Televised Violence is Here to Stay


One of the most heated issues debated, ever since the invention of the
television, is the effects of media violence on society. Many try to wipe it out,
but will undoubtedly fail. It has great educational and entertainment value.
There have even been studies showing that viewing television violence will
actually relieve stress. For these reasons, televised violence, including fights,
with or without weapons, resulting in bloodshed, will never diminish.
Many parents try to shelter their kids from the violence portrayed on
television. They only look at the negative aspect because the parents complain
by saying the violence only teaches their children how to kill and to get away
with it (Leonard 92).
Television is the most credible and believable source of information on
the reality of the world. It teaches that the world is a violent and
untrustworthy place (Bennett 168). It reports on how the world really works.
Televised violence cultivates dominant assumptions about how conflict and power
work in the world.
Violence is an important fact of life (Howitt 17). It is very much part
of the human condition. The media cannot pretend that violence does not exist.
Televised violence orients people to their environment. It helps them
understand their world. It serves as a mirror in which people examine themselves,
their institutions, and their values (Comstock 357).
The exposure of children to televised violence is functional to the
extent that it prepares them to cope with reality. Conflict is important for
children to grow up with. It is part of their life. Kids should not be lead to
think that nothing is going to happen to them (Comstock 354). Exposure to
violence in childhood is not a bad idea. Ghetto children see violence unknown to
other children. They have to live with it, and because it is so hateful, they do
not get influenced by it. People who grew up in a tough ghetto situation regard
others who did not as patsies, naive, and easy to use.
Children learn a good deal of their society\'s culture by viewing the
violent television shows. People acquire definitions of appropriate behavior and
interpretations of reality from the mass media. Lower income persons often think
they are learning the style and etiquette of middle-class society from
television programs (Ball 305).
The viewing of televised violence helps children academically, as well
as socially. One study shows that children entering school, raised on the
violent television shows, picked up a one-year advantage in vocabulary over
children whose parents prohibit the viewing of violence (Clark 136). Here, the
positive effects clearly outweigh the negative.
There have been many attempts to ban violence from television. The
majority of the viewers prevent the idea through the ratings. There is a
discrepancy between public attitudes and private behavior; while people may
publicly condemn television violence, they may actually enjoy it in private
(Howitt 6).
The majority of people get whatever they want in the mass media. There
is substantial public demand for violence. The key question is: Why? To a large
extent, the answer to this question lies in the social and cultural structure of
society. Violence constitutes a significant and recurring theme in the value
structure (Leonard 91).
There can be little doubt that topics of violence are of intense
interest to the public and attract large audiences. Television gives people what
they want to see. In entertainment, it is a more acceptable truism to assert
that the supply creates the demand. Leisure time cries for fulfillment
(Lineberry 24).
Violence is the dominant theme of all mass media. The audience ratings
do correlate positively with the percentages of violent programs. Violent types
of programs gain great popularity; networks regard violence as good bait. It is
a tool for attracting audiences (Howitt 124).
Mass media organizations spend countless hours producing and presenting
entertainment, and the American public spend a comparable amount of time in
consumption of such productions. The media identifies entertainment drama with
conflict. Conflict translates into action, and action is equal with violence
(Lineberry 21). The networks make violence their prime test for inclusion in
their content.
The significance of violence is that it helps define, move, and resolve
dramatic situations (Comstock 29). Violence allows conflict to be quickly
establish or resolve; it is visual and understandable; it is attractive to large
segments of the audience. There is indeed violence in the real world, and to
ignore it in drama is in effect to lie.
There will never be a cure for the addiction to violence. Media viewers
hunger for the violent action on the television. The people speak through
ratings, showing that violent programs are exceedingly popular (Lineberry