suggesting that they can spend more time with their friends, consume more beer and have more fun. The commercial was set in a middle class backyard, which features a run of the mill Australian barbecue in which the beer is helpful to people with subtle humour. Traditionally Australian beer commercials have portrayed beer as a reward for hard manual labour or driving through the desert, such as the Victorian Bitter campaigns.

The Australian cultural signs used were the image of the macho male okka, drinking beer, having a barbecue with only male mates. I believe these images are used to promote the Australian barbecue culture. These images are also known across the world due to the movie Crocodile Dundee. Another example is the use of the Mexican cultural stereotype to promote a new McDonald’s burger. As the burger had an added sauce that was spicy the advertisers used the Mexican image to portray this. As traditionally the Mexicans eat very spicy food such as Tacos.

You instantly know that the characters are Mexican due to their appearance, dark skinned, long moustaches, wearing ponchos and sombreros, riding horses through the desert. The music and appearance of the characters are the main signs used to recognise Mexico. However the poor dubbing of their voices and the words ondelay ondelay are also common cultural signs portrayed in the media. Italian signs are also often used to sell food products such as pizza and pasta. For example the Dolmio commercials that use to be on television.

They showed a large Italian family(Italians like large families) having pasta for dinner(traditional Italian meal), they had napkins tucked into their shirts(suggesting they were going to eat a lot of food in a messy manner), the characters were primarily large, they used the words mama and papa(Italian words for mum and dad) and the main character had pasta sauce on his mouth with the tag line do you wear the Dolomio grin. All of which are signs the media use to portray Italian people. Once again the music also played a major role in recognising the cultural stereotypes. Even the name Dolmio sends a linguistic message of Italianicity.

If the media do not understand the cultural characteristics of a country they would not be aware of the shared cultural values of the community and could easily offend the country. For example the eating of beef in India is not practised, the colour white is a symbol of death in China, and the left hand in some countries is known as the toilet hand. This demonstrates the differences in culture that could be very embarrassing for companies. The simplicity of colour or a name could be very offensive and have disastrous implications, which demonstrates the necessity for market research.

However I believe that cultural values also need to be lived to be learned, for more accurate results. The media are a very powerful tool of communication. They are used as a tool to educate, inform and entertain people all over the world. However the common sign sytems in which they use to portray many groups are often sterotypical. I know that Australian men are not all like what is portrayed in the beer commercials, due to experience of the culture. However all I know ofd the other cultures around the world is what the media portray, therefore providing me with my cultural knowledge.

Media Violence and The Effects on Children

On September 11th, 2001, millions around the world crowded around televisions across the globe, watching the horrific scenes of terrorism that had struck New York City, Washington, D. C and Pennsylvania on that ill-fated and now infamous morning. Our sense of security and impenetrable protection crashed 110 stories to the shaken streets of New York City.

We watched with shock and horror, disbelief and grief as the images were repeatedly flashed before our eyes, with the all the drama of the plane crashing through the World Trade Center and bursting into an indescribable ball of fire and of the surreal scenes of demolished piles of what used to be the Twin Towers of New York City. We witnessed desperate pleas for help from family members of missing victims. We were shown images of the wounded victims and of the unimaginable destruction in the streets of New York.

Our expeditious system of mass media provided us with an immediate window to this dramatic and unprecedented tragedy. We were not alone as we stood looking through this window to the trauma and terrorism enveloping us. As we looked on with fear and horror, so did children. As we watched the 24-hour coverage of the events unfolding, so did children. Every major station broadcast continuous coverage of the “attack on America” for days following the tragedy.

While networks provided live coverage, personal interviews and professional analysis, cable stations flashed messages of condolence and sympathy across the bottom of the screen during regular programming, as a constant reminder and acknowledgement of tragedy that had shaken us to our knees. If we as adults were so affected by the trauma of the events, then what can be said for the children who witnessed these same images of horror and terrorism? How, with such an undeveloped capacity to understand the world and the proximity of danger, can we say that children were not affected by the violence of this tragedy?

In a time when adults cannot fully understand the context of the violence in our world, how can children possibly be expected to make sense of it? They cannot. Living in a culture and time where violence permeates countless aspects of society in both fiction and reality; visual, verbal, implied and overt; and given the prevalence and pervasiveness of the violence surrounding us, it is evident that exposure to violence in the media casts some negative affect upon children. In the weeks following the tragedy, the images of the attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were banned from the media.

Government official and scientific experts agreed that the trauma incited by these images was detrimental to children. President Bush expressed his concern for the mental scars that could likely be inflicted upon children as a result of this prevalence of terrorism and violence in the media. It is apparent then that experts concur; the violent images permeating the media could likely have a negative effect on children, causing them to feel unsafe, and to live in fear for their own lives and those of their loved ones.

In an interview with CNN, Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell reported that: Children neurologically are not well suited to deal with extremes of trauma, so when they see this kind of stuff, right now it may look like some the movies they have seen on television. Except in this case people don’t get up and act in the next (movie). In this case they’re injured because they’re injured or they’re dead because they’re dead. So it can be very traumatizing for children to see these images on TV. They don’t understand what this is all about…

So that’s hy I’m suggesting that we not allow an excessive amount of TV for children at this particular point (Mitchell, 2001). The news is not the only source of violence for children. Our fictional television programming is responsible for significant exposure of children to media violence. Content analysis of media programming proves the prevalence of violence in the media today. The access to television, the Internet, and other media outlets is at an all time high. About 99% of American households have television, often two or three sets.

Nielson reports show that children ages 2 to 11 watch an average of 23 hours of television each week, while teenagers devote an average of 21. 5 hours per week to television viewing (Hepburn, 1997). From an early age, both parents and children rely heavily on television as a source of entertainment and diversion. Parents often use the television as a babysitter to occupy children and free time for themselves. Television and the media are used as educational tools both in the home and in the schools.

The problem with this prolonged exposure lies in the pervasive nature of violent content in television programming. Content analysis studies conducted by countless commissions, foundations and organizations reveal in fact the indisputable presence of violence in television programming. The National Television Violence Study, monitoring all types of TV channels; basic cable, premium cable, public broadcasting, independent broadcasting, and networks; concluded that 57% of television programs portray violence, often with more than one violent act in each program.

According to a recent study published by the Center for Media and Public Affairs, more than 1,800 acts of violence occur during 18 hours of television programming. It has been found that more than 26 acts of violence are seen in the average network children’s program (Posch, 1993). Than 75% of these violent acts depicted no punishment or consequences for the perpetrators. Worse yet, children’s programs were found to portray more violence than normal adult programming. Children’s programs contain nearly 10% more violence than the average program.

It is in children’s shows such as cartoons where these violent acts are more likely to be portrayed as comical or unrealistic, failing to show the realistic effects of violent acts (Hepburn, 1997). Clearly violence is a prevalent element in the media, but does violence in the media cause violent behavior in children? Is the media responsible for the acts of violence committed by children? These are the questions debated by countless numbers of the most educated and well-informed experts. The answers to these questions are not easily reached and fall along the same lines as the age-old question; which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Does violence in the media incite children to commit violent acts and to behave aggressively? Or is it that violent children and children prone to violent, aggressive behavior are drawn to violent television and attracted to the violence portrayed in the media? These disputed questions can be argued indefinitely, with strong evidence for either side. The question here is whether violence in the media has some negative effect on children. The evidence proving this negative effect is difficult to dispute.

According to Jonathan L. Freedman, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, “There’s no question there’s a correlational link, that children who watch television violence tend to be more aggressive” (Mifflin, 1999). The idea here is that correlation between media violence and violent behavior does not necessarily mean that media violence is the cause of these behaviors and aggressive acts. The Judiciary Committee of the U. S. Senate argues that the media “is one of the principal causes of youth violence” and reports that “television alone is responsible for 10% of youth violence” (Anonymous, 1999).

This direct causation is disputable. How can we prove whether it was the chicken or the egg that came first? The research on causation between media violence and violent tendencies in children is easily scrutinized. Maggie Cutler of The Nation argues that “there is no way, after all, to lock two clones in a black box, feed them different TV, movie and video-game diets and open the box years later to determine that, yes, it was definitely those Bruce Lee epics that turned clone A into Jesse Ventura, while clone B’s exposure to the movie Babe produced a Pee Wee Herman” (Cutler, 2001).

While it may be difficult to establish a causal relationship between the pervasive nature of violence in the media and violent tendencies in children, it is significantly less disputable to say that the prevalence of violence permeating television and media outlets has a negative effect on children. If experts believed that this violence has no effects on children, why then would they regulate exposure to the images of violent destruction and terrorism that occurred on September 11th?

If corporations pour millions of dollars into marketing research and analysis in order to produce an advertisement that can in an instant or in a 30-second commercial influence both adults and children to change their consumer spending habits and influence our purchasing decisions and desires, how can one argue that the frequent depictions of violence that permeate the media have no effect on children?

As one expert argued before Congress, “The repeated denials by network executives that televised violence has no effect on the behavior of children or adolescents are inconsistent with the use of repetitive commercials to sell products. ” (Posch, 1993). The regulation of Program Length Commercial by the Federal Trade Commission clearly acknowledges the incapacity of children to determine what is real and what is fiction and recognizes the influence of the media on children’s perceptions.

Media theorists define several theories of media effects, including the cultivation, or “mean world” theory. Whether or not behaviors are influenced or caused by violent portrayals in the media, it is quite possible that the frequent depictions of violent acts shape children’s view of the world as one of a dangerous and scary place where murders, rape and violent crimes occur on a regular basis. Exposure to media violence can also have the opposite effect, desensitizing both children and adults to the brutality of violent acts.

Whether media violence incites children to commit violent acts and display aggressive tendencies is a question that remains a topic of heated social debate. Theorist can argue that media violence shapes children’s views of the world as dangerous and predominately violent or that the overexposure to violence leads to desensitization in a world where violence is perceived as commonplace. Social scientists can waiver between correlation and causation involving violence and media effects.

The argument most difficult to dispute is that media violence has some negative effect on children. Content analysis reveals that violence is in fact a prevalent element in media and that overexposure of children to television and media outlets allows these effects to influence children and their perceptions of the world. Permeating our lives, it would be difficult to avoid the influence of media violence.

For impressionable children who are constantly shaping and reevaluating the world around them, media violence plays a role in the formation of their negative perceptions of society and their surrounding environment. They are affected by the frequent influence of violent depictions in the same way that they are influenced to want a toy because of the commercial that promotes it. It is the degree and severity of this effect that remains open for heated debate in the arena of social policy and public interest.

Does The Media Encourage Violence

Many people think that some of the things that are shown on T. V, the radio, newspapers, or even the theatre encourage violence today. Personally I think this isn’t generally accurate but may be true in a small number of incidents. In my view, people today and the media itself has to balance on a very thin line of what people want, and what is socially and politically correct. Let’s take for example ‘rocky’ a boxing film. Many children and parents enjoy watching this but there always going to be a certain number of parents who will protest because of the occasional swear word or fighting scene.

There is always the option of sending smaller children to bed, and there’s even a guideline watershed time to observe. On the whole, I don’t think there’s any real danger of watching these kinds of programmes, as long as the children are taught not to use these (in this case, boxing) moves on others. If the violence needs to be portrayed to show the story or sequence in a film it should not be discouraged but showed why it is showed.

On the other hand, acts of needless violence on television like W. W. F wrestling should be either discouraged altogether, or children should be taught that the moves are done under very controlled ircumstances and are not really acts of anger. Otherwise you may get a child that thinks doing a move on someone else wont hurt them, but in reality may cause them great pain. Any film or programme show after nine o clock, could show violence, and parents need to be taught this. I don’t think that newspaper can encourage violence at all.

They have the often difficult job of relating the news to people. How can the news encourage violence? People will always want to know what’s happening around them and there is always a war or a clash of two sides somewhere in the world at any one time in the world. Children cannot be kept inside a ‘utopia’ all there lives. I feel the real world is much nastier than even the media can portray so reading the news people are going to see what’s happening in other parts of the world.

The radio and theatre, in my view, can’t have a lot of violence on it, or what violence it does have cannot encourage violence as much as television because in radio the visual element is not there. Some plays on the radio may portray anger, but the rest is entirely up to the person’s imagination. Is encouraging a child’s imagination a bad thing? I think the ‘human being’ eeds to see, hear, or feel anger once in a while. In my view anger and violence plays a big part in our society today.

I’m not encouraging this, but I can’t imagine a world without violence. Today I think children are exposed to much more violence than they where 150 years ago, but this doesn’t necessarily prove that it encourages violence. Children are going to come into contact with violence in one way or another and I don’t think they should be over protected. On the other hand parents should be the judge of what there children should be viewing, reading, or listening to.

Censorship of Media Violence

Censorship of the media is a hotly contested topic. The public has declared that there is excessive violence portrayed on television and that this violence ultimately negatively affects viewers, especially children. Censorship is the regulation and control of information and ideas that are circulated among people within a society. It refers to the examination of electronic and print media for the purposes of altering and/or suppressing parts of the media thought to be inappropriate and/or offensive (Microsoft Encarta 97) The implication of censorship is that it is necessary for the protection of the viewing public.

The following is a discussion of violence portrayed in the media, its impact on the viewing public, and censorship of the media. This paper also provides a viable solution to the negative impact of the violence in the media. Violence In the Media and Its Impact It’s inconceivable not to think that television couldn’t influence our attitudes and behaviors. Neil Postman makes this point by outlining America’s movement from a typographic society to telegraphic society. (Postman, 1985) This is not to suggest passivity.

Much of what is aired on television is fictional. However, proponents of censorship argue that television creates a false sense of reality and influences not only young children but teenagers as well. In one incident after viewing the movie The Program, a teen-aged boy was killed and two others were injured after lying down along the centerline of a highway. The teenagers were imitating a scene from the movie. Touchstone Pictures removed the scene from the movie as a result of the tragedy with the teenagers.

Another incident in Ohio, five-year-old Austin Messner set his parent’s house a fire killing his sister after viewing the popular MTV cartoon Beavis and Butthead. In response MTV moved the program to a time slot four hours later. However, did not claim responsibility. (Microsoft Internet’s explorer) The implication is that people are passive beings easily influenced by what they see. Another implication is that all people have shared experiences and will think and react alike. Neil Postman advances the thought that television viewing is our way of knowing ourselves and the world ( Postman, 1985)

E. B. White wrote “I believe that television is going to be the test of the modern world, and in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our own vision, we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall by television. ” (Murray, 1995) White was correct. Television is either beneficial or detrimental to society, perhaps both. Certainly, there exist studies that would equally support both theories.

A series of studies conducted by Seymour Feshbach and Robert D. Singer suggests that television violence does not promote violence in children, they explicitly state that the issue “arises from a concern over an important contemporary social issue. ” (Feshbach & Singer, 1977) After analyzing several social and experimental psychology studies David Howitt and Guy Cumberbatch arrived at a similar conclusion. They concluded that many studies didn’t specify reasons for why correlation was made between television violence and violence in society.

Howitt and Cumberbatch, 1975) Albert Bandura on the other hand set the precedence with his studies correlating the viewing of television violence and promoting violence among viewers. His various studies provided strong evidence of televised violence producing aggressive and/or violent behavior in viewers. (Bandura et al. 1963) The innumerable and varied studies on this subject suggest that there exist no definitive answer. The examples cited suggest the potential and very real impact on the viewing public.

However, the lack of research suggests this type of extreme behavior is more the exception and not the norm. Speculation of the effects of television violence on the viewing public will continue. Censorship Unfortunate tragedies such as the MTV related incident and the Program related incident draw strong public support for censorship of the media. Should the producers of these programs be held accountable? Yes, producers should be concerned with the content of their programs, however, American society has long since passed that point.

Television is a multi billion-dollar industry. The primary concern of the television industry is to net a profit and then entertain the consumers. The network with the highest rating means more profit the network. Censorship is not only controversial but quite difficult to implement. Who decides what is inappropriate or too violent, such vague terminology would be difficult to define. For many years the film industry has practiced a form of self-censorship. Increasing demands from the public forced the industry to develop a system classification in 1968.

The major networks voluntarily adhere to a self-regulating system this is in conjunction with regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission. (Microsoft Encarta, 1997) The V-chip is the most current weapon in the censorship battle. Parents are able to block certain channels so that children are not exposed to violent programming. Analysis As stated above the effects of television violence on viewers, especially children are not definitive. Evidence can be provided to support either position.

