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Media Violence and Its Effects on Audiences

Discuss about the Cultures of Criticism and Accountability in Discussions.

To understand the role of media in reformation, it is important to understand how it is planning to build up the political viewpoint. They generate viewpoints, anxiety, perceptions, aspirations and strategies for supporting particular policies and practices. The politicians and the religious leaders have stated that there is a causal link between the violence shown in the film, computer games, TV programs and the actions in real life. It is often argued that those particular media content states a terrific negativity on the young and innocent audience. Such beliefs have resulted in an increased state control over the worldwide media. One of the most constant arguments is concerned about the extent to which mass media can be responsible for causing anti social or criminal behavior. It is a matter of concern that to what extent media is responsible for bringing a negative effect on the viewers and audiences. The two prime sources of mass society theory and behaviorism have resulted in the phenomenon of effects research (Anderson and Carnagey 2014). Effects research is often called as hypodermic syringe model as the relationship between the audience and the media is considered as an unrefined and mechanistic process. With this process the media evoke information, values and ideas directly to the audience which further produces instant and immediate response directly from them.

The book ‘Ill effects: The media violence debate’ by M Barker and J Petley claimed that the possible effects of cruel media are true and they vary from a daft to the mischievous. The reason to be considered behind this is the claims that are being used inconsistently are wrong. The cause behind these inappropriate questions is due to the fact that violence does not exist in reality to pose a harmful effect on the media. Violence exists in the form of music, color and so on to develop the effects of violence.  There have been old claims about new and bad media images and these are so common that they are always a debatable issue. But these claims are unjustified as they lack any kind of evidence or logic. On the other hand, it is a raising question that how the media influence can be understood. In the report given by Elizabeth Newson, ‘the principle that what is experienced vicariously will have some effect on some people is an established one, and is the reason why industry finds it worthwhile to spend millions of pounds in advertising,’ is a common and consistent sentence found in various words.

The Relationship Between Code, Law, and Government Regulation

If it is assumed that TV or film or other media have some influence on the life of the people then it is that kind of influence that they want to attribute. For instance, a man took a gun and shot his entire family after getting influenced from the news. When he was taken for trial he casually explained that on the basis of bad world news no one has any point to live. In this example the blame cannot be totally given on the effect of the media. This is because there is a probability that he was depressed and upset because of a family problem which let him murder his family. It can be said that the man in this case was unusual and the news cannot be blamed completely (Svensson 2016). This is not an example of anti- media campaign because the media or news cannot be considered as causes.

Andy Ruddock contradicted in his book ‘understanding audiences’ by mentioning about cultivation analysis which is evolved from the debate on media violence. The question that is frequently asked in this respect is that why television was so violent and what were its impact on the viewers and their behavior towards society. To analyze this question the author had to go beyond content analysis for creating a cultural indicators project. This project took care of the institutional research, scrutinizing the broadcasting structures, analysis of message system and cultivation analysis. The findings explained that the violence shown in television carried the message of social structure with it (Barker and Petley 2002). But the intention is not to provide violence among the audience but to fill the programs with a melodramatic representation. It was revealed in the survey that a major chunk of television viewers overrate the amount of violence in reality with that of their own chances of being a victim.

The critical treatment of cultivation analysis made it possible to have a focused view on the claim that is made by Gerbner that TV has a distinguished and recognizable effect. But there can be questions and issues that need to be addressed in this respect. Research has shown that there is a relation between the effects of cultivation and the development of media literacy. It can be suggested that the cultivation effects can be created with the tendency to puzzle the information gathered from the TV shows and those that are shown in the news. Lawrence Lessig explained that there are many ways to think about constitutional laws and limits that might be imposed on government regulations (Ferguson and Beresin 2017). Copyright law, defamation law and obscenity laws are continuously threatening the permit for the violation of legal rights. There are policies and norms which can regulate market behavior. The constraints related to these laws are not found easily and they can be changed in different ways.

Public Service Broadcasting - Variations and Funding


The real difference and similarities between code and law cannot be missed. The fact that can be considered here is market mechanism which helps in observing the regulation behind law. It is also observed by the author of the book, ‘code and other laws of cyberspace’, that the government uses a range of tools to evaluate. Thus, the government can attain regulatory ends by the regulation of code writing. This can often take place without experiencing any kind of political consequences that would have been occurred otherwise. But the rule that makes regulation easy is a strict matter of concern (Ferguson 2015). It is often argued that the power of government has a vulnerable sense of value that can enhance efficient regulation.

In his book ‘the cultural industries’, David Hesmondhalgh has critically put forward that the governments intervene in all areas of commercial life.  There is no existence of free market in today’s modern and complicated society. But it is appropriate to be inspired by those who believe in the concept of market in the ideal situation. This can be regarded as the best way to issue resources and address human needs. The three areas of legislate, regulate and subsidise are known as policy. These policies of culture, along with the media literacy and communication help in providing knowledge about cultural industries and the changes that have taken place in the previous years. The key elements in the book focus on the consequences of cultural industries since 1980 that had taken place in broadcasting and telecommunication sector (Gentile 2014).

