Identifying the Topic
Violence sells; from T.V. shows to movies to reality dramas and live-action contests the addition of violent content increases the likelihood of people viewing what is being shown. It is a concept that has become so ubiquitous with pop culture that it has resulted in more recently created content being geared towards an audience that has begun to thrive on the entertainment value that violence provides.
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As a result of this trend, the amount of violence shown by the media has continued to increase over the years resulting in nearly 61% of all media-related programming having some form of violence included. The result has been an exponential increase in the number of profits garnered by media companies and as such the amount of violence being shown on T.V. continues to grow every year.
The inherent problem with this growing trend and its connection to the media is the fact that various studies conducted on examining the effects of violent programming on audiences have shown that audiences that have been exposed to more violent T.V. programming over the years are more likely to engage in violent actions themselves due to the result of an apparent inculcation to violence. It must be noted that T.V. viewing is one of the most influential forms of information distribution and behavioral modification in that people tend to believe what they hear from T.V. and emulate the actions of their favorite stars.
Expression of Problems and Issue
Based on a thorough reading of the facts presented in the articles I can say with little doubt that the problems were expressed succinctly, effectively, and above all utilized clear examples in showing how the information in the article can be considered a growing societal problem. The pattern of expression followed a rather simple process of presenting facts regarding the issue of violence in the media and afterward presented examples directly related to the adverse consequences of the media’s over-exuberant use of violence in its regularly scheduled programming.
As a result, most readers would be able to immediately identify the issue at hand and draw their conclusions that are heavily influenced by the presented information in the study and the effective use of imagery in the examples. This brings forth feelings of shock and fear at the possible consequences of unmitigated violent T.V. programming especially in the eyes of children
Credibility of Sources
The articles are more informative rather than opinionated and as such the content is geared towards educating the reader of a problem rather than convincing them something is a problem. The result is an article that draws heavily from various international sources of information as well as utilizes information that could only be garnered from legitimate journal articles such as the information detailing the effect of watching violent programming on children as well as the various statistics and facts scattered around the article to support the main idea. To confirm the credibility of the sources utilized by the original writer of the articles a simple check involving journal databases such as EBSCO or J store would prove more than sufficient in determining the validity of the information presented versus that of other similar studies.
Steps to Refining solutions
There were two solutions posited by the articles to resolve the problem of media violence, one was a sustained effort to curb the adverse effects of media violence on youths and the second was to limit the level of exposure to media violence that contributes to aggressive behavior in viewers. The inherent problem with these solutions lies with the fact that violence has become a staple of entertainment in today’s pop culture society. It has permeated itself to such an extent that most individuals cannot imagine achieving any form of entertainment value from other types of media programming that does not contain at least some form of violence.
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Based on this the two steps that I would recommend to resolve the issue is to start a campaign involving awareness instead of prevention. This campaign will specifically target parents informing them of the dangers overexposure to media violence has on their kids. Secondly, a form of limitation is in order in the regularly scheduled programming shown wherein violent T.V. shows will be shown only on time slots where it is unlikely that children will watch them. While both solutions do not directly tackle the problem they are a far better method as compared to the generalized notion of prevention indicated in the articles used.
One strategy that would help foster criticism for my topic would be to focus on the effects violent programming has on children. While there have been numerous studies examining how T.V. violence is connected to real-world violence nothing has been definitively linked to T.V. violence causing children to be violent. As such this leaves the door open for various criticisms both for and against controlling violence shown on T.V.
A second strategy would be to focus on how violent programming itself causes people to be violent themselves. Numerous studies done over the years have indicated that violent programming does contribute to cases where people have emulated what they saw on television. On the other hand, other studies have also stated that violent programming is merely an additional factor and that various other social factors play a role in inducing violence. Utilizing such a strategy invokes debates regarding what truly causes violence and whether T.V. violence is a facilitating or contributing factor.
