Sunday, September 14, 2014

Assignment #1: Violence

There is no doubt that violence in the media has increased over the years. Now a days, it seems like every time you turn on the television you see some sort of violence. It doesn't have to be extreme, like death, but there is plenty of examples of less extreme fighting or yelling. There is really no escape from it. Now does this violence affect us in a negative way? Obviously violence has always been around even before the expanded reach of media, people just couldn't see or hear about it always. I think that one of the biggest presenters of violence is actually the news media. Without the news, people wouldn't know about all the violence in the world at the touch of a remote. This is what makes people paranoid about violence in the world. It’s not that people have become increasingly more violent over the years, it is just that we hear about every act of violence and it becomes more noticeable. However, more violence in the media isn't always a negative thing, the violence in the media makes people more aware of things that can and do happen. Although it may make people more paranoid, that can in return make people more careful, which surveys have shown can decrease violent acts. Why is there more violence on television? George Gerber who has been studying violence in the media for decades says that it isn't just what the people want in the media, but it is also much cheaper for companies to make. If you think about it, if you have a show or movie that is going global it is a lot easier to translate violence because it doesn't change from country to country. If you look at comedies, a person in the United States does not find the same line as funny as someone in China might. Language is hard to translate, but actions need no translation. All in all, I don’t really think that violence has increased like most people think. I believe violence is just more noticeable and easier to find out about with this new age media, where you can find any news, anywhere using the minicomputer that you keep in your pocket at all times. Watching a violent act on media doesn't make people want to go out and commit that act of violence, it only makes them aware, perhaps cautions them against it, and for some reason entertains them at the same time. 

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