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Blaming The Media For The Worldwide Increase In Violence

1345 words - 5 pages

Blaming the Media for the Worldwide Increase in Violence

The mass media are an increasingly accessible way for people to learn
what is important in the world today and what is acceptable behaviour
in this society. Media outlets include film, radio, print, music and
so on; film being the most widely used medium. The media which is
prevalent in every aspect of our lives, is the perfect instrument to
instil ideas in the minds of the people, and the most susceptible of
them all, children. During the past decade, there is an alarming
increase in violence, especially among the youth. A study found that
between 1993 and 2001, incidents of physical violence reported
increased by more than 300 per cent. While there are many other
factors that fingers can be pointed at, in our media saturated
society, the mass media seem to be the most blame-worthy.

Young people, according to a survey carried out in 23 countries, watch
on the average of 3 hours of television, and are exposed to some form
of media about 7 hours everyday. Blockbuster movies that top the
charts tend to be action-packed with fighting galore, such as the
Terminator in 1984 or films about superheroes that save the day by
destroying the villains. Such superheroes include Superman, Batman and
Spiderman. The youth are then influenced by observing these behaviour
and mimicking the actions of these so-called heroes. The relationship
between the media and its audience, is somewhat like that of a role
model and follower. The increasing presence of violence and cruelty in
the big screen actually conditions us to view violence as acceptable,
and a normal way to resolve conflicts. Just as children who grow up in
abusive homes tend to become abusive adults due to the plenitude of
violence they meet in their lives, children who are overly exposed to
violence on the media are more prone to violence themselves.

The 80’s saw the evolution of Gangsta Rap, a subcategory of the music
genre, Rap. Gangsta Rappers spit profanities, demean women and pay
homage to weapons. In this way, violence is glamorised and glorified.
Fans of Gangsta Rap music find themselves starting to dress like their
idols, carrying “bling-blings” and wearing clothes that fit two, using
the rappers’ slangs (like calling jewelleries “bling-blings”), so it
is not surprising if these fans start idolizing their lifestyles too
and take weapons to be a proof of their power and influence. Hence,
students start bringing guns to school, citing it as a form of
“self-defence”. Some have weapons as a form of indicator of power to
instil fear among others not to get in their way, and the fact that
they are carrying these weapons, if something actually happens that
anger them, their first instinct would be to use it. In this case, the
entertainment media, in the form of music, is a...

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