Saturday, December 17, 2011

Violence and Media

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A study conducted by The American Psychological Association has indicated that an average American child will witness over 00,000 acts of violence on television including 16,000 murders before age 18. Living in a society where we are bombarded with violence by the media, it’s an underestimation to say that overemphasized violence has no effect on us. In fact, such glorification of violence is destructive to our society. Hundreds of studies have shown a strong correlation between television violence and increased development of aggression in adolescents. It is during the adolescent period when young people develop their sense of morality to distinguish right from wrong. Unfortunately, such exaggeration and glamorization of violence by the media distorts young children’s understanding by sending them a message that violence is normal. In addition, it enhances the acceptance of using violence as a solution to problems.

The film, Natural Born Killers, presents an extremely violent and chaotic sequence of images which questions the public’s acceptance of violence in the media. The film attempts to make the viewer more sensitive to the violence in our every day life. Most importantly, the film, tries to make us question the validity of violence presented by the media. The film gives us an inside look, as to how media can affect public’s understanding and acceptance of violence.

The film follows the story of a young psychotic couple, Mickey and Mallory Knox, who go on a killing spree across America killing 5 people at random. Instead of showing the real pain and suffering of the friends and families of the victims, Media portrays Mickey and Mallory’s crimes as exiting and thrilling. As a result, across the globe, Mickey and Mallory become pop icons for the young generation. Rather than feeling despicable about the crimes committed by Mickey and Mallory, these teenagers become fascinated by them. These teenagers idolize Mickey and Mallory in such ways, that they want to act like them. As shocking as it might sound, some of these fans even fantasize about being killed by Mickey and Mallory.

The film also illustrates the effects of media through another angle; it shows us Mickey and Mallory’s reaction to the media coverage. The film shows, that Mickey and Mallory are well aware of the media coverage and they are using this exposure to their best advantage. Such positive reaction from the public makes Mickey and Mallory’s actions justified. Rather than feeling guilty, Mickey and Mallory feel superior and proud of their actions. The film also shows us how the media feeds off of such horrific events. Every time a news program airs, we note the gleam in the eyes of the anchor reporting.

Custom Essays on Violence and Media

Everyday violence is growing more and more. We often ask ourselves that who is responsible for this? I believe that it is the media who’s responsible for rapidly growing violence in today’s society. Children spend more time learning about life through media than in any other manner. As a result, young children are more influenced by the media. Today’s media needs to take responsibility of what’s shown to the young generation. Media need to show both sides of the coin; they need take their coverage a step further and show the consequences of crimes rather than the thrills felt by the criminals. More and more people are becoming more aware of the problem that we face from the media. President Bill Clinton addressed the issue of violence and the media in one of his speeches as well. He said,

To the media and the entertainment industries, I also say, we need your wholehearted participation in this cause. We cannot pretend that there is no impact on our culture and our children that is adverse if there is too much violence coming out of what they see and experience. And so, we have to ask people who produce things to consider the consequences of them, whether its a violent movie, a CD, a video game. If they are made, they at least should not be marketed to children.

I believe that there should be stricter laws so that media could be held responsible for its actions. Unfortunately, we know that in reality, just like everything else, media is controlled by the people in power. We, the public, need to take this matter in our own hands, and stop paying attention to the media that harvests violence. As a result, ultimately, the media will be forced to change what it is presenting and will actually try to find something else that the public is interested in.

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