A logical inclination would be to agree with Feshbach and Singer. Some underlying issue is the basis for such drastic behavior as lying in the middle of highway and not merely the influence of television. Another factor should be considered before drawing any correlation between television violence and influence of viewing television violence, the existence of bias among the researchers. Howitt’s and Cumberbatch’s Mass Media and Society was published in 1975 they espoused then that the media on whole needed to be reevaluated.

It would be interesting to know their respective opinions about the content of today’s media. There are many unanswered questions produced by the continuous research on television viewing of violent programs. What does it say about American society when a gratuitously violent television programs get high ratings? What does it say about how we socialize our children? Are the programs an accurate reflection of our reality? Solutions The alternative options aren’t new and have probably been discussed before. These alternatives aren’t difficult to implement.

Does The Media Encourage Violence

Many people think that some of the things that are shown on T. V, the radio, newspapers, or even the theatre encourage violence today. Personally I think this isn’t generally accurate but may be true in a small number of incidents. In my view, people today and the media itself has to balance on a very thin line of what people want, and what is socially and politically correct. Let’s take for example ‘rocky’ a boxing film. Many children and parents enjoy watching this but there always going to be a certain number of parents who will protest because of the occasional swear word or fighting scene.

There is always the option of sending smaller children to bed, and there’s even a guideline watershed time to observe. On the whole, I don’t think there’s any real danger of watching these kinds of programmes, as long as the children are taught not to use these (in this case, boxing) moves on others. If the violence needs to be portrayed to show the story or sequence in a film it should not be discouraged but showed why it is showed.

On the other hand, acts of needless violence on television like W. W. F wrestling should be either discouraged altogether, or children should be taught that the moves are done under very controlled ircumstances and are not really acts of anger. Otherwise you may get a child that thinks doing a move on someone else wont hurt them, but in reality may cause them great pain. Any film or programme show after nine o clock, could show violence, and parents need to be taught this. I don’t think that newspaper can encourage violence at all.

They have the often difficult job of relating the news to people. How can the news encourage violence? People will always want to know what’s happening around them and there is always a war or a clash of two sides somewhere in the world at any one time in the world. Children cannot be kept inside a ‘utopia’ all there lives. I feel the real world is much nastier than even the media can portray so reading the news people are going to see what’s happening in other parts of the world.

The radio and theatre, in my view, can’t have a lot of violence on it, or what violence it does have cannot encourage violence as much as television because in radio the visual element is not there. Some plays on the radio may portray anger, but the rest is entirely up to the person’s imagination. Is encouraging a child’s imagination a bad thing? I think the ‘human being’ eeds to see, hear, or feel anger once in a while. In my view anger and violence plays a big part in our society today.

I’m not encouraging this, but I can’t imagine a world without violence. Today I think children are exposed to much more violence than they where 150 years ago, but this doesn’t necessarily prove that it encourages violence. Children are going to come into contact with violence in one way or another and I don’t think they should be over protected. On the other hand parents should be the judge of what there children should be viewing, reading, or listening to.

Media Censorship Essay

Today there is much controversy over whether there should or shouldnt be censorship of the media. Censorship should not be imposed on citizens by the government or other agencies; adults have a right to view or listen to what they choose. Additionally, if childrens media is censored, parents are the ones who should monitor and regulate it. Parents should be the ones to monitor childrens viewing of television and also what they hear on the radio, CDs, and tapes.

Censorship includes the examination and blocking of books, periodicals, plays, films, television and radio programs, news reports, and other communication media that is shown to, or available to the public. Media censorship is sometimes put into place because content is immoral or obscene, heretical or blasphemous, seditious or treasonable, or injurious to the national security. It is supposedly used for the protection of the family, the church, and the state. Additionally some religious groups, opposed to the violence shown in different types of media, say censorship works.

Still more that believe in civil rights think that it is an unnecessary violation of the right to freedom of speech for all humans. Censorship of the media for children is necessary, but should not be handled by government or other groups. Instead it should be directed and controlled by parents. Censorship for children is necessary because the average American views 100,000 acts of violence on TV before reaching the age of thirteen. Many of the violent acts are presented in news stations which are stations parents or adults watch to find out information about weather, and road conditions, or anything that can help with daily life.

If the government were to bring censorship to these stations, adults would not see the news reports in their area or around the world. For this to be avoided, the government must leave censorship to parents. To facilitate parents exercise of censoring for their children Congress passed a law in 1996 that required manufacturers of television sets to install a special computer chip called the V-chip into every television; This allows parents to block shows with excessive violence.

For the V-chip to be effective, a rating system was developed. When the law was passed, opponents saw the requirements as a threat to free speech rights of the First Amendment. This argument is true; however, it is a closer step to having parents control television viewing of their children instead of the government censoring without parental input. Opponents of censorship and parents should be in favor of the V-chip because it allows control, blocking, or censoring of television rather than having no control over it.

The V-chip allows individuals to monitor their own TV and their childrens consumption of media, while not putting it into the hands of the government, but by adults and parents of children who can control for themselves what they want to watch. The television industry is supportive of the V-chip as it stops short of government control of the media. Hollywood, usually blamed for producing violent, prejudice, and racist content in films, is maintaining a rating system that informs parents which movies contain content unsuitable for children. This work is a great step for getting censorship away from the government and back to the parents.

Having this rating system informs individuals of the content in the movies and people have the choice to view them. Individuals in the market place will make decisions about what they buy, read, rent or see. The media may outrage consumers, but they have the choice of whether or not to watch it. As a democracy, our Government should not be telling us what we can and cannot watch, read, or listen to. Adults should be responsible enough to make the decision for themselves. And it is the responsibility of all parents to know where to draw the line for their children.

Violence in the Media

Monkey see, monkey do has become a well-known saying in todays modern, media warped society, but is it correct? What has the world come to these days? It often seems like everywhere one looks, violence rears its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys, school, and even at home. The last of these, our homes, is a major source of violence. In many peoples’ living rooms there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television, and the people who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violence scenes with sometimes devastating results.

Much research has gone into showing why our society is so mesmerized by this big glowing box and the action that takes place within it. Only a mere sixty years ago the invention of the television was viewed as a technological breakthrough with black and white ghost-like figures on a screen so small, hardly anyone could see them. Today that curiosity has become a constant companion to 90% of the American population (Sherrow 26), mainly, children and teenagers. From reporting the news and advertising in order to persuade us to buy certain products, to providing programs that depict violence, television has all but replaced written material.

Unfortunately, it is these violent programs that are endangering our present-day society. Violent images on television, as well as in the movies, have inspired people to set spouses on fire in their beds, lie down in the middle of highways, extort money by placing bombs in airplanes, rape, steal, murder, and commit numerous other shootings and assaults. (Brown 78) Most of what is broadcast or transmitted even in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging.

The average American child will witness… 200,000 acts of media violence by the time that child graduates from high school. (Sherrow 6) Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, James Baldwin wrote in Nobody Knows my Name. But they have never failed to imitate them. (Sherrow 56) This basic truth has all but disappeared as the public increasingly treats teenagers as a robot-like population under sway of an exploitative media.

White House officials lecture film, music, Internet, fashion, and pop-culture moguls and accuse them of programming kids to smoke, drink, shoot up, have sex, and kill. 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 the medias influence on behavior is so overwhelming that there is a consensus in the research community that violence in the media 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 cartoons are the most violent time slot on television? (Methvin 49) And that despite slight variations over the past decade, the amount of violence in the media has remained at consistently high levels (Wurtzel 23).

Despite the negative effects media violence has been known to generate, no drastic changes have been made to deal with this problem that seems to be getting worse. We, as a whole, have glorified this violence so much that movies such as Natural Born Killers and television shows such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are viewed as normal, everyday entertainment. Its even rare now to find a childrens cartoon that does not depict some type of violence or comedic aggression. It is this aggression that is rubbing off on our society, and it is this aggression that we are trying to hide.

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 every aspect of our senses? The media 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 (Feshbach 34). Michael Howe states: We have to remember that children and adults do enjoy and do choose to watch and listen to those programs and music 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 media has been proven time and time again to play an active role toward inciting hostile behavior in children, the level of combative programming and movies 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 media 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 Media 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, Media violence has not diminished greatly; nor have Saturday morning programs for children, marked by excessively violent cartoons, changed much for the better (Cullingford 61).

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 both a serious case against them and of any sincere willingness by Congress to pursue beyond the heat of rhetoric the matters of broadcasting profitability and commercial purpose (Rowland 280).

One can derive from this statement that the networks are clearly not worried about any form of government intervention or even the slightest bit concerned about the barrage of scientific data that correlates violent television and hostility among children. Because of the First Amendment to the Constitution, the government and the FCC are rendered virtually ineffective in the pursuit of limiting the current amount of violence on television and movies. Public action is the only other option if society wishes to create a stronger programming schedule for today’s children.

Several organizations such as the National Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have urged their members to lobby public force against advertisers on high-violence programs and movies (Methvin 53). The public must dictate its feelings by not lending support to those companies that advertise during violent television shows. The viewer has a right to declare that he is not going to help pay for those programs by buying the advertised products or going to the movies (Methvin 52).

To aid public, The National Coalition on Television Violence (NCTV) publishes quarterly lists of the companies and products that sponsor the most mayhem, and also companies that allot the largest portion of their budgets to violent programming (Methvin 53). Public boycott of companies who advertise on violent programs seems to be the only way to inform the networks and syndicators that a public health problem exists with which they must deal (Methvin 21).

Michael Howe claims that over many years, little more than lip service has been paid by the television networks to the expressed need to protect children from the injurious influences (Chaffee 09). History shows too, that cries of protest, even when accompanied by rigorous data, have had little influence on the media industry in the past (Palmer 177). A public boycott of violent programming, lyrics, and movies apparently, is the only way to make the production staff accept media violence first and foremost as potentially damaging, rather than regarding it principally as potential entertainment (Belson 527).

Only when the public is able to change the current attitudes of the media on the topic of aggression and television, can a plan to engender more beneficial and useful forms of television content be implemented (Brown 259). Despite the continuously mounting evidence that violent media has harmful effects on its young viewers, the three major broadcasting companies, ABC, CBS, and NBC, refuse to acknowledge these findings. One may find it ironic that out of over 2,500 reports on television violence, only seven do not indicate a link between the violence on the screen and aggressive behavior in young children (Chaffee 33).

Even more ironic is the fact that one such report was heavily funded by The National Broadcasting Network (NBC). The NBC funded report claims that their study did not find any evidence that, over the time periods studied, television was causally implicated in the development of aggressive behavior patterns among children and adolescents (Milavsky 489). In a CBS study, the network succeeded in reducing the amount of violence reported by excluding a significant (and unreported) amount of violent representation (Chaffee 33).

Studies by the large networks can easily be rigged to present values to support the broadcasters’ hypothesis that media aggression does not influence violent behavior by changing the definition of what constitutes a violent act. The network studies only count the use of force against persons or animals ,or the articulated, explicit threat of physical force to compel particular behavior on the part of a person (Wurtzel 27). Unlike the NIMH study, the network program did not include violence from comedy and slapstick, accidents and acts of nature such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes (Wurtzel 27).

By excluding certain types of violence, the broadcasters are able to manipulate their data to support the conclusion that media violence does not incite hostile behavior in children. The big media giants cannot be trusted to present accurate surveys of violence, because evidence shows that their findings are the result of loaded statistics and data. The current networks stand, stubborn and deaf, to the cries of the American Medical Association, suggestions by the Federal Communications Commission, and the concerns of other public organizations.

The networks do not wish to alter their present displays of violence, because they fear financial losses and economic decline. To force the media to acknowledge public opinion against aggressive television programming, society must create financial distress for the television networks and force them to recognize the harmful effects of televised hostility on children. Only when the broadcasters and producers of violent programming admit and realize the damaging results of violence on society and our children will significant improvements be made to generate productive and imaginative entertainment.

Pornography in the Media

It started by way of messengers and scribes, evolved through the presentation of newspapers and radio, brought us together with television, and now serves us world-wide via the ever-popular Internet. It is the mass media, and even from the earliest days of its existence, it has contributed greatly in ways that both enlighten and enrich society, and ways that deteriorate and perplex it. It is not a surprise to learn, then, that the mass media is the most powerful source of information we have, and nothing else in todays world influences public perception quite as heavily.

Unfortunately, however, most of what is broadcast or ransmitted in the news today is with reference to the chaotic condition of our planet, or something else that society as a whole sees as detrimental or damaging. But the news on television is not the only type of media taking the criticism of society. Other forms of mass media, specifically movies and television programs containing pornography and violence have been heavily criticized. The underlining concept to be debated here is that society is negatively influenced, specifically, by these images of pornography and the result is increased violence against women.

This assumption, and it is indeed nly an assumption, is completely fallacious, however, as no concrete and completely conclusive evidence has ever been formulated in support of the theory. The key premise here is that the mass media does not cause undesirable social behaviour and in actuality, the media people should not be dubbed as the bad guys. They simply use their power in the most constructive ways possible in order to promote their ratings and popularity. One way to do that is to concentrate on what sells: sex, violence and disaster.

Having said this, why is it then, that many in society still believe otherwise; why do they continue to believe that pornography is vil and is a major cause for violence against women, specifically rape? There are many reasons for this misinterpretation and through the following few points, an attempt will be made to show that pornography has very little to almost no correlation with violence against women (of course nothing is absolute in society). In order to demonstrate this, it must be made evident that pornography is not evil and does not cause undesirable social behaviour by displaying nude women in sexually explicit circumstances.

Thus, it is important to indicate that women are not treated only as sexual objects through he media. This is done in an attempt to quash any traces of evil in pornography. Subsequently, a second point, that some may consider to be completely bizarre, can be addressed; that pornography actually reduces the amount of violence against women. For thousands of years, sex itself has been considered evil and revolting. This is exactly why the concealment of the sex organs and teaching feelings of shame toward human sexuality is so common worldwide (Christensen 1990:4).

These same feelings of shame are the chief reasons that sex is considered a personal and private matter. Contrary to the beliefs of many, the mass media did not create these settings; society creates this image. In some societies, women have no reservations with regard to living their entire lives completely naked, while in other societies, females cover themselves from head to toe, only revealing their eyes. The media has been bombarded with criticism, overwhelmingly from the female community, relative to the amount of sexually explicit material that is published in magazines and that appears on television and in the cinemas.

A common argument against pornography is that the media portrays women as being nothing ore than sexual playthings and objects to satisfy male sexual desires. As before, the media once again, is not to be held responsible for creating this image; these views are products of It would be downright absurd to assume that women in this society are treated as sexual objects only because the media releases or broadcasts pornographic material. A magazine associated with make-up and skin care, for example, will quite obviously not be concentrating on much else.

Such a magazine would not display pictures of women who mountain-climb or women who water-ski; only images of make-up and text referring to skin care would be relevant. Clearly, society does not consider women to be beings whos only purpose in life is to worry about make-up and skin care; but why are the complaints only directed towards pornographic media then? The answer to this question may be more complicated, however, what remains obvious is that the media does not portray women as only being able to fill male sexual desires. To say that pictures featuring nudity, etc, are making objects out of women is foolish.

One should consider females who pin-up posters of male rock stars or children who collect hockey or baseball cards. Society, however, does not say that objects re being made out of these rock stars and sports heroes; pictures of clothed people are no less objects than pictures of naked people. Many complaints are also made to the effect that pornography only offers a one-dimensional view to life; that women are seen as nymphomaniacs who are hysterically addicted to sex. It should be pointed out that events such as hockey games, boxing matches, horse races and operas all offer a one-dimensional view of life.

One does not attend an opera hoping to see a horse race. The underlying problem here is that the above mentioned events are socially cceptable; media displaying pornography is not. It is also said that the media reduces women to a collection of body parts through pornography (Christensen 1990:74). But why then are their no complaints of advertisements in magazines displaying only ears, for example, or a nose, or feet? The reason is a simple one; society considers certain body parts to be shameful or disgusting and once again, the media can be let off the hook.

Realistically, the only way to prevent women from being seen as sex objects is for them to be seen as other things as well; but to say that women are not sexual beings would be misleading because both en and women are very much sexual (Christensen 1990:42). Similarly, to say that women are singled out in the media is fallacious due to the many examples of media where men are seen catering to the needs of women; something known as chivralic sexism (Christensen 1990:42). Take, for instance, a recent television ad portraying young men groveling at the feet of supermodel Cindy Crawford, almost begging to be the one to cater to her needs.