The final strategy to foster criticism would be to focus on aspects related to violent programming and how it is leading to the creation of a violent social culture. While it is true that violent television programming has been shown to create violent tendencies in individuals there is no definitive proof that states that it is creating a violent society. As such this leaves an open debate as to whether or not violent television programming might lead to a violent society in the future.
Identifying Errors in Truth or Validity
One approach that would be effective in refining a definitive solution to this problem would be to get the opinions of parents regarding violent television programming and their children. Since parents primarily control the method of access for children to watch television, an insight into their decision-making process to allow or prevent their children from watching certain types of programming would be beneficial to determine an appropriate solution for the problem. Another approach would be to get the opinions of various children and see what their opinion would be regarding violent programming.
Since they are the demographic that various studies state would be the most negatively impacted by violent programming it is conceivable that their opinions should prove rather insightful into what they consider “entertaining”. One last method of refining a solution to this problem would be to create an informal online survey where people can place their opinions regarding violent programming. This will enable me to garner more information as to what the general public perceives as the fine line between entertaining and senseless violence that would negatively impact children.
Summary of Steps
One of the first errors affecting the truth and validity of the arguments in this paper lies with the assumption that violent programming will make a person violent. No study has conclusively proven that this is the case and as such, it stands to reason that it could merely be nothing more than a faulty assumption (Hepburn, 1997). Another problem lies with the supposed effects violent programming has on children, cartoon programming has as of late contained various scenes of violence yet regulators and researchers alike seem to ignore this fact in favor of actual realistic violence seen on television (Hepburn, 1997).
What must be understood is that children watch more cartoons than they do realistic violent programming as such the true effect of violence on children cannot be measured merely through their watching of true violent programming since it only constitutes a fraction of what they watch (Phillips, 2007). Finally, various studies have stated that violent programming is a contributing or facilitating cause in creating violent tendencies in people yet most individuals when asked about their opinion on violent programming state that they know that what they watch on T.V. is not an accurate representation of what happens in real life and as such they were unlikely to emulate it (Phillips, 2007).
Techniques to Present Topic
To properly evaluate both sides of this topic I tried to understand it from a fellow T.V. watcher and a person that has to search for negative aspects of violent media programming. It was due to this that I was able to discern that what a regular T.V. viewer discerns from watching violent programming and what a person perceives who is searching for something wrong with it diverges into two distinct paths where one sees nothing wrong with it since it’s a normal part of regular T.V. programming while the other sees multiple things wrong with it since it shows actions that are inappropriate in polite society. Based on this it was only a matter of exploring each aspect in my mind first then writing down my conclusions that I was able to properly and objectively evaluate both sides of the problem.
The first technique I would attempt to use to persuade people would be to appeal to their sense of ethics and morality. It can be stated that if violent programming leads to people becoming violent then it is arguable that its reduction would help to reduce the amount of social violence that occurs. The second technique I would use is to style my speech or essay in the form of a persuasive argument wherein I would try to convince readers as to the validity of my statements by presenting an appropriate amount of facts and examples. The last technique I would use would be to argue both sides of the problem while at the same time putting more weight on arguments against violence. This would make it seem that I am trying to be fair while at the same time convince them of the validity of my words.
Approaches to Topic
To properly explain my ideas on this topic and to get people on my side I would start by explaining how media violence has continued to grow at an exponential rate over the past several years. I would elaborate on the various studies that have indicated the connection between media violence and the start of violence in individuals and I then I would state how this would potentially affect children. I would then elaborate on studies that state how exposure to violence early on can have detrimental and lasting effects on a child’s psyche. Towards the end, I would present certain issues that contradict what I said but only to an extent that I can present a fair and accurate report on the entirety of the topic.
Hepburn, Mary A. “T.V. violence!.” Social Education 61.5 (1997): 244. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web.
Phillips, Helen. “Mind-altering media.” New Scientist 194.2600 (2007): 33-37. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web.