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

No: Children’s Access to Violent Media Should Not Be

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No: Children’s Access to Violent Media Should Not Be
Restricting Children’s Access to Violent Media Would Be Censorship
by Free Expression Network
Violence in the media should not be censored in the name of protecting children. Movies and television programs that portray violence in a responsible manner are some of the best means of teaching children nonviolence, but no government or industry ratings system can determine which portrayals are responsible and which are not. Allowing children access to violent media is ultimately less harmful than teaching children that violence in the media will make them more violent, since this implies that they are not responsible for their own actions. The Government Should Not Regulate the Marketing of Violent Media
by Virginia Postrel
Some politicians concerned with violence in the media have suggested that the entertainment industry should not be allowed to advertise violent movies, video games, or music to children. However, censorship of advertising would still bean attack on free speech, and it would give the government the power to decide what types of entertainment should and should not be produced. Allowing such regulation would harm both free speech and consumer choice. Parents Should Teach Children to Critically Evaluate Violent Media Content by Katey LaFrance
Violence in the media is too pervasive for parents to be able to strictly regulate children’s exposure to it. Rather than trying to shield children from violence in the media, parents must teach children how to think critically about what they see on TV, at the movies, and on the Internet. Government fixes such as the V-chip, which can block violence from television sets, are less helpful than parents sitting down with children and teaching them nonviolent coping skills. Young People Should Not Be Barred from R-Rated Movies
by Rhys Southan
The response of the National Organization of Theater Owners to the wave of school shootings in 1999 was to announce that theaters would begin to more rigorously bar children and teenagers from R-rated movies. This approach is misguided because the R rating is often applied to many quality films that are very relevant to the problems teenagers face. The ratings system in general should be abolished because it does not benefit parents or teenagers, and it harms many independent filmmakers.

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