There were no lineups of men aching to announce their displeasure with the sexist ad; and this is precisely why male stereotyping in the media often goes unnoticed. Similarly, it is pornography in the media that is noticed and shunned by anti-pornographic and censorship organizations because it seemingly singles out females for their bodies. It should be well noted, however, that paperback romance novels, which make up an incredible 40% of total paperback sales (Gerbner 1988:15), depicts males as sexual objects, performing what is called Sweet Savagery (rape), just as pornography depicts females as sexual objects.

But once It is fundamentally important to realize that the media does not deliberately create images of hate or disagreement (Howitt, Cumberbatch 1975:80). They just influence the more appealing things in society (thus directly increasing their ratings). Although it is obvious that pornography is largely a male interest, a noted increase in female interest would certainly cause an increase in the amount of pornographic material geared for women; this relates to the laws of the business world (Christensen 1990:50).

Having discussed the untruthfulness of the claims against pornography and showing that pornography is not evil, it is now possible to consider the violence issue. Are men who are exposed to pornography likely to commit violent acts, such as rape against women, ore so than men who are not exposed to pornography? It is tempting to believe that media influences males and overstimulates them through pornography to the point that they become aggressive towards females. But this is completely baseless; just as pornography arouses or stimulates, it also satisfies.

The American Commission on Obscenity and Pornography performed a study in which several college students were asked to spend one and a half hours in an isolated room with a large volume of pornographic media, as well as a large volume of non-explicit media such as Readers Digest (Howitt, Cumberbatch 1975:80). The study was conducted over a three week period over which time it was discovered that the males involved in the experiment began to lose interest, or become desensitized to the erotic media nearing the end of the experiment, even if new material was added.

To address the argument that males are pushed over the brink into committing rape because of pornography, one may point to the evidence above; to cover the female body would theoretically only increase male sexual desires. Four more separate experiments were conducted of which the above was one. Three other experiments came to the conclusions that ornography does not cause violence against women and reported that the number of sex offenders that had been exposed to pornographic material were smaller in number than the amount of sex-offenders that had not been exposed to pornography (Christensen 1990:130; Harmon, Check 1988:28-30).

These results can be offered as evidence against the claim that males become overstimulated and thus dangerous when exposed to pornography. Other experiments conducted in the early 1980s by the Williams Committee in England, reported that as the availability and abundance of sexually explicit material increased, he number of violent sex crimes such as rape did not increase, but in fact decreased in many areas (Christensen 1990:128-129). So what is it about pornography that women and anti-pornography organizations do not like? Violence!

One of the greatest myths about pornography is that it contains an excess of violence against women inevitably resulting in real-life violence against women. Anti-pornography groups release propaganda that the media approves of violence against women through pornography. In actuality, however, the total amount of violence in sex-related movies was found to be approximately 6% in a study by T. Palys in the early 1980s in Vancouver, Canada. Even this material was almost entirely composed of verbal threats and spanking (Christensen 1990:59).

In addition to the above, studies in Ohio also found that the amount of violence in G-Rated movies was a staggering two times more than in X-Rated movies. In fact, major films such as Die Hard: With A Vengeance and Terminator 2, contain extreme violence 85-90% of which is directed solely at men. There are, however, exceptions; the slasher genre of movies contain much more violence towards women, possibly due to the desensitization to violence in other genres of films.

Because women are involved, violence against them could create a true sense of horror. However, this does not suggest that men should go into society and rape a woman any more than it suggests that men should go out and kill other men. Horror movie fans choose to watch these movies because they enjoy portrayed violence. Needless to say, no sane individual would wish for this violence to become a real-life conception. Similarly, sex also excites people and because these two elements offer the most thrills in movies, they are often combined.

It should be pointed out that women, and not just men, also njoy these thrills based on numerous studies. When discussing pornography, it is scarcely noted that men are not the only ones who enjoy fantasizing about sex. Women also enjoy pondering sex; just not through pornography. In fact, most of these fantasies involve some degree of violence or force and are largely driven by the romance novels discussed earlier (once again supporting the evidence that romance novels prove to be the female equivalent to male-geared pornography).

Recent reports published by Nancy Friday, show that the number of female fantasies involving rape far outweigh the number of ale fantasies involving rape. What comes as a surprise to many is that in male fantasies, the woman rapes the man and conversely, in female fantasies, the man rapes (Sweet Savagery), the woman! (Christensen 1990:66). Fridays reports also provided some interesting reasoning for the female fantasies. Her reports find that females fantasize about rape to show that they are not acting in accordance with such sinful actions; to show that sex is being forced upon them.

Any other feelings towards the fantasized rape would prove to be undesirable social behaviour and amazingly, the media is not even involved! Actual laboratory experiments (Hawkins, Zimring 1988:103) have shown that when groups of women were shown erotic scenes involving rape, their reactions to the scenes were as or even more stimulating than less violent consensual lovemaking scenes. This is not to say that all women want to be raped; far from it.

This is to say that if women can fantasize about rape but not wish to experience it, then men, too, can fantasize about rape and not wish to commit it. In addition to the many other accusations against pornography, many in society believe that there is definite connection etween organized crime and pornography. Although this may be true, the idea is largely over-exaggerated. The reasoning behind this theory is very simple, yet very shallow. Consider, that pornography is created by organizations and contains sexually explicit material that may be thought to be legally obscene in some areas.

To make the connection, these anti-pornography organizations assume that the organizations (hence organized) that produce the legally obscene (hence crime) material, are operating illegally. It is obvious why pornography is attractive to criminals; just as anything that is anned or is made illegal, there is always someone who will pay Having considered the issues at hand, it can be said that since there is no concrete evidence to support otherwise, pornography in the media does not cause undesirable social behaviour.

As mentioned before, sexually explicit movies and magazines do not just arouse, but also satisfy. It is an undisputed fact that feelings of love and happiness cancel out violent feelings (Zillman, Connections Between Sex and Aggression) and to say that pornography endorse violent feelings fails to make sense; if it did, why would men want to e exposed to it. To suggest that pornography causes men to go over the edge and commit rape is as ludicrous as suggesting that pictures of food cause the hungry to steal more food.

It has even been said by some women that rape is the fault of women who dress provocatively; they ask for it. According to this logic, in the event that pornography is banned, then an attempt should be made to force women to cover their skin and wear clothing that completely hides the shapes of their bodies so as not to provoke rape. Absurd. As members of society, we recognize the power of the mass media. We understand that public perception can be easily persuaded.

But it should be clearly understood that pornography in the media alone cannot persuade men to cause harm to women; it cannot cause men to do things that are socially unacceptable. As was mentioned earlier, pornography only causes feelings of excitement and satisfaction and these feelings overpower those feelings of violence. For these reasons, it can be said that until a positive link can be found between pornography in the media and violence against women, it will remain that sexual violence such as rape is the result of sexual frustration, and not of sexual arousal.

Religion In Media

There are presently 35 television stations owned and operated by religious organizations, but every television station features religious programming in one way or another (Postman, 116). Religious television program producers are driven by the desire to make money, and they find the best way to accomplish this is by scamming viewers and members. During this process, religion loses its authenticity. Religion is not being practiced on television, it is being mocked. Religion is no longer for worship, but for entertainment. Moneymaking scams are becoming very popular in recent years.

One would like to believe some things in life are sacred. Religion is where billions of people invest their hopes, dreams, beliefs, and most importantly, money. The greedy, selfish, minds of our world see this not as a way to fix problems, but as a way to make money. Television, Billy Graham has written, is the most powerful tool of communication ever devised by man. Each of my prime time specials is now carried by nearly 300 stations across the U. S. and Canada, so that in a single telecast I preach to millions more than Christ did in his lifetime. (Postman, 118).

Aldous Huxleys Brave New World sets forth the notion that religion is a bad thing, and that it only leads to problems. But if you know about God, why dont you tell them? asked the Savage indignantly. Why dont you give them these books about God? For the same reason as we dont give them Othello: theyre old; theyre about God hundreds of years ago. Not about God now. But God doesnt change. Men do, though. What difference does that make? All the difference in the world, said Mustapha Mond. (Huxley, 229) On these religious shows, people are shown with obvious handicaps such as paralyzed limbs, or walking handicaps.

They join these religious clubs, or are shown on television speaking with these electronic preachers as they are called, and they let Jesus into their hearts. All of a sudden they are miraculously cured and can live their life in harmony. Still paying their monthly fees of course to stay this way. One of the most successful and popular religious programs and organizations is Pat Robertsons 700 Club which you can belong to by paying fifteen dollars a month (of course you can watch at home for free assuming you have cable television) (Postman, 114).

In one episode, a woman is shown filled with anxiety because she is forced to stay at home and staying at home makes her nervous. She begins to feel even her own children are trying to kill her. She is shown then searching television for an answer. She stumbles upon the 700 Club and becomes interested in its message. She allows Jesus into her heart and is saved. She has now become two things, a television star, and closer to Jesus. To the uninitiated, it is not entirely clear to which is the higher estate. (Postman, 115). Meanwhile, the untrained viewer sees this and becomes attracted.

No one is saved, money is made by the producers, and wasted by the viewers. In Aldous Huxleys Brave New World, there is no money. You are given privileges based on how you are born. There is also no religion. Without money or religion, all of these problems would have been avoided. Although the story of the suffering woman was no more than a well played act, this does happen in real life. However in the Brave New World society you are not given the chance to be sad. You are forced to be happy and are not given time or the will power to think on your own.

As a child, you are conditioned to like certain things both awake and asleep. Love and emotion are outlawed in this society, both of which are associated strongly with religion. With contributions running in the millions, todays religious television shows have no problem competing with other more popular shows, as they believe they are relaying a more important message. It has been estimated that the total revenue brought in by electronic churches is well over $500 million annually (Postman, 120). There is one major problem with television as such a strong method of communication it is all based on visualization.

Religion is meant to be practiced in the mind and soul. This connection however, cannot be properly made through television. If a religious program were to be set up in a small shack with a candles and a wooden table, you would not watch it. This is because on the next channel there is a program with a huge, brightly lit room filled with beautiful flowers and clean-cut, happy looking people. This reaction is natural. Electronic preachers themselves know this, and use it to their advantage. But the question is, who would relay a stronger message. Well, verbally, neither.

The words they speak are not what attract the viewer; the appearance is what attracts the viewer. Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson decided he would try to prove religion is the key to longer life and happiness. He persisted in stating facts about frequent churchgoers. For example, he stated that 46% of people who attend church on a weekly basis live 12% longer than one who does not. He continued to emphasize the 46%. This would be fine, except he is trying to get people to join his club. The problem with his club is that its primary focus is to attract more and more members.

So once you join, you are no longer important. The important people are the ones who still havent joined. With all the concentration on appearance, the show can tend to lack content. However, there is always the possibility that you will one day become the television star. For most, that alone is enough to stay. In order to join these clubs, and give up your hard earned dollars, you must believe in what you are investing in. In the book Faith On Earth, H. Richard Niebuhr defines belief as, a state or habit of mind in which trust is placed in some person or thing.

Niebuhr, 31). He also defines it more strongly and more to the point as, conviction of the truth or reality of a thing based on grounds insufficient for positive knowledge. (Niebuhr, 31). These people are made to believe. These shows give people what they want to see. They are subconsciously being forced into these groups. The case is the same in Brave New World. However, in that novel, you are being forced into society a certain way. For example, babies in the novel were being conditioned to dislike books and flowers by using electric shock and noise.

Although unaware, they were being forced to dislike something. Observe, said the Director triumphantly, observe. Books and loud noises, flowers and electric shocks already in the infant mind these couples were compromis- ingly linked; and after two hundred repetitions of the same or a similar lesson would be wedded indissolubly. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder. (Huxley, 36) The cruel intentions this electronic religion is demonstrating is not just another scam, but it can be classified as a mockery of religion itself.

In Brave New World, religion is completely outlawed, and therefore for the author to prove his point even further, he pokes fun at our religion. For example, their God, or the person they worship is Henry Ford. They label him Our Ford. Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. (Huxley, 226). In our time, their Ford was a carmaker. God is being mocked. Carmakers are not the smartest people on the planet, nor did they have anything to do with religion. This is an insult to our religion. In our current society, God also comes second hand to someone.

Electronic preachers, although you do not think that way, are actually placed in front of God, since they are the ones who are curing you and caring for you and relaying Gods message. By making religion entertaining, it can destroy its sacredness and purity. This can only be stopped by morals. As long as people are willing to run, view, or participate in these shows, they will not cease and no religious ethics will be practiced. God is only as real as we make him, and if this keeps up, we may no longer be praying to God himself, but to a television box, a stage with flowers and lights or even someday, a computer screen.

With religion becoming more an attraction than a tradition, we may no longer have someone to turn to for help or something to pray for when we are weak. We cannot turn to the television set for answers. Religion is now being used to make money, mostly through scamming people. In the process its authentic purity and spirituality is lost. But more importantly, is it destroying what religion we have left. Who knows what lies in the future of religion. Soon you may find yourself praying to your dog for answers. Now is the time, when a line must be drawn between the future and the past.

Ethics Of The Media

The purpose of the media has become an ongoing question since the large amount of conflicts between the consumer and media. Why is the original purpose of the media so damn hard to figure out? It is time to confront this issue instead of blowing it off by saying, “We can never change the media, so why bother? ” What kind of chickenshit statement is that?! If there are so many people with so much power, surely one of them realizes the downward spiral of the ethics of the media. I feel my sole purpose of this paper is to tell everyone my ideas and viewpoints on censoring the media. Ooooooo, censor.

What a bad word that is when used in the same sentence with media. So many people believe censorship is a bad thing, but there is no other solution in stopping the “bad press. ” When I sit back and look at the stories about stories that are bad and offending to someone, I realize something needs to be done. The media is out of control. True, there are many informing and needed stories, but, my god, how many times a day to we need to hear and read about how much money O. J. Simpson has to pay the family of Ronald Goldman? We, as consumers, need to sit back and ask ourselves, “What was the point of hearing or reading that story?

Back to the censor issue. I, as an aspiring journalist, do not believe in total and complete censorship of the media, but also, as an aspiring journalist, I am embarrassed of some of the stories that are run, for instance, when the crime scene photos of Jon-Benet Ramsey were run in Globe magazine. Was there not anyone, an editor, a writer, or even a custodian at Globe who thought, “Uh, oh. These photos may get us into some trouble. ” Was there not a single sole who had enough ethics to try and stop these pictures from being printed? This is where censorship comes in.

If I could do anything in the world, I would first, stop world hunger, and second set up some guidelines and laws that the media must obey. Guidelines such as, no digging through peoples trash and no peeking in windows. Of course, we know that by law, there is to be no peeking in windows, or over fences, but there is no one at the editors desk to implicate these laws. There is supposed to be someone there to prevent these stories from running, but remember, their paycheck depends on how many copies are sold or how high the ratings are.

This “censor person” needs to have a set wage. If there was someone to stop these types of occurrences, half of my problems with the media would be taken care of. This may sound like a lame solution, but we need to start somewhere. Obviously this is not a complete solution to these problems with the media, so the next step would be to start using the editors for weeding out the stories that are not giving some type of information that the consumer wants and needs to hear or read. This is also easier said than done.

This solution also brings up questions like, how does the editor know what stories the consumer wants to hear or read about? That is the responsibility of the media. Let them take polls and give every effort to find out what we want. Journalism will only survive if it establishes a more valuable and clearly defined mission, (Morality of Mass Media , Ellen Hume. ) I could write a book about all the things I want to see changed in the media before I become a part of it, but I will not.

There should be a line drawn so that the media can be punished for their wrongdoing. Many people agree that there should be a line drawn and like it or not, that line is called censorship. Our founding fathers did not want censorship on the media, but they probably did not think that the media would be doing such a crummy job. I do not want to say that all media is doing a bad job. Overall, they are doing a fairly good job, but there is still a large amount of dirty press that needs to be cleaned up.

MTV channel

Everyone remembers Michael Jackson’s red leather jacket covered with zippers and the sexy style of Madonna. MTV, or music television, nationally publicizes these images and entertainers, and others like them. The station also promotes an idealized teen lifestyle, reflecting the images of these famous artists, that contrasts with the realities of the Generation X lifestyle. While some view the station as illustrated radio or an entertainment network for viewers’ pleasure, others more accurately assess it as an advertising enterprise that endorses products and promotes attitudes.

The advertisements that are both hidden in videos and placed in regular slots, influence viewers. Whether or not MTV critics agree with these messages that the network sends out, it has become a huge franchise generating large profits and great popularity. During the 1980’s, MTV grew from being strictly a music video station to an original, three-station network that became the choice of several generations of viewers and the advertisers who court them. MTV’s entertainment, commercialism, and messages satisfy and influence many types of viewers, giving them a healthy sense of group identity.

