Violence in the Media ViolenceintheMedia 2/25/04 3: 50 pm page 1

Chapter 1: How Serious Is the Problem of Violence in

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Chapter 1: How Serious Is the Problem of Violence in
the Media?
Chapter Preface
Violence in the Media Is a Serious Problem
Popular Culture Glorifies Violence by Kevin Merida and Richard Leiby
American popular culture has become obsessed with themes of murder and gruesomeness. Many blockbuster movies and bestselling music albums glamorize violence. Video games are striving for increasingly more realistic portrayals of bloodshed and gore. Many comic books feature extremely dark themes, and even the fashion industry has become enamored with themes of bleakness. Violence on Television Is a Serious Problem by James T. Hamilton
Television programmers and advertisers purposely feature violence in their programming in order to attract viewers—mostly males ages eighteen to thirty-four. In doing so they unintentionally expose children to adult-themed violence. In this respect, TV violence is similar to the problem of pollution The manufacturers of this toxic violence do not intend to harm society with it, but neither do they take responsibility for its effects. As with environmental pollution, it is up to communities and the government to cleanup the cultural environment. News Coverage of Crime Contributes to the Problem of Media Violence
by Derrick Z. Jackson
One of the most overlooked aspects of media violence is the coverage of violent crime that is featured so prominently on TV news programs.
Although crime is down across America, it is still the subject of approximately one-third of TV news stories. The false message that crime is rampant contributes to aggression among viewers, leading to further crime in society.
Violence in the Media Contributes to the Violence in Society
by Michael Massing
For years, liberals have denied the relationship between media violence and real violence, dismissing the idea as an attack on free speech. However, constant exposure to media violence is undeniably harmful, espe-
ViolenceintheMedia 2/25/04 3:50 PM Page 5

cially for children. Government leaders must work to oppose media violence not via censorship, but rather by speaking out against the irresponsible practices of Hollywood and the TV industry, as Bill Clinton has already done.

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