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

Chapter 4: How Should the Problem of Media Violence

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Chapter 4: How Should the Problem of Media Violence
Be Addressed?
Chapter Preface
The Entertainment Industry Should Be Held Liable for the Effects of Media Violence by John P. McCarthy
The most often discussed approaches to reducing the level of violence in popular entertainment—censorship, the V-chip, and boycotts of certain
ViolenceintheMedia 2/25/04 3:50 PM Page 9

films—are either impractical or ineffective. The entertainment industry will only respond to financial pressures one way to apply such pressure is to file lawsuits against the makers of violent movies and video games.
The Entertainment Industry Should Not Be Sued for Producing Violent Entertainment by Jesse Walker
Lawsuits have been filed against the makers of the films Natural Born
Killers and The Basketball Diaries on the grounds that these films incited several murders. These lawsuits area grave threat to free speech If artists can beheld liable for every possible effect their work might have on an audience, no art is safe. Moreover, these lawsuits send the harmful message that the responsibility for these crimes lies with movies rather than with the actual murderers. Individuals Should Address the Problem of Media Violence by Making Better Entertainment Choices by Anne P. Dupre
Media violence is undeniably harmful, but it is nevertheless protected by the First Amendment. Therefore, individuals rather than the government must address the problem of media violence. Violent films and television programs are prevalent because they are profitable if viewers would stop patronizing this type of entertainment, it would not be so pervasive. Teaching Media Literacy Can Help Address the Problem of Media Violence by Pat Kipping
Society must stop viewing popular culture as something that can be molded or changed, and instead recognize that the media environment must be navigated. People must become media literate They must understand that many media messages are harmful or misleading, and manipulative. They must learn how to resist being taken advantage of by the forces that control television, movies, and other mass media. Communities Should Have More Control over the Content of Mass Media by George Gerbner
Violent stories dominate the mass media not because they are the most popular type of entertainment (nonviolent television programs are consistently the most popular in the US. market, but because they are the type of entertainment that can most easily be sold to foreign markets, since the theme of violence crosses cultural barriers. To reverse this pattern, a coalition of citizens and organizations should work to oppose the domination of the media by large conglomerates. National Initiatives Can Help Address the Problem of Media Violence
by Sissela Bok
Government has a role to play in helping citizens to mobilize against media violence. Canada and Norway are examples of how governments can initiate broad antiviolence campaigns. To a much greater extent than the United States has, the governments of Canada and Norway have worked to increase media literacy, institute the V-chip, and provide funding for quality children’s programming.
Organizations to Contact
ViolenceintheMedia 2/25/04 3:50 PM Page 10

By definition, controversies are discussions of questions in which opposing opinions clash (Websters Twentieth Century Dictionary Unabridged. Few would deny that controversies area pervasive part of the human condition and exist on virtually every level of human enterprise. Controversies transpire between individuals and among groups, within nations and between nations. Controversies supply the grist necessary for progress by providing challenges and challengers to the status quo. They also create atmospheres where strife and warfare can flourish. A world without controversies would be a peaceful world but it also would be, by and large, static and prosaic.

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