In 1981, MTV became one of the first stations to be able to appeal to such a populous audience as the twelve to twenty-four year old age group. The chief operating officer of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment Company (WASEC) felt that there was a body of young people being ignored, hence the company designed MTV (Denisoff 37). Although at first success was unpredictable, the MTV network fought off competition by such competitors as the powerful Turner Broadcasting System (Daspin 20). There isn’t room for two or three services doing the same thing, commented MTV’s Bob Pittman (Hedegaard 38).

Later, the MTV network came out with VH1, or Video Hits One, a music station for older viewers, and Nickelodeon, a children’s service station (Daspin 19). These two stations and the original MTV station gave the network a station for an audience of just about any age, satisfying many advertisement agencies. Once the advertisement industry noticed the MTV network’s popularity, it became a very desirable sales medium. Advertising agent Kevin Burns explains that if you’re a national advertiser and you buy teens, you’re going to buy MTV (Viacom 11).

MTV appealed to its viewers by constantly televising popular singers and other role models. A music video endorses many nonmaterial items, as well as material items. Regular inter-program commercials usually promote brands of physical items. However, in music videos with popular singers, messages and images are promoted to the viewer. Videos increase an entertainer’s popularity, thus promoting his/her record, producer, type of music, style of dance, and physical image. This popularity increases profit for many industries.

The artist’s record sales boom, benefiting the record company, the record stores, and any other person involved in the process of production. MTV was dealing with the [record] labels, not the artists, states R. Serge Denisoff (154). In addition, clothing companies benefit when the singer wears their brand. Creative director Judy McGrath feels that MTV videos are almost a subliminal fashion show, meaning that clothing brands and styles are introduced and publicized through music videos (Denisoff 258). Lastly, fine arts companies, specifically dance and music, increase in popularity as people wish to imitate the musicians.

A perfect example of this advertising scenario is Michael Jackson’s Beat It video. In the early 1980’s the already popular pop singer came onto the screen wearing a red leather jacket and a sparkling glove. He introduced an ankle-flicking dance style that moved to the beat of his pop-style music. Soon children across America were wearing replicas of the clothes and moon-walking down the schools’ hallways. In this scenario, Michael Jackson, pop music, red leather jackets, dancing, and Motown Records all became popular.

With so many brands and agencies wanting to place their ads on MTV, the network itself needed to advertise its own information and existence in some way to increase its own profit. The network began to air animated segments after commercial breaks that endorsed the MTV logo. Then in 1989, the network issued In The Bin, a newsletter designed to unite MTV, VH1, and retailers (Newman, MTV Spreads 55). The newsletter included advertisements and information about new developments in the MTV Network. These endorsements for the network get people interested in MTV.

In 1984, Dire Straits’ hit Money For Nothing, had people around the country singing the verse, I want my MTV. The lyrics of the song were satirical; they talked about the unfairness of being an MTV star. However, the singer wanted to experience similar stardom, where life was easy, or as Dire Straits sang, the stars got … money for nothing and the chicks for free. In reality, Dire Straits themselves were MTV stars. Just as the imaginary voice in the song chanted I want my MTV, everyone wanted their MTV, including foreign countries.

In the late 1980’s, MTV expanded to Holland, Germany, South America, and many other European countries. The MTV Europe network offers programs similar to the United States’ version (Dupler, New MTV Prez 55). In Taiwan, people frequently pirated MTV videos to show in the popular parlors or showing booths (Smith 63). It is possible that MTV has become a means of exporting American values to and creating a national teen subculture in other nations. This influence in other nations was important for economic expansion and the promotion of styles.

One might ask, How can this entertainment empire be so perfect? The answer is that it is not. Although MTV has many fans, there are almost as many people who criticize the network. According to John Hamerlinck, a freelance writer for The Humanist, religious moralists feel that MTV’s combination of television and rock ‘n’ roll is both potent and frightening (43). Many people feel that some videos display immoral sexual content. There were also rumors that MTV segregated videos and that the station initially refused to play Michael Jackson’s Beat It video (Allen 83).

John Hamerlinck disagrees that MTV has broken any morality code. He says that MTV is a business that represents the values of a corporate world, not a philosophy or an alternative to religion (Hamerlinck 43). The network’s reply to the allegations of racism was that they gear their videos towards a rock and roll audience (Denisoff 66). Letters written to cable companies often said that MTV was a waste of money and that it was suggestive and offensive for young children (Denisoff 177). Many people including artists themselves also feel that videos make image more important than music itself.

Hit artist Joe Jackson commented in a Billboard magazine interview: Things which used to count, such as being a good composer, player or singer, are getting lost in the desperate rush to visualize everything. It’s now possible to be all of the above and still get nowhere simply by not looking good in a video or, worse still, not making one. (Denisoff 263) In order to defeat this anti-MTV campaign, some citizens have tried to ban MTV from their homes, while MTV has made a few additions to its normal program.

Dimension Cable Service in Texarkana, Texas offers a channel trap to block the MTV signal (Newman, MTV Taking 92). MTV’s effort to fight back against the anti-MTV activists has included many public service announcements about racism, sexism, and homophobia (Hamerlinck 43). One of their most famous PSAs, entitled Rock The Vote, encourages young adults to register to vote and to utilize their voting privileges. When a Just Say No slogan flashes across the television screen in between a seductive Madonna video and a gangsta rap video reenacting a drug transaction, the public feels a relief of tension.

The extent of MTV’s morality or immorality must be judged by each individual. In 1981, no one expected MTV to be such a powerful franchise fourteen years later. It developed a new style of entertainment that competitors can only wish to copy. Becoming an MTV star was a dream to many people. Advertisers were more than happy with the network’s stations that satisfied so many viewers and had distinct personalities. Music videos changed the image of music. As Essence columnist Bonnie Allen says, MTV made us look at the sound of music (83).

Self Deception

“All media are extensions of some human faculty — psychic or physical. The wheel is an extension of the foot; the book is an extension of the eye; clothing, an extension of the skin; electric circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system. Media, by altering the environment, evoke in us unique ratios of sense perceptions. The extension of any one sense alters the way we think and act — the way we perceive the world. ” Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, The Medium is the Massage (sic), (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967), p. 26. Before going into how we manage knowledge, maybe we ought to take a look at ourselves.

What makes us tick? You know, get out a species microscope and watch us strutting around, sleeping, eating, drinking, filing things and procreating. Well, sure. No subject too large. What are we? Why do we have so much trouble getting along? As genomic research increasingly reveals, we are separated from our fellow creatures by less than we once imagined, or might have wished for. Once we thought we were different from all those other creatures. There was a time not long ago when we imagined ourselves to be a maker and user of tools, and uniquely so.

We thought this defined us. We were THE CREATOR of tools. This idea of ourselves, this notion of Man-the-Tool-User lasted for nearly a century, right up to the moment some one noticed a chimp breaking off a branch to retrieve ants from an ant-hill. Not that man isn’t a tool-user and tool-maker of the first order. Think about some of our tools: clay tablets, printing presses, TVs, computers, hard drives, and atomic bombs of one kind or another. The list is staggering, but perhaps our tools are only by-products of something more central to who we are.

Maybe we’re information makers and users, rather than tool makers and users We are curious animals. It is curiosity and our own ingenuity that has brought us to this place, after all. Does more curiosity always lead to more information-seeking? If a flower or plant is photo-tropic, does that make us info-tropic? Why else do we pursue the information around us? Samuel Johnson wrote: “Curiosity is the thirst of the soul… ” “The gratification of curiosity rather frees us from uneasiness than confers pleasure; we are more pained by ignorance than delighted by instruction.

Curiosity is the thirst of the soul; it inflames and torments us, and makes us taste every thing with joy… ” Technology, the collective tool kit we’ve assembled for our semi-skilled use, has led us into elaborate information-seeking over the years. Like the creation of an IT department for example. It’s got everything, from INFORMATION to TECHNOLOGY, the best of both worlds, though maybe, as Peter Drucker suggests, we could do with a little more “I” and a little less “T” in our knowledge mix. How has our info-tropic nature led us into such a quagmire of knowledge-fragmentation?

Or, better yet, let’s say we understand how the corporation got to be where it is today — it’s a given. A better question might be, How do we get out of here, particularly if “here” is a place where important things can’t be found? “What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer … but nobody actually knows anything. ” There’s every possibility, based on more evidence than we have time to look at right now, that human beings are a lot better at information-seeking and knowledge-creation than knowledge management.

The image that keeps coming to my mind when I imagine some far-flung corporate empire, operating across a world of time zones, is a string of islands, an archipelago, maybe something like the Malay Archipelago, with 17,000 islands and hundreds of languages and cultures. It’s easy enough to see how we got ahead of ourselves in “managing” the data, information and knowledge that’s used to run the company. The corporation put its information resources in all the usual places — filing cabinets, human heads, databases, bookshelves, PC hard drives and IT departments.

The people who opened the Atlanta plant replicated some of this stuff, creating new resources in the process. Their IT department created some things, but so did HR and R&D and Marketing and Manufacturing and Distribution. The company decided to open quarters in Berlin and Tokyo. Some gifted people developed deep expertise in obscure but important things. Their knowledge-seeking paid off, and their value increased. They lacked enthusiasm for sharing this expertise with just anyone.

In all probability, this is not an exaggerated picture. If anything, it may be understated. So how do we make the jump from globally-disbursed resources, where no one in the oranization really knows where anything is, with any certainty, to something more unified and find-able. Or do we? Are some black arts required, or is this something humanly do-able? I [never met] the senior manager who knew what information was available for decisions. Very few senior executives have asked the question, “What information do I need to do my job? In part because they’ve all been brought up with the accounting information that they understand. But the other type of information system, they don’t understand. ” A recent study says that the average employee spends 7-10 hours per month tracking down information that is already known by someone or something somewhere within the organization. It could be more than 7 – 10 hours, or it could be less. As few as ten employees could be wasting 70 to 100 person-hours a month chasing information. What a crushing waste! And they told us the computer would save us time.

Remember that promise? Where is the time this technology has saved for us? “The information’s unavailable to the mortal man We’re workin’ our jobs, collect our pay Believe we’re gliding down the highway When in fact we’re slip sliding away. ” According to the accounting software giant Intuit, the average American today works 14 hours more per week than he or she did in 1969. Would it be naive to suppose that we can reverse this trend, or are we doomed to continue working harder, and getting nowhere fast in the process?

Like the fellow in the rowboat, rowing harder won’t do the trick, particularly if the boat’s pointed in the wrong direction. In tribal New Guinea – largest of the 17,000 islands in our Malay archipelago – around 800 distinct languages are spoken. Very little imagination is required to visualize how life might be affected by this. Some New Guinea tribes, dwelling in small isolated communities and speaking a language only they understand, live pretty much the way they did 25,000 years ago, their belief systems untouched by other civilizations.

The sea or the forest supplies their primitive needs. Beyond the immediate environment, their home turf, lies danger, darkness, and strange people speaking foreign tongues. Knowledge transfer is not an issue in tribal New Guinea. But for the modern corporation, knowledge transfer is ever-present as an issue, even though it may not always be recognized for what it is. As Thomas Davenport points out in Working Knowledge, without a shared language, the members of an organization can neither understand nor trust one another.

He is speaking loosely of a “language”, as in a taxonomy or shared understanding, and not just of speaking French or Tagalog, but also of speaking the language of mechanical engineering or even the language of social class. British Petroleum, for instance, hires consultants to translate reports made by “roughnecks” who work on BP’s North Sea oil rigs, into a language that its executives back in London can grasp. 1 To get beyond this language barrier, a language-neutral platform is needed. A virtual community where issues of language don’t exist, and individuals can interact easily.

How big is too big for a organization to know what it knows? More than one study suggests that the maximum size — one in which people know one another well enough to have a good grasp of collective knowledge — is between 200 to 300 hundred individuals. Remember the space and time issues surrounding the thousands of islands within our virtual Malay archipelago of information. We intuitively understand the depth of knowledge and resources in far-flung corporate empires such as Siemens AG or General Electric, but consider the barriers to getting at the right information in such a diversified enterprise.

Think about people working in plants and offices and laboratories scattered across the globe speaking 14 languages. Who knows who in such an enterprise? To be sure, there are electronic gadgets for everyone — PDA’s and powerful computers and databases and cell phones ad infinitum. A cynic might say, “So? ” How does an organization remember? If it is an extraordinary organization and has good access to projects that were kept on paper and digitally, how has it managed the recall of these events?

When Bridgestone/Firestone decided to recall some 6. 5 million tires in August of 2000, some employees could remember the last such event. “Twenty years is a long time, but memories of how a huge government-mandated recall in the late 1970’s nearly bankrupted Firestone Tire and Rubber — the company’s name before the Bridgestone Corporation of Japan bought it in 1988 — clearly resonate. ” “‘The oral history around here is that we were a lot too slow to cooperate back then,’ said Christine Karbowiak, a Firestone spokeswoman. ” 2

Though “luck” wouldn’t seem to apply in a case such as this involving millions of potentially defective tires, having employees around who remembered the missteps of the 1970’s, and who could therefore avoid repeating those missteps, may be lucky indeed. Only time will tell if the vestigial oral history remaining among a few stalwart Firestone employees enabled the company to learn its lesson, or if the lesson must be relearned, to the loss of all concerned. The ideal would be to transform such spatial complexity into a platform where space no longer exists.

Marshall McLuhan, writing about his vision of a global electronic village, saw a place where space and time were no longer barriers to interaction or knowledge. 1a It was a place in which the 17,000 islands in our information archipelago metamorphose into one continent. 3. Culture Clash & Competitive Intelligence If we could implement a system that allows us to take advantage of the knowledge within the organization — to manage all the information in filing cabinets, hard drives, book shelves, and the heads of the employees, we would have done a great deal. But not nearly enough.

What we would not have done is take a look outside the corporation. If we don’t peer out the window to see what the competition is doing, we could be deluding ourselves. According to Peter Drucker, “Very few senior executives have asked the question, ‘What information do I need to do my job? ‘ The information you need the most –and not just in business –is about the outside world, and there is absolutely none. It doesn’t exist. You’d be surprised how much outside information about customers and non-customers companies simply do not have and, in many cases, cannot get.

And yet, you don’t make your decisions [based] on what goes on inside the company; you shouldn’t, at least. ” 3 During World War II, at the southern tip of the Malay archipelago, islanders were exposed to a sudden influx of goods and wealth, courtesy of the Allied Armed Forces. Ships, guns, airplanes, jeeps, and the myriad goods necessary for modern warfare were produced in mass quantities. Soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen were trained by the thousands and sent to the south pacific.

The indigenous peoples living on these islands were totally awed when their normally placid skies resounded with the roar of aircraft engines, and their seas trembled not just with the massive whale, but with a ship’s propellers. After the war, when the abrupt flow of goods just as suddenly disappeared, “cargo cults” of islanders began imitating the rituals surrounding the influx of goods during the war. They set up fires along small replica bamboo or dirt runways. They designated “radio operators” to handle imaginary radio traffic and waited for more goods to arrive from the sky.

Some went so far as to build bamboo control-towers, complete with radio aerials fashioned from vines. They got all the superficial appearances correct, yet the planes didn’t return. Jon Frum, a cargo cult hero, is still awaited on Vanuatu. 5 It is heart-wrenching to consider the futility of human hopes, in cargo cults and in our own world as well. Built to understand and to learn, we are also capable of self-deception, denial and blindness where our wishes are concerned. There are any number of reasons that managers can be comfortable with things as they are long after the reality of external events should have made them ill at ease.

With a little denial, the stench of a conflagration in corporate headquarters can easily be taken for a cook-out down the block, even when a fire-alarm is ringing in our ears. “These days it may seem impossible that any manager could be so inwardly focused as to believe that their company is insulated from change or that the skills and markets relevant to today’s success will be identically relevant tomorrow. Yet the front pages of the popular press are full of accounts of former flagship companies now apparently struggling to stay afloat — Digital Equipment Corporation, Wang Corporation and Sears, among others. “Sears counted on its excellent store sites, its decades of dominance in retail, its mighty purchasing power to maintain its position in the market. Some critics aver that Sears managers disdained to notice Wal-Mart’s incursion into their merchandising territories: well into the 1980’s, Sears position papers did not even list that company among competitors to be watched. ” 6 Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, later noted in his autobiography, “One reason Sears fell so far off the pace is that they wouldn’t admit for the longest time that Wal-Mart and Kmart were their real competition.