In the early 20th century, most places had used telecommunications which was available to the entire population of the area. To be influenced by the actions of the media hence, is not something new. Most of the democratic liberal states had had the role and responsibility to organize telecommunications that passed the authorities in charge of the postal system. Radio was also developed to form one- to- one communication, similar to the kind of telephone or a telegram using the airwave instead of broadcasting. The power of radio as a broadcasting technology became apparent socially as well as commercially and politically. The reason behind the high intervention of the government in the broadcasting and telecommunications were breaking down under the terrible attacks of 1980s and 1990s specifically due to private business from the critics and policy makers who were responsible for supporting their wellbeing (Hesmondhalgh 2007).

There are many variations in the public service system but the most important one being funding of television system and the public service channels that are included in it. The other variation is state control of public service broadcasters in some open-minded independent countries such as Greece and France. With the improvement in marketisation the public service broadcasting is pulled apart on the basis of the effort put to arrange the cultural industries. The pro- market union was operated through lobbying and Public Relations along with the policy makers, critics and opinion leaders of the media. One of the important consequences of telecommunication marketisation took place in juxtaposition with a long term effect in broadcasting and the changes that took place in the IT industry. Thus it can be said that the media had actively influenced the society from a long time in the post colonization era and is still continuing to do so which are evident from the given sources (Lessig 2009).


‘The media reader’ by John Thompson throws light on the significance of the term communication media. The relevance of this term in this assignment is beyond explanation as the topic is based on the effect of media on the behavior of people. But the term mass is sometimes misinterpreted as in it evokes an image of a large gathering constituting millions of individuals. This can be considered as an appropriate icon of for the media products such as film, TV programs and newspapers. So it can be said that the term mass should not be used in a narrow way.

The originality of mass communication lies in the availability of the products to plurality rather than a large number of people are receiving the products. Also mass culture and mass society was considered to have an adverse impact on the society by creating a homogenous culture which entertained the individuals without involving their critical faculties (Mackay and O'Sullivan 1999).

The innovation and development in the new media of communication and transport had affected the means by which the individuals experience spatial and sequential characteristics of the social life. Before the media industry was developed many people had the knowledge of time and distance only through symbols. Thus, it can be said that the media had not only affected the society in a bad way but also in a good way. The communication media has given rise to the development of mediated historicity. Verbal interaction and personal communication are considered to have molded the society in recognizing the past which grabs the symbolic attention from the media industry products (Ruddock 2000).


The evidence gathered from the books as well as other sources have affirmed that there has always been a controversy on how the media has a negative impact on the society in the form of inflicting violence and changing the opinion of the people. The accusation has varied from a simple claim to a major panic sometimes. The discussion throughout this assignment is a proof of why media has always this reaction from the society. The readings have referred to the debate as whether the media has influenced the public to behave in an aggressive way and change their thinking or the people are only responsible for their difference in behavior. The social impact of the risks associated with the debate of media violence can cause panic and nervousness among the public.  The social implication of the risk in relation to the society and the moral panic that is created out of media violence is a debatable issue. It can be said that it is not always the case of media violence but the organization can also cause panic in the society. The instances of media violence vary from the children’s cartoons to the horror films of the adults which pose a negative impact not only on the individuals but also on the society. The individuals which are affected by the media have a tendency to imitate the scenes and action that they have experienced on the screen. Video games can also be regarded in this respect as the children are getting affected by its activities.

Reference

Anderson, C.A. and Carnagey, N.L., 2014. The role of theory in the study of media violence: The General Aggression Model. Media violence and children,, pp.103-133.

Barker, M. and Petley, J. eds., 2002. Ill effects: The media violence debate. Routledge.

Ferguson, C.J. and Beresin, E., 2017. Social science's curious war with pop culture and how it was lost: the media violence debate and the risks it holds for social science. Preventive Medicine.

Ferguson, C.J., 2015. Does media violence predict societal violence? It depends on what you look at and when. Journal of Communication, 65(1).

Gentile, D.A., 2014. Why don’t media violence effects look the same on everyone?: Developmental approaches to understanding media effects. Media violence and children: A complete guide for parents and professionals, pp.45-69.

Hesmondhalgh, D., 2007. The cultural industries.

Lessig, L., 2009. Code: And other laws of cyberspace. ReadHowYouWant. com.

Mackay, H. and O'Sullivan, T. eds., 1999. The media reader: continuity and transformation. Sage.

Ruddock, A., 2000. Understanding audiences: Theory and method. Sage.

Svensson, G., 2016. Blaming the media. Cultures of criticism and accountability in discussions over refugees, immigration and integration. In ECREA conference, Panel “The Mediation of Refugeedom. Europe’s refugee crisis through different lenses”, 9-12 November 2016, Prague, Czech Republic..+

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