Censorship On Television Essay

1203 words - 5 pages

The government is correct in trying to censor what is seen on television. Censorship does not violate the first amendment and it prevents the harmful effects of graphic television. Many people are in favor of censorship and it may be accomplished without violating the rights of broadcasters or any other individuals. Censorship "refers to suppression of information, ideas, or artistic expression by anyone, whether government officials, church authorities, private pressure groups, or speakers, writers, and artists themselves" (Grolier, Inc.). Censorship can be a bad thing, and can also be positive. For television use, it is there to protect the people, namely children. There is a fear that the expression if not curtailed will do harm to individuals in its audiences or to society as a whole. "Obscene material is attacked because of the fear that it will corrupt personal morality" (Grolier, Inc.). The first amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. In no way does censorship violate the first amendment. Censorship prevents broadcasters from infringing on the rights of the viewers. Censorship has really been limited to obscenity and gratuitous violence or nudity because people in the media have policed themselves pretty harshly. The most prominent law established due to censorship is the Children’s Television Act of 1990. It was established to "remind broadcasters that there is indeed a common ground outside their narrow interests, a responsibility beyond profiteering, a common civic well where national purposes may coalesce" (http://www.cep.org/vchip.html). This law, like many others was put into place to protect the public. Many people throughout the United States feel very strongly about the issue of censorship. A firm supporter of censorship, United States Senator Earnest F. Hollings, from South Carolina stated that "Television should be a way to entertain, educate, and teach our kids how to grow, not a way to teach them how to shoot to kill"(Congressional Digest). Another Senator, Bryan L. Dorgan, from North Dakota described his anger when, while playing with his two small children with the television on in the background, the words "Son of a Bitch" were spoken. "That word has no place on at 8:45 in the evening"(Congressional Quarterly report). Things like that situation should not happen. Young viewers should not be subjected to such obscenities and TV violence. Broadcasters argue that censorship violates their first amendment rights, but it does not. Violence and obscene language violate viewers’ rights. The benefits of censorship are simple. Less violence and graphic scenes will result in a better society. Many people believe that TV violence encourages youths to act the same way and...

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