They ignored both of us, and we blew right by them. ” 7 In some cases, cases such as this, company culture can lead to grave misunderstandings about the external environment; or about the nature of reality. Ernest Hemingway, when asked what is needed to be a first rate writer, brashly said “To be a truly good writer, you need an automatic crap-detector. ” What’s needed is a competitive intelligence system that looks at the reality of exterior events, and a management willing to look at what lies before it. 4. Managing Historical and Tacit Information “The ignorance of how to use knowledge stockpiles exponentially. The blueprints, diagrams and written programs for building an atomic bomb are kinds of explicit knowledge, but the tweaks made during the construction process are tacit knowledge. A signed agreement is explicit knowledge; what was said by the participants up to and during the signing is tacit. Both can be vital corporate knowledge, but we do a better job of capturing explicit knowledge. “Los Alamos, NM — When John Richter retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory three years ago, he took with him nearly the equivalent of China’s entire experience with nuclear weapons…

As wizards like Dr. Richter retire, they are taking with them invaluable expertise about just what makes bombs work. There are only about 50 people in the U. S. who, like Dr. Richter, possess both the know-how to make a nuclear weapon and the “fudge-factor” — the memory of last minute tweaking and intuitive short-cuts that made some of the nation’s 1,000 or so nuclear weapons tests work. “Nuclear-weapons design was then [when Dr. Richter was a young apprentice Ph. D. at Los Alamos] taught in a kind of medieval apprenticeship.

Dr. Richter hung around one or two bomb designers to see how they did it. ‘You worked for those guys until you didn’t need them anymore,’ he says. “The quicker you did that, the quicker you could do more things on your own. ” 4 What’s needed in any organization is a way to capture the “fudge-factor”; to save and store what was said and done and acted upon outside of formal documents and procedures — a way to manage not just explicit documents and events, but tacit events and actions as well.

The Media’s Role in Informing the Public

“‘We do not often print everything we know,’” reveals David Lawerence, publisher of the Miami Herald (qtd. in Valente 4). There is a contrast between printing everything that is known, selecting information to disregard, and presenting information that is simply false. This difference has an impact on society. Media personnel representing a major bias also have an affect on facts that are being analyzed by the masses. Thus, accuracy in journalism is important to help an informed public make decisions. Journalists are trained to operate under a professional code of values and ethics…” states a foreman for the Society of Professional Journalists (“Code of Ethics” 1).

According to the SPJ, each individual in the media is aware of their code of ethics. An important ethical concern of the society is that journalists need to be accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers, and each other. They are responsible to “test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error” (1). The society does not permit the deliberate misuse of information.

Not only that, but “unethical practices of other journalists…should be uncovered and exposed” (2). The SPJ does contend however, that a journalist’s main interest should be the public’s right to know (2). Lastly the society states that if there is any miscommunication between the public and journalists, the public should be “encouraged to voice their grievances against the news media” (3). The SPJ, along with other organizations such as AIM. org and FAIR. org, is promoting accuracy and media fairness, but also trying to ensure careers of respectable journalists without compromising the legitimacy of information.

Many editors and journalists in the media agree that there are journalists who do not abide by the code of ethics presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. The most popular belief among conservatives is that the news media has a liberal bias. The liberals, believe the news media has a conservative slant. Conservatives contend that the press gives short shrift to traditional conservatives topics such as religion and family values, while giving disproportionate attention to liberal positions such as abortion, feminism, gay rights, and the environment (“Media Bias” 157-158).

The journalist may be liberal and might claim that attention is unbalanced in favor of the conservatives. Such seems to be the opinion of liberals in the 1996 election when 111 daily newspapers supported Dole’s campaign, while only 65 endorsed Clinton’s (158). This shows that although media bias does for the most part tend to be liberal and democratic, conservative bias does exist and still affects the public. However, the affect any bias has on the public varies because “consumers define bias in sources differently than journalists do” (158).

Scholars argue that at certain times the American press has been more liberal or conservative, reflecting the climate of the country at the time (Valente 10). Although one critic reasons that the problem may not be journalistic bias, but the way journalists approach balance and fairness might be misunderstood, even rejected by the news consumers (Hess 65). A crucial job of a journalist is to appease the public while maintaining a balance of opinion in his or her work. Another technique to alter the appearance of a story is to present false information.

The popularity, for example, of one-hour newsmagazines has placed pressure upon these moneymakers to create flashy and sensational reporting often at the expense of accuracy and honesty (Hess 65). As in the case of Dateline, a newsmagazine affiliated with NBC, two car crashes were staged to show that GM trucks were unsafe and hazardous to the public. Later it was discovered that the “holocaust” fire that was described was in fact planned by NBC to “get a decent show” (61). The piece was later retracted due to obviously fraudulent actions on NBC’s part.

What the public views on TV has a great impact on how they act in life. According to a poll conducted at the Roper Center, 71% of those surveyed said they relied on news in helping them make “practical decisions…in manners such as investing, purchasing, voting, health, and education” (Valente 4). Accurate and honest information is then crucial to the quality of the decisions made by the public. The poor material, as well as the responsible material, impacts society as a whole, says Lou Prato in his article “Most Journalists Are Ethical. He continues to say that “responsible, honorable journalism still exists” (74). However, there are members of the media who believe that they themselves have not done an adequate job covering news that builds community, inspires people, and offers solutions. “We must better this,” says Richard Oppel, a journalist himself (qtd. in Valente 4). Although the people of America seem content with the old-fashioned way of getting news, such as Nightly Network News, Local TV news, and local newspapers (Newport 32), 90% of the public said the media’s desire to profit “improperly influences the news” (Valente 5).

The fact that the traditional news outlets are the least trusted intensifies the pressure on these journalists to improve their reporting. The task of reporting the news is a demanding one. How the journalist may be impacted is often overlooked in cases of inaccuracy, censorship, and bias. It must be taken into consideration, however, the impression a journalist has on current events in the media. In a study done by FAIR. org, it was discovered that 90% of the news media agreed that the Nightly Network News was not as accurate as it could be (“Examining the Liberal Media Claim” 3).

This shows that the media is aware of the problem at hand. However, what it does not show is the impact sloppy reporting has on a respectable journalist. Stereotypes tend to tarnish the work of the entire profession. Many respectable reporters are out working to give the media a decent name. “The performance by local broadcasting and print media during the 1992 Florida hurricanes and the 1993 floods in the Midwest is proof” (73), says Prato. He agrees that the media does have reporters in it that are irresponsible and immoral, but those are the ones that need to be point out and scrutinized (73). It is counter-productive for anyone to…tar the work of the entire profession,” explains the article (Prato 73). There is the belief that the journalists do not show enough respect for, and knowledge of, their readers and communities, but it goes both ways. The readers and communities need to trust those journalists who are doing a decent job. Alexandra Marks explains in her article, “To the Public, the Press too Often Gets it Wrong,” from SIRS Researcher, that the public needs hold up their end of the deal. This is where the solutions to media problems may lay. The past is often a blueprint for the future.

Lessons learned in the past can change and alter activities later on, and care must be taken in how one writes, and how one interprets the news. Society is informed today. When discrepancies first appeared, however, the public’s difficulty knowing whom to trust was evident. “‘Twenty or thirty years ago there was plenty of plagiarism, embellishment, and other unethical short cuts,’” explains Howard Kurtz, media critic for the Washington Post (qtd. in Koch 1129). The number of cases within the past five, ten, even twenty years, in which the public’s well being is put at risk, is what is disturbing.

The severity of the cases, and the varying punishments, also cause controversy. Gays in the military is an issue on the front burner nowadays. In 1993, there was an overwhelming controversy concerning this issue. Most of the reports were negative. However, a positive RAND study never got significant coverage. This report supposedly cost the Pentagon $1. 2 million, and President Clinton based his 1993 Executive Order on this study. This study, as found on the “Real News Page” website, revealed that 76% of military participants were against discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

When the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was struck, RAND was reluctantly forced to back itself and it’s study off due to the lack of enthusiasm to print controversial issues. As a result, the American people were deprived of a substantial educational document that could have provided research information and facts to the public’s debate on gays in the military. , Magazines, newspapers, and TV are responsible in some part for the distribution of this information, and they obviously failed to inform the public in this incident. Twenty-seven out of 41 articles.

That is the ratio for how many of Stephen Glass’, an ex-columnist for the magazine New Republic, writings included inaccurate or fabricated information. This may have been one of the most striking and controversial cases because it struck the hardest and it blackened the eyes of journalism (Koch 1129). What shocked most was that Glass was never formally charged, just quietly dismissed. In the case of CNN and Time Magazine, the issue was not dealt with immediately and modestly. The television news station and the magazine were reporting that the U. S. military was using nerve gas to kill American defectors in Laos during the Vietnam War Koch 1129). The “‘serious faults in reporting’” were not acknowledged until the U. S. government exposed information that disproved the story. The program and the magazine only then retracted the article (1129). In the past, cases have been more localized as well. Two Boston Globe columnists, including popular Mike Barnicle, were dismissed for fabricating people and quotes, and plagiarism (Koch 1129). In this case, the situation was handled properly by the staff of the Globe, and dealt with neatly. The guilty were punished, and it was made clear that that sort of behavior would not be tolerated.

The final scandal is that of the Cincinnati Enquirer retracting an 18-page investigative “expos of the Chiquita Brands Company, apologizing and agreeing to pay $10 million in damages after learning the reporter had stolen information” (1129). The interesting thing about the Chiquita case is that the paper has still not said what, if anything, is untrue, says Kurtz (qtd. in Koch 1129). “‘…it is disturbing that a paper would pay $10 million before the company even filed suit,’” questions Kurtz. The case has come to a close, however, and the public will never know if the information contained in the lengthy report was accurate or not.

In some ways, journalistic ethics have improved over the last half-century (Koch 1129). “The latest scandals are just because journalists want to be stars, and that goes on in Washington more than anywhere else”, says Koch, defending the media (1129). There are also cases where a crime may be truly grisly, and it might not be in the public’s best interest to have it published. Thus, not all the stories that are not presented in full context are meant to mislead the public. Cases of past media inaccuracies have affected the way journalism is reported today.

As a direct result of early discrepancies, some journalists are taking it as their cue to shape up their reporting. Others are taking the fact that poor reporting in the past has been punishable only with a slap-on-the wrist to mean that lazy and irresponsible reporting is not a concern of the public’s. Some companies are out to prove these journalists wrong. As stated in Tim Jones’ article, “Gannett Unveils Rules for Ethical Reporting, Editing,” selected from SIRS Researcher CD-ROM, Gannett Co. , Inc. , America’s largest paper company, created new ground rules for it’s papers to abide by.

These rules include forbidding reporters from misstating their identities, and urging their editors not to publish a story “if it doesn’t feel right. ” According to Jones, Gannett is the owner of 50-some papers worldwide, and this is quite a task to tackle. Misgivings about the paper’s confidence are also arising, states Jones, because the paper’s affiliated with Gannett have had troubles in the past. These misgivings do not concern the company. Gannett is now satisfied, with the positive image it’s projecting, and hopes others follow in it’s footsteps, concludes Jones.

The company’s actions in trying to improve is reputation is a step in the right direction for improving the media. Gannett is a rare case, however, and other situations in reporting cause groups to try to ignite new changes. Liberals are in an upheaval about conservative slants in the media because “major segments of the media are run and owned by large corporations that tend to favor conservative viewpoints,” states the article “Media Bias” (159). Liberals believe that a solution to bias and false reporting is breaking up existing mergers where a few major companies own everything.

This currently is a problem because “it makes reporters less likely to cover potentially negative news about the products or management of the network’s parent companies” (“Media Bias” 159). The breaking up of mergers does not appeal to many Republicans who contend that the mergers keep the media simple (158). The editorial pages of the American Press have been consistently more Republican as a whole, says David Broder (qtd. in “Media Bias” 158). The compromise expressed by the liberals would also decrease a popular belief that society is plagued by liberal bias.

In coming to an agreement, they’re setting aside politics to better the media industry. Changing the media for the better is always a goal of society. Always trying to achieve perfection is the American way. Comments with negative slants tend to set back society, and change its outlook, however. Nothing can be accomplished in the way of progressing to journalistic heights with comments such as, “…media reform is a societal illness,” as stated in the article by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. , found on EBSCOHost. The comment by an anonymous journalist projects the idea that reform is a waste of time, hen in reality, in order to succeed, reform and change is necessary. In the future, society can hope that journalists strive to meet the standards their held up to. Readers and viewers have their own opinions about the way the media handles itself.

Distrust of the media increases with time. Forty-six percent of the public believes conversations they have with their family and friends are more reliable than local newspapers, according to a study done by American Journalism Review in Gallup (Newport, Saad 33). Another interesting result of the study was that CNN and Headline News both got a trust percentage of 59 and ranked highest. Conspicuously missing from the top tier for perceived credibility is the nightly network news, with a net trust rating of only 43%,” say Newport and Saad (33). The results confused many journalists such as Carol Marin, who questions how “trash TV can prosper in a climate that people profess to abhor…” (Langone 238). People are proving, however, that they want things to change. Thomas Rush, a democratic senator from Illinois, wants to get a bill passed in Congress to force inaccuracies and laziness in the media to be more punishable. The Rush bill is aimed to target the incorrect media that is affecting the public directly.

Another aspect of the bill is to improve racism in the media work place, which also causes bias (Langone 238). The bill has a myriad of backing, but the support continues to fuel the fire between the media and the public. Contention is that the media is irresponsibly presenting the public with information that is either false or bias. The motives behind these actions need to be taken into consideration by the public, however. A myriad of journalists report the news conscientiously, leaving out pieces of stories here and there to either cut down on time, to ossibly protect the victim of a crime, or to protect the public from something truly gruesome. These good deeds of responsible journalists do not black out the inferior work of poor journalists. However, the poor journalism should not damage the work of an profession. Thus, journalistic integrity is localized to specific journalists, and it must be society’s role to weed these reporters out and separate their poor doings from the rest. Society is teetering on decision. The media has showed themselves, purposely or otherwise, to have inaccuracies in their reporting.

The media affects the public’s decisions in multiple aspects of life. Unless “‘they [the media] give the public a sense that they take [reporting] seriously, I don’t think there is an opportunity to regain that trust,’” says Andrew Kohut to Alexandra Marks in the article “To the Public, the Press too Often Gets it Wrong,” from SIRS Researcher CD-ROM. It can be agreed upon, in retrospect, that the media’s reputation has been damaged in not presenting all the information, and it will take time and a different news environment to regain that respect.

The Role Of The Media (In Australia)

Osborne and Lewis state that “[a] preeminent theme in Australian thinking about the use of communication is the extent to which it has been viewed as a form of control” . There has been concern in recent times of the enormous power communication holds as an agent of societal control. This is due to a number of factors, such the ‘media mogul’ dominated media, which promotes a very conservative view and does not allow for alternate opinions to be voiced.

The wide-reaching capabilities of the media, particularly electronic media via the Internet allows for the influence to spread across the entire country to remote areas and therefore heightens a sense of societal control. Although there have also been calls for harsher and more defined regulations to be set down on the media industry in light of its influence, the concepts of free speech and censorship have existed ever since the introduction of the mass media.

With the current trends in Australia moving towards “an essentially corporatised system of public communication” , concerns about the extent to which media and communication controls society will continue to be of relevance in Australia. The very basis for Australia, that is colonialism and settling a new land, formed the foundation for the media of the nation. In 1803, The Sydney Gazette, a government publication, became the first Australian newspaper to be circulated in the colony. It dealt with legal news, farming news and other areas of interest for the colonisers.

Of course, it was aimed only at educated white colonials and not indigenous people or convicts. Despite starting as a government controlled newspaper, by 1824, the year that The Australian was started, all government ownership of the press has ceased and private owners were involved. This was a sign of things to come and is the root of current problems with dominant ownership of the press. Although by 1923 there were twenty-six metropolitan dailies owned by twenty-one proprietors, this balanced industry was not to remain and by 1983 there were only three major owners in the press industry.

In 2001, two major media companies dominate the Australian press – NewsLtd, and Fairfax. A government controlled media is not possible in a democratic society, however a media industry controlled by media moguls with widespread influence is hardly a better option, and results in a greater and more centralised control over society. The ‘media-mogul’ dominated industry presents enormous problems and certainly contributes to the fear of controlling power held by the media. The fact that one person, family or company could control the majority of newspaper media that is being fed to society is consistent with the growing fear of social control.

