Media Violence





Where\'s the Problem, Media or Parents?
In the past few years, media violence has increased on television, in turn bringing inevitable resistance from concerned parents. What they don\'t stop to think about is that maybe the media is not the only area to blame. Parents are to blame when children are subjected to violence in the media, because it is due to an undedicated parent, not a careless network or radio station. "Taking Aim", by Wendy Mellillo states, "While research indicates that viewing violence can cause aggression, studies conclude that the leading determinant of violent behavior is upbringing. Predictably, politicians have been silent on this finding. Poor parenting, after all, is not a traditional vote-getter."(Mellillo). With all pressure building up, one or both sides may eventually have to compromise to achieve a partial victory. Could this lead to ratings that praise mildness, and treat violent shows and movies as if they were outcast? Who has the greater right to their beliefs, the media or concerned parents? Should we limit the freedom of speech that we have cherished since the foundation of our country? Movie producers should have the same protection under the constitution as any other American. On one side, we should respect people\'s right to express them, and Jeffrey Cole makes a strong point for this in saying:
What we\'ll be trying to do is to operate on the assumption that violence per se is not necessarily bad. If you were to argue that violence in and of itself is bad, then you would be against Schindler\'s List, Bambi, The Lion King, and The Wizard of Oz. We think parents would not say simply that children can watch nothing with violence in it-you would miss very important programming where violence is very responsibly dealt with and carries an important message. (Cutler)
On the other, we can\'t invade homes where one person\'s expression is offensive to the other. More and more, the upbringing of the children depends upon the parents, and not government regulations.
As of now, throughout the country, numerous conservative groups are strongly against violence on television. It seems a few take aims at a different target, which is the parents, and ways they can better communicate with their children about violence. The majority of them are too quick to point the finger at the government and media. It is a fact that children subjected to violence can reflect with bad attitudes, ill tempers, and aggressive behavior. A statement by the
North Carolina PTA shows just this:
More than 30 years of research has shown that excessive TV watching by children can interfere with the development of intelligence, thinking skills, an imagination; it can slow down the development of reading and speaking skills; it can slow down the development of reading and speaking skills; it can cultivate violent or aggressive behavior; and may even contribute to ADD/ADHD. (N. Carolina PTA)
I do believe that it is the parent\'s responsibility to keep a close eye on their children, and I can understand how violence in the media can make this a difficult task. Parents should not expect media violence to disappear, and for now, should deal with the violence directly. It boils down to being the parents, not the networks, which should keep a young child\'s eyes from seeing violent acts in the media. That does not just mean locking the inappropriate channels, but giving the children an alternative. Encouraging children to attend and take part in sporting events and being involved with more mind stimulating activities will help direct children away from violent ways. Networks and radio stations could create divisions in their company dedicated to finding new ways of censorship, but it would be as a good deed, not as a responsibility. If it was a fair and just world, television could and would be responsible for inappropriate programs they televise, but until that happens, parents should lay the responsibility on themselves. Good parenting is the best censorship a child can have, and should be available at all times.
Can parents justify themselves when they accuse the media of being their children\'s sole reason of committing violent acts? Does the violence actually have any effect on the way children turn out, and is it more so than the teachings of