Rupert Murdoch, and his company NewsCorp, currently owns more than half of the newspaper industry in Australia, as well as about one-third of British newspapers. He also has film, TV, newspaper and publishing interests in the USA and owns Star Television in Asia. NewsLtd, the Australian subsidiary of NewsCorp, publishes 67. 8 per cent of the capital city and national newspaper market; 76. 1 per cent of the Sunday newspaper market; 46. 6 per cent of the suburban newspaper market; and 23. 4 per cent of the regional newspaper market.

Fairfax owns and controls 21. 4 per cent of the capital city and national newspaper market; 22. per cent of the Sunday newspaper market; 18. 1 per cent of the suburban newspaper market; 15. 4 per cent of the regional newspaper market. This total domination by two companies over what information is provided to Australians via the press is disturbing and further enhances the notion of the powerful control of the media over society. Although the situation is not uncommon in other nations, particularly the USA where Murdoch owns controlling interests in a variety of media formats, the concentration of media ownership is more pronounced in Australia than in any other modern Western society.

Therefore, this form of communication is a controlling influence in society because when there are little alternative news sources, the public is vulnerable. Despite an obvious dominance by NewsCorp and Fairfax in the Australian press, the alternative press attempts to limit the control of these corporations. An alternative publication can be defined as one which “provides a new and clear alternative to mainstream journalism; it covers general news and political issues; it is not owned or affiliated with a major chain; and it is not the official publication of a major political party. One aim of the alternative press, aside from providing another view on current political and social news items, is to give a voice to minorities, such as Indigenous and Aboriginal peoples, women, migrants, youth and the aged who are largely excluded from the mainstream media. An alternative publication, The Green Left Weekly claims that they are not just the mirror of News Limited and they stand for an unbiased, full coverage of current events.

The establishment media [mainstream] seek to maintain the existing power relations in society; the alternative media have to challenge and change those relations. ” While it can be said that alternative publications such as these do provide an alternate point of view, the question arises: is it any less controlling in society? and indeed, is it any less biased? Claims that the alternative press is unbiased and pushing for change and reform only reinforce the notion of media as a controlling influence in society.

Despite existing Australian laws preventing any one person or company from having controlling interests in more than one media outlet, for example newspapers and television, the increased interconnectedness between nations, in particular between the USA and Australia, has seen this occur regardless. The Media Ownership Regulations in Australia state that “the major effect of the laws is to prevent the common ownership of newspapers, television and radio broadcasting licences that serve the same region. The purpose of the legislation is to encourage diversity in the ownership of the most influential forms of the commercial media: the daily press and free-to-air television and radio. However, when international corporations become involved, this becomes increasingly difficult. Also, regulations involving news content on the Internet are not well-established and therefore many companies have a controlling interest in either television, radio or print as well as online ventures. This results in a greater domination of the news and therefore control of society.

Osborne and Lewis see that “in the late 20th century, it is the corporate global sector, aided by satellite, cable and computer technology that is expanding the control function of communication in Australia. ” Thus, because Murdoch was able to utilise expanding technologies he is the considered to be “only media mogul to create an to control a truly global media empire. ” The motivations behind controlling interest in media are also cause for concern. On the one hand, there is the desire to inform and educate a society.

However, the driving force behind these media empires is the almighty dollar and a quest for more information and more control over society. When Kerry Packer wanted to purchase the Fairfax network in 1991, parliament passed the Broadcasting Amendment Act to prevent him from doing so. The news, as presented in a variety of ways, is shaped by society. As the Australian population continues to grow the sales of mass media undergoes the same growth. Mass media is financed due to the massive influence both the print and electronic media has on Australia’s society.

However, it is also shaped by the bias and the quiet censorship employed by mainstream media in order to remain in a position to exert control. That is, “media outlets owned by a corporation will support government directly, mute criticism of it or withhold from the public information that could damage or embarrass it. ” The government then abolishes or waives official media regulations in return. Clearly, the regulations for media control and ownership need to be addressed to lessen the societal control.

Government regulations regarding the media are substantially different during times of war. The media is required to censor various information deemed counter-productive and in some cases publish propaganda-like articles to further the government’s will. The distribution of information and mass media during the world wars significantly altered the way that Australians viewed communication. The propaganda machine put in place by the Nazi regime in Germany during the second world war in particular contributed significantly to the notion of a potentially dangerous and controlling media.

However, despite the obvious and damaging effects of the Nazi propaganda, more benign but equally biased war messages were being delivered to the Australian population by the media at the same time. The wars were portrayed as fun and games, and the devastation and death of the reality of war was seldom expressed in the press. Lost battles were covered up and small victories were the focus of a heightened sense of celebration to ensure morale remained high for the war effort. There was a broad view that, during the wars, in the inter-war years, and beyond the mass media exercised a powerful and persuasive influence over society.

This is largely due to the sheer amount of information provided to the public by the media. The governments’ control of the media during the wars has relevance today as they censored the news as they saw fit to prevent anti-war sentiment arising. A perfect contemporary example of how the various facets of the media in Australia can control society can be seen in light of the terrorist attacks on the USA in September 2001, and subsequent coverage of the ‘War on Terrorism’. All newspapers, radio stations and television stations were biased in their presentation of the facts.

By presenting wall-to-wall coverage of the event, the media controlled society simply by deciding what they should view and think. This type of media coverage available only in this ‘technological age’ has a profound impact and control over society. However, it was not the excess of the coverage that was the main controlling factor. The manner in which the information was presented was extremely biased and definitely in favour of the USA. The mainstream media has largely ignored or downplayed public questioning of US actions, and protests against continual bombing of Afghanistan.

For example, a number of protests were held across Australia to demonstrate anti-war feelings on October 8th, 2001 and yet the major daily newspapers did not cover this at all. Ultimately, mainstream media presents the views that the government wants to put forth in a bid to ensure regulations are not tightened on the media. In the US, the CEO of CBS Dan Rather stated that “George Bush is the President. He makes the decisions, and, you know, I’m just one American, wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where. ” This blatant statement enforces the notion that the media falls in line with the current government.

The issue of bias and censorship, particularly during times of war is further evidence of the controlling influence of the media. Repeated showing of a message from Osama bin Laden over all major US television news networks, in which he urged more violence against Americans, resulted in the decision to edit all further messages from bin Laden and other terrorist groups as the White house had “reservations of allowing bin Laden such access to American television” . Similar control over the media is also evident in Australia regarding what is shown to the public of the ‘war on terrorism’.

The mainstream media clearly support John Howard’s stance on supporting the US ‘war on terrorism’ and as such have not published any articles condemning his actions or the actions of the US. Little coverage of anti-war protests and saturation coverage of the terrible and tragic side of the attacks on the US use emotion to sway society thinking. For example, the media in Australia presented snippets from personal accounts of the terrorist attacks in America and personal reflections on those who were lost. In contrast, the personal stories of those killed in the US bombing raids on Afghanistan are not told.

Therefore, the media’s discretionary power of deciding what to feed to the public, which is largely influenced by an understanding between the media and the government, allows information and communication to be a controlling influence in Australian society. Racial tension can be created by the media’s heightened sense of the news. Unlike in the US, where the notion of free speech is a fundamental part of the psyche, free speech has “rarely been a sustained aim of Australian governments, the commercial media, the public sector broadcasters or the universities” .

This is significant because it is partially responsible for current thinking toward media communication and information. Censorship, freedom of speech and the public and community right to know are all issue which come into play when discussing the control of the media. “Truth has no inherent power to prevail against the arrogant censor. Truth requires liberty of the press as its ally. No special laws should exist to hamper the freedom of newspapers, journals, books and pamphlets to print facts and advance opinion. ” This view, while noble, is not representative of the current situation in Australian media.

Although the media is a self-regulatory body, the unspoken control of the government and powerful companies over what is produced in the media ensures that freedom of speech is not entirely possible in the mainstream media. The media can be threatened with libel and defamation suits if they dare to produce something unflattering about someone who is powerful or rich. So, this results in mostly tame journalism, with the media too afraid to speak the truth as a whole for fear of being sued. Thus, the notion of freedom of speech is not essentially relevant in the Australian media, and as such the censored facts control and bias the society.

A final component of the media as a form of societal control that needs to be addressed is the issue of the wide-reaching capabilities of the modern media. With the advent of each new technology, the media’s control has been ever further reaching: the printing press allowed the mass publication of news; the radio allowed news to be broadcast to more remote areas; television added a whole new dimension to news. However, it is only with today’s satellite, computer, and wireless communications technology that the spread of the media has erupted.

Although this may be perceived to be a good thing due to the spreading of knowledge to remote parts of the world, it further enhances the idea of the lack of a balance for information. The poor polling of the “One Nation Party” in some areas can be directly attributed to the mass media’s influence on the public; likewise its success in the more rural areas can be attributed to support from the media in those regions. It is evident that the differences in the information people receive can create differences in society. “[The media] is making the difference.

I think there has to be because we are getting fed different stuff. A sure way to prove your bloody point is to feed us different information and we’ll be different. ” This perspective is indicative of the control by media held over particularly rural and regional society in Australia. By feeding the community information which is decidedly different to that of the urban communities, the media is creating a social divide between rural and urban Australians. Thus, the media’s control over Australian society is enhanced by the diverse and far-reaching influence they maintain.

The Australian media and industries of communication and information can be seen as exerting control over the society. Although this situation is said to reflect other western societies in the world, such as the USA and Britain, advances in technology and the various changes to the Australian culture have led to changes in the way in which the media operates and thrives. To an extent, the media helps to inform society and keep the population up to date in matters of interest that affect them. However, the growing control of the media influence over society has become a matter of concern.

It is important to acknowledge, however, that it is not only the media which controls the society, but also various other elite forces including government and big business. While more channels for information communication become available, there are less and less controllers of this information. It is vital that consumers of the media realise that the media is owned and controlled by particular groups who make sense of society on behalf of others, and thus have a controlling influence. In conclusion, if the media is analysed for its motives and values, it can become an informative source, rather than a controlling one.

Bernard Goldberg and his problem with CBS

“It was about the liberal biases that overwhelm straight news reporting”, is what Bernard Goldberg had to say in response to his problem with CBS evening news. Is it wrong for a reporter to jazz some boring news topic up and maybe make it seem a little more interesting a problem? It can be if the reporter is tending to his bias thoughts and disregarding the objectiveness, fairness, and balance that he or she vowed to do. But is t his really a problem in the media?

From a conservative standpoint, TV news tends to be more liberal because it features stories such as civil rights abuses, gay rights, and antiwar demonstrations which are all liberal cases. But on the other hand, some can say that its conservative due to pro-business and sometimes doesn’t give equal time to non-mainstream views. When you look at the ownership of many corporate businesses, they tend to have a more conservative view as compared to the people who mend together the stories who are more likely to be more liberal and open to ideas.

So where does one draw a line for too much liberalism or too much conservatism? According to Al Franken, “Asking whether there is a liberal or conservative bias to mainstream media is a little like asking whether Al Qaeda uses too much oil in their hummus”. From my standpoint as a somewhat liberal-conservative, I can safely say that yes there are liberal views in the media and there are also conservative news reporters in the media. So what is the big deal? That is what makes this world go round, different view points and different outputs for those opinions.

So for me to say that the media is too liberal or too conservative would go against what I feel is fair for the American public. I feel there is equal opportunity for either side of the spectrum to take in what they prefer, be it a liberal or conservative viewpoint. And if someone wants a straight forward report, without any chance of bias, then flip to CSPAN and enjoy the news. So for my final thought, I am glad there are some liberal and some conservative media outlets even if the news should be non-bias, otherwise TV or the radio, in my opinion, would be boring.

Amusing Ourselves to Death – Public discourse in the age of show-business

This book is a classic: everybody knows it, and everything has been written about it. Let me write some more. Postman’s book caused a lot of public discussion in the mid-eighties, but it is now as relevant as ever, possibly more so. Today, it has almost become an axiom of our society that the answer to the questions raised by our technological advances lie in the application of further technology, some of it undeveloped and possibly speculative as of now.

In the field of media, this has led to the hypothesis that the messages we want to communicate, and the media we choose to communicate them, are largely orthogonal issues, which is why we can analyze and quantify media, talk about the ‘bandwidth’ (in bits/second) of, say, a computer animation, or television viewing, or reading a book. Does it not make sense, then, to pick the medium with the highest bandwidth, and to develop media with better bandwidth, shorter access time etc.?

The main point of this book is that this hypothesis is wrong. It focuses on the shift from written text to television as the main mode of cultural communication, and tries to analyze how it affected our culture, how the means of communication influence the content that is communicated. According to Postman, it changed the way people perceive, it changed the way people are even capable of perceiving, it changed the things people think, it changed the cultural conception of what is and what is not, our conception of truth.

Postman argues that each medium has its bias, that it is better at communicating some messages than others, and that it consequently tends to be used for those messages. For television, this bias is the visual, pictures that change and move, as opposed to written text. Since pictures are always of the concrete, the specific, they are not well-suited to presenting the abstract and general. This makes television a bad medium for careful exposition and argument (could you imagine a DVD of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, or even a Tractatus-show in the evening? , much more suited to visual entertainment. Being exposed to so much of this mode of communication from the earliest childhood days shapes people’s expectations in communication — today, if you cannot make your point in two minutes without boring your audience, you may just as well not make it at all. The attention span of children becomes smaller, it is expected that all communication, and teaching in particular, be entertaining (‘edutainment’).

Discussions between politicians are limited to 60-second exchanges (there is an interesting anecdote in the book where Postman contrasts this with the kind of political discussions people had in the 19th century, which often lasted for a day in front of a live audience), and today’s politicians spend more time on their hairdo, makeup, and dress than on being knowledgeable in their country’s affairs. The book is well worth reading for all its big and little points, and certainly for its main point, that the medium is not neutral to the message.

However, one needs to keep in mind that it was written in pre-Internet (or rather pre-Web) time. Today’s technology enables modes of communication that are different from that of television. It would be most interesting to read what Postman has to say about those. Technologo Neil Postman, \”Amusing Ourselves to Death — Public discourse in the age of show-business\” This book is a classic: everybody knows it, and everything has been written about it. Let me write some more. Postman’s book caused a lot of public discussion in the mid-eighties, but it is now as relevant as ever, possibly more so.

Today, it has almost become an axiom of our society that the answer to the questions raised by our technological advances lie in the application of further technology, some of it undeveloped and possibly speculative as of now. In the field of media, this has led to the hypothesis that the messages we want to communicate, and the media we choose to communicate them, are largely orthogonal issues, which is why we can analyze and quantify media, talk about the ‘bandwidth’ (in bits/second) of, say, a computer animation, or television viewing, or reading a book.

Does it not make sense, then, to pick the medium with the highest bandwidth, and to develop media with better bandwidth, shorter access time etc.? The main point of this book is that this hypothesis is wrong. It focuses on the shift from written text to television as the main mode of cultural communication, and tries to analyze how it affected our culture, how the means of communication influence the content that is communicated.

According to Postman, it changed the way people perceive, it changed the way people are even capable of perceiving, it changed the things people think, it changed the cultural conception of what is and what is not, our conception of truth. Postman argues that each medium has its bias, that it is better at communicating some messages than others, and that it consequently tends to be used for those messages. For television, this bias is the visual, pictures that change and move, as opposed to written text.

Since pictures are always of the concrete, the specific, they are not well-suited to presenting the abstract and general. This makes television a bad medium for careful exposition and argument (could you imagine a DVD of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, or even a Tractatus-show in the evening? ), much more suited to visual entertainment. Being exposed to so much of this mode of communication from the earliest childhood days shapes people’s expectations in communication — today, if you cannot make your point in two minutes without boring your audience, you may just as well not make it at all.

The attention span of children becomes smaller, it is expected that all communication, and teaching in particular, be entertaining (‘edutainment’). Discussions between politicians are limited to 60-second exchanges (there is an interesting anecdote in the book where Postman contrasts this with the kind of political discussions people had in the 19th century, which often lasted for a day in front of a live audience), and today’s politicians spend more time on their hairdo, makeup, and dress than on being knowledgeable in their country’s affairs.

The book is well worth reading for all its big and little points, and certainly for its main point, that the medium is not neutral to the message. However, one needs to keep in mind that it was written in pre-Internet (or rather pre-Web) time. Today’s technology enables modes of communication that are different from that of television. It would be most interesting to read what Postman has to say about those.

The Language and Syntax of The Yellow Wallpaper

From the minute you read the read the first paragraph until you finish the last sentence, Charlotte Gilman captures her reader s attention as her character documents her own journey into insanity in The Yellow Wallpaper. As her character passes a seemingly indefinite amount of time, it becomes clear that her husband s treatment is affecting her. Gilman is able convey the narrator s changing mental state through language and syntax. Gilman manipulates the reader s perspective throughout her story as she immediately introduces us to her world.

Language plays an important role as a normal woman assesses her husband s profession and her own supposed illness. The narrator comes across intelligent if not a little paranoid-less concerned with a slighthysterical tendency but rather a queer untenanted (Gilman 691) house. Her suspicion occurs early on; appearing at first as misdirection meant to foreshadow a possible ghost story. She goes on to describe the most beautiful place with a delicious garden (Gilman 692). Her depiction is that of a quaint home-leading thereader to imagine a stable woman in a new setting.

Clearly the narrator s broad vocabulary is an indication of her right-mindedness as well as her ability to examine a condition she disagrees with. A description of the wall is necessary in order to provide a base for comparison with the rest of the story. Because we only get the narrator s point of view, descriptions of the wall become more important as a way of judging her deteriorating mental state. When first mentioned, she sees the wall as a sprawling, flamboyant pattern committing every artistic sin, (Gilman 693) once again emphasizing her present intellectual capacity.

Additionally, the wall s color contrasts a dull, yet lurid orange with a sickly sulfur tint showing different appearances depending on where the narrator looks at the wall. While the description is far from flattering, it conveys the dual nature of the wall as an evil yet compelling force by using contrasting words to describe the wall. More focus, though, is on the overall awkwardness of the wallpaper. Its lame, uncertain curves, symbolic of the narrator s supposed condition, suggest a point at which they suddenly commit suicide -quite possibly foreshadowing events of thenear future.

These curves destroy themselves in unheard-of contradictions. Each image becomes indicative of a more sinister tone. The narrator is immediately aware of an evil contained within the wallpaper. Focus remains on the wallpaper throughout the story. As the narrator explores its nature, she uncovers new aspects of the wallpaper providing further proof of her surfacing mental condition. The smell is introduced as an extension of the physical wallpaper giving it a human quality, which in itself is capable of such actions as skulking in the parlor, hiding in the hall, [and] lying in wait for me . Gilman 700) No longer is the wallpaper simply confined to the bedroom, it is now able to extend its reach throughout the house.

The narrator shows signs of increasing alienation-unable to feel comfortable in the whole house much less her bedroom. The narrator s paranoia is portrayed through her internal conversations. The reader is given insight as to what she sees, however distorted it appears, and it is through this that we become aware of her developing state. The reader is clued in to her many observations about her company and the wallpaper. I have watched John and Jennie too she exclaims in a distraught fashion.

It is as if she wants us to believe, for at least a brief second, that her mental state is either shared or nonexistent-simply a product of the paper. Instantly, this attitude changes, though as a new journal entry is evidence of the ranting of a crazy woman, afraid that John might want to take me away. It is now absolutely obvious that she has made a connection with the wallpaper, which provides her with something more to expect, to look forward to as if she is dependent on it. Studying the syntax Gilman uses reveals her characters state of thought.

As she speaks to her journal in the beginning, her speech is controlled, fluid. Paragraphs 6 and 7 create a basis for her thoughts of her husband and his treatment. She is able to calmly describe her feelings about her situation just as any other person would. The reader first has little suspicion of the author s intent. Sentence length adds to its fluidity and provides proof of her ability to convey complex thoughts. In contrast, syntax provides a new perspective to the narrator s behavior as sentence structure draws attention to her erratic behavior. By her last entry, the narrator s sentences have become short and simple.

Paragraphs 227 through 238 contain few adjectives resulting in limited descriptions yet her short sentences emphasize her actions providing plenty of imagery. The syntax quickly pulls the reader through the end as the narrator reaches an end to her madness. Charlotte Gilman s manipulation of language and syntax in her prose is crucial to the overall effect of the story. What the reader is presented is a story that uses language and syntax to portray a woman s changing mental state. The reader experiences the narrator s deteriorating mental state as she succumbs to her condition and eventually loses her sanity.

Censorship in Media

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” (United States Constitution 1789). Throughout the history of the United States of America, the Constitution has always been put to the test. The founders of this great country originally created the first amendment to allow colonists to speak out against the British. In the 17th century, the press was accurate and informative with little competition among journalists. But today in the 21st century the circumstances are different and the stakes are higher.

Due to incredibly high amount of competition among journalists today, the information is usually exaggerated in order to capture a viewing audience. Censorship is defined as “Policy of restricting the public expression of ideas, opinions, conceptions, and impulses, which are believed to have the capacity to undermine the governing authority or the social and moral order which authority considers itself bound to protect” (Abraham 357). Political, religious, obscenity, and censorship affecting academic freedom are all equal in their destructiveness towards free speech.

There are two different forms that censorship takes; prior, which refers to advance suppression and “post facto” which is suppression after it has been published” (Calvocoressi 10). Since the beginning of the written word, authorities have used both of these forms of censorship. The media is everywhere you turn. You can find the media in many different forms such as television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and now on the information superhighway, the Internet. In the process of capturing ratings, who is the media hurting more?

Is it the people who are accused of a crime, such as O. J. Simpson, or is it the American public’s own fault for believing everything they hear? In my view, some limitations greatly need to be placed upon the first amendment of the U. S. Constitution in regard to freedom of the press because presently the media is doing more harm than good. The job of the media is to find the truth and tell it to the people. The media has the power to inform the public, but often the information they receive is distorted. The media has shaped our view of society and the process by which we choose our leaders, make our rules, and make up our values.

The media has the power to encourage people to like or hate the government. The media promotes what it believes is easiest for the public to accept, but in the process it fails to cover the issues properly. “The media can make us wiser, fuller, sure and sweeter than we are” (Orr 61). But, the media can also cloud the public’s judgments, and cause confusion and disillusion as well. From Churchill to Hitler to the former Soviet Union, it is quite clear that radio, television and newspapers have the power to change and make history.

A clear example of the power of the media was when Orson Welles’ made his famous radio broadcast about “witnessing” the landing of a spaceship full of Martians. “America saw that the power of the media could appeal to the public easily and cause mass hysteria” (Williams 25). Noam Chomsky, an established political thinker and magazine editor, stated in an interview in 1990: “If you follow mainstream media with great care and skepticism and approach it with the right understanding of how propaganda works, then you can learn a lot. The normal reader is fooled into believing the propaganda that they are being fed.

The media shapes and selects the events and offer their biased opinions to the mass audiences. ” “The media modifies information to fill what they believe the public’s interest is” (Szykowny 9). The media feels that they should act as a “watchdog. ” This causes many of the ethical problems among the media because they assume the responsibility of keeping a check on the government, by acting as governmental critics, governmental experts, etc. The media digs, researches, and snoops in governmental affairs, which eventually leads the media to speculate and create rumors while they are trying to expose corruption.

This “watchdog” attitude of the media creates the idea that the government is evil and must constantly be checked. But according to Lisa Orr, “Nobody checks the checker” (63). John Silber, a critic of the media in 1988 said: “The reporter’s work should be like a pane of glass, perfectly clear and unspotted, through which the reader might view the important events of the day. Today, the practice of “personal” journalism in news reporting has persistently sacrificed objectivity for entertainment and the personal gratification and presumably the greater popularity of the reporter.

The pane of glass is dirtied and distorted. ” “Too often we see and read, not what happened or what was said, but the personal views of the fourth estate” (Orr 66). The first attempt to regulate the media came when the Fairness Doctrine was established in 1934. This doctrine was created to ensure that publicly owned television and radio stations would not be biased and would promote their own views. The Federal Communications Council (FCC) was established to enforce the doctrine.

In 1987 under the Reagan Administration, the Fairness Doctrine was revoked. The role of the FCC changed, therefore evolving to monitor the decency of materials presented on the radio and television” (Orr 77). With the abolishment of the Fairness Doctrine, the window for controversial journalists was opened. Thus, America saw the emergence of two strong willed personalities, Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. In the early to mid 1990s the audience of Rush Limbaugh had grown considerably. Radio stations carrying the Limbaugh Show had increased. In restaurants, there were areas called “The Rush Room” where you could eat and listen to him on the radio.

Limbaugh speaks his mind as he constantly puts down democrats, liberals, and anything or anyone who does not share his views. At times the information Limbaugh provided was inaccurate. For example on June 27, 1993 Limbaugh played a tape from June 21, 1993 in which Secretary Lloyd Benson stated that the new Clinton budget plan would bring the stock market down. “A proud Limbaugh failed to recognize that on June 27, 1993 the Stock Market, Dow Jones, and NASDAQ index had risen since June 21, 1993” (Shank 9). Due to the increase in Limbaugh’s popularity, he was granted both a radio and a television show.

His influence on the public was clear in the 94 elections in which the newly elected Congressional majority was Republican. Before the 94 election, members of Congress feared Limbaugh’s power. “In the Senate, a bill referred to as the “Hush Rush” was designed to silence him, although it did not pass” (Corry 50). The popularity of Howard Stern has grown tremendously over the past few years. He is constantly speaking out against people who he feels stray away from the “norm” such as gays, lesbians, etc. In the past, political candidates that Stern endorsed such as Rudolph Gulliani have gotten elected.

But because of the manner in which Stern presents his views, is what concerns the FCC. When Stern says something totally outrageous, the FCC fines the Infinity Broadcasting Company, which is Stern’s employer. In December of 1992, the FCC fined Infinity Broadcasting Company $600,000 (“FCC Tags Stern” 65). But, in late 1994, the FCC failed to recognize Stern when he talked a man out of suicide. Today, “The Howard Stern Radio Show” still remains as one of the top listened to broadcasting shows in radio history. With the radio show being a huge success it was turned into a Television show, which ranks as the top most viewed show on the E!

Network. The power that the media has is derived from its ability to mold the public opinion by presenting exaggerated and biased coverage of events. The media functions as the national judge and jury. It tarnishes the reputations of many people just like the McCarthy trials. We live in a capitalist society in which money is our main motive. A journalist today is not concerned with telling the truth on an issue, but what they can say that will sell and make the most money. A journalist named Nicholas Von Hoffman wrote, “Butchers make sausage. Newspapers make public affairs.

Has that hunger driven the media out of control? ” (Nachman 26) Tabloids are run purely on the basis of what will sell the most copies. It is sad that some of the most repeatable newspapers and news shows are following in the tabloid’s footsteps. “The Gennifer Flowers story appeared in The Star way before it was plastered on the front page of major newspapers such as The New York Times” (Nachman 26). But in the process of serving Americans their daily dose of gossip, innocent people are having their names dragged through the mud. Personal things are becoming public knowledge.

Even worse, people are being declared guilty before it is proven that they are. George Stephanopoulous, an established reporter stated that: “It is our job, as the media, to report about what the public wants. If they want to hear about the Menedez brothers, the Bobbitts, Tonya and Nancy, Whitewater, or O. J. Simpson, then we’ll report about it. We need to write about what the public wants in order to keep them buying newspapers” (Nachman 26).

An individual who has been affected by the media’s money driven motives is O. J. Simpson. America was fascinated with this case, because after all, it has great entertainment value. It has a great plot, a football star kills his beautiful ex-wife and her lover in the heat of passion. The treatment of the O. J. Simpson case shows how the media has become purveyors of drama rather than information” (Gabler 12). There were an incredible amount of rumors surrounding the case. Some people have said that the Simpson case is an “American tragedy” that became the center of a media circus. Because of the enormous media coverage it caused making the selection of an impartial jury nearly impossible. It also led to having the jury secluded during the trial as well. When O. J.

Simpson was interviewed on BET (Black Entertainment Television) he said: “The biggest villain in my ordeal was the media. The media follows me everywhere I go. They report one erroneous rumor after another. The media images some Americans saw were not ones that were actually shown in court” (Jet 89). O. J. Simpson also went on the say in that interview that the media only showed the people that were upset on his released and held signs that said “Butcher of Brentwood. ” “They did not show the hundreds of people that waved to him or gave him a thumbs up as he walked out of the California jail” (Jet 39).

Over the years, the Supreme Court has heard many cases regarding censorship. In 1964, the Supreme Court heard the case of “The New York Times v. Sullivan”. Sullivan claimed that the newspaper had printed wrongful statements about him and was inadvertent. In the process they ruined his reputation and were liable for it. “This was the first case in which someone could actually fight back against the media” (Orr 57). In 1990, the case Milkovich vs Lorain Journal was brought before the Supreme Court. The court ruled that the media can be held liable even when only expressing their opinions.

This is especially true if the media is “implying an assertion of an objective fact. Everyone including cartoonists are vulnerable to libel suits” (Orr 58). The United States mass communications systems are entering a time of rapid technological change and the need for policy reform is becoming increasingly apparent. The role of the FCC changes from day to day. Passage of the telecommunications bill in January 1996 created 60 new guidelines for the FCC to follow when they are considering whether something is decent or not. The bill also rejected the idea that the Internet was the electronic equivalent of the printing press.

The legislators concerned themselves more with the broadcasting of indecent materials such as pornography to minors. “Anyone caught soliciting these materials to minor can be given a maximum of 10 years in jail” (Lewis B14) In conclusion, how should the media be regulated? Many people feel that the solution to the problem is to create a new media doctrine. Opponents of this feel that this would change the information and this country would turn into a dictatorship. But, if something is not done soon, who knows what will happen? If the media does not establish an internal system of self-regulation, the government will surely intrude, a step that will begin with regulation and ultimately lead to censorship” (Deskowitz 150).

Freedom of the press is the cornerstone of America’s image and the question of free speech is arguably one of the most complex of all constitutional issues. To solve the problem there must be a partnership between the media and the American public. If the public doesn’t want lies and gossip, then that’s what the media will give them. But as America continues to be fascinated by lies and gossip, then the press will continue to print it.

Recently viewed on HBO is a show called Strangers

Recently viewed on HBO is a show called Strangers. In the show a man was stood up at the alter by his finance. Instead of seeking compassion from his friends he went to Paris to get over her. There, he met a beautiful Zoo Keeper who later in the day he was having sex with. During the sex scene it reveled the womans breasts and showed them engaging in intercourse (Bellafante). Late night cable television is allowed to show these scenes and does so frequently. Over 75 percent of late night shows on premium stations like: HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime show sex scenes like the one on strangers often (Bellafante)

Sexual content is not only found on late night premium stations but also on regular sitcoms shown during family hour. (Impoco) On NBCs popular sitcom Friends, Phoebe has a major problem. Her boyfriend wont sleep with her! The guy still wont put out, huh? a friend asks. The gang then speculates that he must be gay. But Phoebe then rules that out by bringing up a circumstance when she was dancing with him recently. She points out that while they were dancing he became aroused. She knew this because she felt his penis poking into her hip.

Later in the show she can barely contain her happiness when she tells the gang that hey finally made it. (Tyler pg 954-65) The trick she says was that she made it clear to him that she wasnt expecting a commitment just because they had sex. In an extensive study by, Robert Lichter, Linda Lichter, Stanley Rothman and Daniel Amundson found that a sexual act or reference occurred every four minutes on average during a prime time show (Polymorphous). On NBCs Caroline in the City, penis size is a running joke. When a male character asks does size matter? a female responds Give women some credit!

Of course not unless youre having sex. (Impoco) On ABCs Grace Under Fire Grace romises to repay her boyfriend with Mother Natures credit card if he watches her kids (Polymorphous). On NBCs Mad About You a neighbor asks Paul for permission to loosely cup his dogs testicles to prove a point. On Foxs Melrose Place a plastered Jake takes a stranger to his hotel room. He asks her no strings attached, right? (Steinbeck pg 565-573) none but these she replies as she drops her spaghetti straps of her slip. And on NBCs Seinfield a minicrisis erupts because of a shortage of contraceptive sponges.

Because of the circumstance Elaine must interview her date to see if he is sponge worthy. He passes with flying colors. Recently the comedy sitcom star Ellen has came out of the closet by revealing the fact that she is a lesbian. Her weekly sitcom is now based on her being a lesbian. The number of gay/ lesbian/ or bisexual characters on television has increased dramatically since TVs beginning. (See chart below) (http://home. cc. umanitoba. ca/~wyatt/tv-characters. html)

The first gay character appeared in 1970 in the UK Since then many TV shows have had characters appear as being gay (http://home. c. umanitoba. ca/~wyatt/tv-characters. html). One sitcom, which ran rom 1972-1977, had 14 characters appear as being gay on a regular basis (http://home. cc. umanitoba. ca/~wyatt/tv-characters. html). From 1971-1980 21 shows had a total of 55 gay characters (http://home. cc. umanitoba. ca/~wyatt/tv-characters. html). From 1981-1990 45 shows had a total of 93 gay characters (http://home. cc. umanitoba. ca/~wyatt/tv-characters. html). And from 1991-present there have been 66 shows with 138 gay characters making an appearance (http://home. cc. umanitoba. ca/~wyatt/tv-characters. html).

That is a drastic increase from the one show and one gay character appearing between 1961-1970 http://home. cc. umanitoba. ca/~wyatt/tv-characters. html). Some say television is the best sex educator that society can offer. But the message being sent out is to go for it (Tan pg 912-917). On television it is taken for granted that after a few dates you sleep with the person. In a recent report sent out by the Media Research Center it was found that portrayals of premarital sex out numbered sex within marriage by 8 to 1 (Impoco). Furthermore, casual sex was almost always condoned.

In our survey we asked teens and adults a series of questions about sex on television. The questions were Do you think TV has too much sexual content? , Do you think what is portrayed on TV effects your personal decisions? , and Do you think TV events are real and believable and would actually happen in everyday life? (See chart below for results) TV effects personal decisions? Too much sexual content? TV is real and believable? 92% of teens say that TV does not have too much sexual content. 100% of teens say that TV does not effect their personal decisions. 76% of teens say that TV is believable and could actually happen.

Too much sexual content? TV effects personal decisions? TV is real and believable? 68% of adults say that TV has to much sexual content. 72% of adults say that TV does effect their personal decisions. 60% of adults say that TV is believable and could actually happen. In the kite poem the auther says they fled to their young men…. And kissed and kissed,(Merrill pg 1119) they did this against their fathers will. Friends showing on NBC at 8 p. m. have plots loaded with references to casual sex. 61% of Hollywood leaders think TV places too much emphasis on sex, and 92% say TV does a poor job of encouraging abstinence (Impoco).

Melrose Place showing on FOX during the family hour (referred to now as sex hour by the article text). Anyone who watches day time talk shows and listens to the topics that are discussed will find it hard to reject other kinds of behavior that are wrong yet less unreasonable. (Updike pg 898-901) On the Jerry Springer show, a hefty woman with orange hair and a notably missing tooth, named Peaches tells her boyfriend she wants to get physical with another female (Polymorphous). On Ricki Lake, Brenda, with a variety of missing teeth scolds her son-in-law for caring too much about what she does on her own personal time.

She finally gets so disgusted that she bends over and points her rear at his face (Polymorphous). On Sally Jessy Raphael, a 13 year old boy named Rocky wearing lipstick and a red dress tells why he enjoys dressing like a girl while his mother sits nearby and weeps. (Alverez pg 903-910) Miss Raphael defends her show by saying that it is a kind of modern morality play which really encourages wholesome behavior (Polymorphous). The show may not be telling 13 year old boys to wear lipstick and a dress but what it is doing is just as bad or worse. Daytime talkshows raise the nations shock threshold (Polymorphous).

Anyone who watches these shows and listens to topics like the ones listed above or Geraldo Riveras show on a 16 year old girl who is bisexual and needs sex all the time, will find it hard to reject other kinds of behavior. The other things that are still bad but not as bad seem less harmful and more O. K. to do. (Lee pg 968-976) So as you can see sex on television has definitely increased over the years. It is still getting worse and our children will probably be able to say the same thing about our generation, as far as sex on TV goes. This is only one problem between the generations but it is a fairly serious one.

The Negative Effects of False Media Images

Since the birth of communication, media has been used to convey information to those willing to absorb it. Beginning with publications and simple spoken words, and soaring to new heights in the twentieth century with radio, television, and the internet, media have been made accessible to people in every aspect of their daily lives. With such a strong hold on modern society, mass media have been able to shape popular culture and often influence public opinion. However, when abused, the power of media can harm the general population.

Biased media tend to make people strive to be someone else’s idea of perfect while subconsciously ignoring their own goals. Stereotypes formed by the media that include thin, tanned women, and wealthy, muscular men have led to a decline in self-acceptance. The majority of media today often present the perfect body to the public, hoping that consumers will strive to achieve fitness using a certain product or idea. While this form of advertising may somewhat increase a product’s market share, many people suffer from inner conflicts as a result of failure to achieve the body of a top athlete or fashion model.

Along with emotional conflicts, those influenced by the media have encountered physical problems, including bulimia, anorexia, and the employment of harmful dietary plans. Unless reality is discerned from what is presented in certain media, some people will continue to suffer. Consumers could find the truth more easily if media offered products advertised by normal people without all the extra glamor. In addition to this, if the public could view advertising only as something to get one’s attention and not a portrayal of how one should look, there would be fewer problems.

Until either is accomplished, the negative effects will be felt by the vulnerable, and companies will continue to make their money. Those consumers given a false impression about a product through various forms of media are the ones who suffer most from our society’s portrayal of the perfect body. After being influenced by a television commercial or a magazine pictorial, certain people in this world will purchase an item hoping that the same success shown in the medium will be had by them as well. The truth of the matter is that this hardly ever happens.

Every day, ugly people wear sensual cologne, and slow runners wear Carl Lewis track shoes. Mentally, some may feel an improvement but in reality nothing has changed. Realization of this leads to the demise of many individuals’ self – pride. The severity of both the mental and physical damage done to the person depends on the case. Some may resort to extreme diets, more unnecessary spending, or a decline in social activity. After being rejected at a local bar despite the bath he took in Polo Sport, Jerry might finally understand that his appearance or personality is the problem — not his cologne.

The mental effects of the mass media’s portrayal of the perfect body can cause people to resort to unhealthy methods of losing weight to attain that athletic look that so many desire. Such conditions that can occur from trying to lose weight too fast are bulimia and anorexia. Bulimia is a food disorder caused by mental insecurities (Larsen 2). Doctors recommend that bulimic people see a psychiatrist because the illness’s symptoms, including compulsive exercise, taking laxatives, and throwing up, can cause one’s body to become short on electrolytes, which is extremely unhealthy (2).

Anorexia is a similar condition in which one loses exorbitant amounts of weight often by eating very little and vomiting what minute amount of food that is actually consumed (3). In one extreme case, a young woman lost an incredible thirty pounds in a period of a month (3). Because of the constant binging and purging, one’s metabolism becomes abnormal and one puts on large amounts of weight by hardly eating anything (3,4). Although these conditions are more common in women, men have diet problems as well.

In the past, both men and women (predominately men) who were slightly overweight used a fat burning drug known as Redux. It was designed for obese individuals, but the off-label use of such drugs began rampant due to advertising techniques by the manufacturers (Lawsuit 1). Many people, including doctors, who were slightly overweight used the drug and have experienced pulmonary hypertension, valvular heart disease, and neurotoxicity (1). Other drugs, such as steroids, have been widely proven to cause brain cancer, stunted growth, and shrinkage of the testes (Mathias 2).

Many student-athletes use these performance enhancers in an attempt to become as muscular as the men often portrayed by media. This problem is also present in female teenagers as well. To some girls, steroid use is comparable to diet pills and laxatives (3). The abuse of these drugs is partly a result of inaccurate advertising as well as the young person’s desire to look and perform as well as the superstars shown in various forms of media. How can a fifteen year-old “be like Mike” without shooting up a performance enhancing steroid into his arm? The bottom line is that he can not.

Something needs to be done to halt this problem. If media were encouraged to present products in ordinary situations by ordinary people, there would be fewer negative effects as a result of advertising. Consumers might realize that an article of clothing is not meant solely for slender women but can be enjoyed by people of all sizes. The products may not necessarily sell because of their sexy advertisements, but rather because of the appearance of the items themselves. In the long run more customers would buy the product simply because it appeals to them.

There would not be as many disillusioned people, and possibly some of the harmful activities done to lose weight could cease. If manufacturers would agree to this, it could help them financially as well. For example, in the Redux case, glamorous advertising cost the company millions of dollars in lawsuits and brand name recognition. If the product had been aimed only at seriously overweight people as the drug was originally intended, less money would have been lost, and the company could still have its good name.

The bottom line is that people should make up their minds that they will not be negatively influenced by the media. In doing this, the public can view media for what it truly is-a means of conveying information or supplying entertainment. Good common sense should tell a woman that the overly attractive person in an advertisement is a model and should be admired for her beauty; all women are not required to look like her to be attractive. The process of differentiating fact from fiction in advertising can not be described on paper. It can only happen in people’s minds, one at a time.

It is true that some messages are sent subliminally, but if consumers would appreciate the advertisement for what it actually is, much of the ordeal could be avoided. As long as this method of advertising continues to sell products for companies, there will still be the gorgeous woman bouncing around one’s television screen with a Marlboro in her hand and a Versace evening gown covering very little of her body. Although there is no direct solution to ending personal suffering due to the images put in front of the American population, there is a starting point.

Companies can still successfully sell products without beautiful babes. Also, if certain media can be viewed for entertainment purposes only, people can enjoy the beautiful bodies before them. However, if some still model themselves after Cindy Crawford or Tom Cruise, they will keep failing to meet their extremely high personal goals. The media’s negative grip on society can be greatly decreased if people remember just one thing–what is on television is only an advertisement.

Semiotics And Intertextuality

The semiotic notion of intertextuality is associated primarily with poststructuralist theorists. Each media text exists in relation to others. In fact, texts owe more to other texts than to their own makers. Texts are framed by others in many ways. Most obvious are formal frames: a television programme, for instance, may be part of a series and part of a genre (soap or sitcom). Our understanding of any individual text relates to such framings. Genre theory: Within semiotics genres can be seen as sign systems or codes – conventionalized but dynamic structures.

Each example of a genre utilises conventions which link it to other members of that genre. Such conventions are at their most obvious in ‘spoof’ versions of the genre. Links also cross the boundaries of formal frames, for instance, in sharing topics with treatments within other genres (the theme of war is found in a range of genres such action-adventure film, documentary, news, current affairs). Some genres are shared by several media: the genres of soap, game show and phone-in are found on both television and radio; the genre of the news report is found on TV, radio and in newspapers; the advertisement appears in all mass media forms.

Texts sometimes allude directly to each other as in ‘remakes’ of films, and in many amusing contemporary TV ads. Texts in the genre of the trailer are directly tied to specific texts within or outside the same medium. The genre of the programme listing exists within the medium of print (listings magazines, newspapers) to support the media of TV, radio and film. TV soaps generate substantial coverage in popular newspapers, magazines and books; the ‘magazine’ format was adopted by TV, radio and now by Web.

Each text exists within a vast “society of texts” in various genres and media: no text is an island entire of itself. A useful semiotic technique is comparison and contrast between differing treatments of similar themes (or similar treatments of different themes), within or between different genres or media…. Questions for You and Me Intertextuality Does it allude to other genres? Does it allude to or compare with other texts within the genre? How does it compare with treatments of similar themes within other genres? Very good book on genres by Michail Bakhtin, although he is not pure simiotician.

Film Theory Links Wide Angle: A Film Quarterly of Theory, Criticism, and Practice from USC. Transparency: Mass Media, Visul Culture and Ideology. LisztSelect: Film Theory Lists: Groups, Discussions. Auther Theory: selling select books. Cine-Tracks: Canadian Film Theory Journal. Dramatica Theory of Story: for writers. Open Directory Project:Movies: Theory & Criticism (needs an editor). Film-Theory contact Page: subscribe! Iconology & Movies: from Yale Press. SOFIA links: from UK. CinemaSpace: from Berkeley. Voice of the Shuttle: Theory: including literature, the best!

English Server: one the best sources on the Internet, if not the best! F-Theory: good personal page on movies and film. 100 Best in film history of the century Classic Book Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality Siegfried Kracauer; with an introduction by Miriam Bratu Hansen Princeton University Press, 364 PP. , $19. 95, Paper, 0691037043 Princeton has made an interesting and very worthwhile decision to reprint Siegfried Kracauer’s impressive work on film aesthetics (the term magnum opus would not be inappropriate).

Theory of Film was originally published in 1960, this new paperback edition is the only one currently in print in English. ) At a time when film so readily employs digital means to create images, Kracauer’s emphasis on film’s connection to photography as a representation of reality might seem out-of-date. However, As Miriam Bratu Hansen points out in her excellent introduction, suggestions that Kracauer’s theories of film belong to the “beautiful ruins in the philosophical landscape” certainly miss out on what is certainly very relevant and consistently challenging in Theory of Film.

Written during his exile in France during World War II (Theory of Film differs in many ways from his Weimar writings, the specter of the Holocaust and Nazism, shaped Kracauer’s views on film) Kracauer views film as both the perfect medium for the representation of the crisis of modernity and the modern subject as well as holding out the possibility to suggest and encourage new perspectives and constructs in which to change its condition.

Now that Theory of Film is once again available to English-speaking readers it will undoubtedly take its place among the works of Bazin and Arnheim, as well as Kracauer’s own From Caligari to Hitler as a classic work of film theory. Semiotics And Intertextuality Semiotics and Intertextuality Part I Intertextuality The semiotic notion of intertextuality is associated primarily with poststructuralist theorists. Each media text exists in relation to others. In fact, texts owe more to other texts than to their own makers.

Texts are framed by others in many ways. Most obvious are formal frames: a television programme, for instance, may be part of a series and part of a genre (soap or sitcom). Our understanding of any individual text relates to such framings. Genre theory: Within semiotics genres can be seen as sign systems or codes – conventionalized but dynamic structures. Each example of a genre utilises conventions which link it to other members of that genre. Such conventions are at their most obvious in ‘spoof’ versions of the genre.

Links also cross the boundaries of formal frames, for instance, in sharing topics with treatments within other genres (the theme of war is found in a range of genres such action-adventure film, documentary, news, current affairs). Some genres are shared by several media: the genres of soap, game show and phone-in are found on both television and radio; the genre of the news report is found on TV, radio and in newspapers; the advertisement appears in all mass media forms. Texts sometimes allude directly to each other as in ‘remakes’ of films, and in many amusing contemporary TV ads.

Texts in the genre of the trailer are directly tied to specific texts within or outside the same medium. The genre of the programme listing exists within the medium of print (listings magazines, newspapers) to support the media of TV, radio and film. TV soaps generate substantial coverage in popular newspapers, magazines and books; the ‘magazine’ format was adopted by TV, radio and now by Web. Each text exists within a vast “society of texts” in various genres and media: no text is an island entire of itself.

A useful semiotic technique is comparison and contrast between differing treatments of similar themes (or similar treatments of different themes), within or between different genres or media…. Questions for You and Me Intertextuality Does it allude to other genres? Does it allude to or compare with other texts within the genre? How does it compare with treatments of similar themes within other genres? Very good book on genres by Michail Bakhtin, although he is not pure simiotician. Film Theory Links

Wide Angle: A Film Quarterly of Theory, Criticism, and Practice from USC. Transparency: Mass Media, Visul Culture and Ideology. LisztSelect: Film Theory Lists: Groups, Discussions. Auther Theory: selling select books. Cine-Tracks: Canadian Film Theory Journal. Dramatica Theory of Story: for writers. Open Directory Project:Movies: Theory & Criticism (needs an editor). Film-Theory contact Page: subscribe! Iconology & Movies: from Yale Press. SOFIA links: from UK. CinemaSpace: from Berkeley. Voice of the Shuttle: Theory: including literature, the best!

English Server: one the best sources on the Internet, if not the best! F-Theory: good personal page on movies and film. 100 Best in film history of the century Classic Book Theory of Film: The Redemption of Physical Reality Siegfried Kracauer; with an introduction by Miriam Bratu Hansen Princeton University Press, 364 PP. , $19. 95, Paper, 0691037043 Princeton has made an interesting and very worthwhile decision to reprint Siegfried Kracauer’s impressive work on film aesthetics (the term magnum opus would not be inappropriate).

Theory of Film was originally published in 1960, this new paperback edition is the only one currently in print in English. ) At a time when film so readily employs digital means to create images, Kracauer’s emphasis on film’s connection to photography as a representation of reality might seem out-of-date. However, As Miriam Bratu Hansen points out in her excellent introduction, suggestions that Kracauer’s theories of film belong to the “beautiful ruins in the philosophical landscape” certainly miss out on what is certainly very relevant and consistently challenging in Theory of Film.

Written during his exile in France during World War II (Theory of Film differs in many ways from his Weimar writings, the specter of the Holocaust and Nazism, shaped Kracauer’s views on film) Kracauer views film as both the perfect medium for the representation of the crisis of modernity and the modern subject as well as holding out the possibility to suggest and encourage new perspectives and constructs in which to change its condition.

Now that Theory of Film is once again available to English-speaking readers it will undoubtedly take its place among the works of Bazin and Arnheim, as well as Kracauer’s own From Caligari to Hitler as a classic work of film theory.