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Media Violence Effect on Youth and Its Regulation Essay

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Updated: May 16th, 2022

Abstract

In many democratic countries, the right to free speech and media freedom are considered fundamental. Unfortunately, these rights have been abused resulting in extremely aggressive children and teens, who then grow up to be violent adults. Laws guaranteeing freedom of speech and media freedom have made it hard to control TV programming. The results have been increased cases of bullying in schools and large numbers of juvenile delinquency. Even though media houses have the responsibility of protecting their viewers from content that may result from dangerous situations, the government has a responsibility of protecting its citizens from the same.

Introduction

In many democratic countries, the right to free speech and media freedom are considered fundamental. Unfortunately, in many countries today, this has resulted in media content filled with explicit, sexual, and violent material (Boyle, 2007). The debate over media control has been ongoing for a long and sparked a significant number of debates across the world. The topic has been taken up as a policy issue globally, especially in developed countries. The challenge has been empowering the media by allowing them freedom while protecting citizens, especially children, against unnecessary exposure to detrimental content.

The need for control

Violence in the media attracts violence among young children. Research has revealed that children are more likely to imitate what they see than what they are taught. Media today has glorified violence and obscenities, making it look like a natural part of society. It is also important to note that the more important the media puts on violence, the more people are tempted to engage in it for the sake of attention.

It is the government’s responsibility to take appropriate measures anytime a situation exposes its citizens to dangerous possibilities. Violence levels in western countries are at extremely high levels. Murder, rape and domestic violence cases are higher than they were in the 1960s (Berkowitz et al., 2010). One of the reasons this is so, is the fact that children are exposed to violence at a very young age. Terrorism and crime seem to attract a bigger audience, tempting media houses to focus on them more to attract a big audience.

Even as media houses pay too much attention to stories that make money for them, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that they honor their social responsibilities. Corporate social responsibility demands that businesses engage in activities that add value to the societies they operate in. The media therefore, has a responsibility to ensure that the stories they air do not expose children to unwanted behaviors. The government should put in place measures that ensure media houses take their social responsibilities seriously.

Media should focus on more important issues in our societies such as schools and healthcare. In an age when the world is rocked by many challenges and negative news, the government should ensure that media houses have programming that is educational. The media has a responsibility of educating people on the environment, careers, health and other issues that support a country’s economy.

Laws and regulations put in place in the past have made it hard for the government to intervene in media operations. For example, in the United States, the First Amendment ensures media freedom and free speech for everyone. In Canada, the constitution guarantees individuals, businesses and organizations freedom of speech. As a result, content is not filtered for adult materials. Children and young adults have easy access to violent activities such as extremely aggressive sports, terrorism news and violent reality shows. The results of such content have been increased cases of bullying in schools and large numbers of juvenile delinquency (Freedman, 2005).

Conclusion

Statistics reveal that crime levels in many parts of the world have gone up. Juvenile delinquency is on the rise and so is bullying in schools. Children as young as five years old are involved in bullying activities, and suffering psychological medical conditions. The government should intervene and ensure media houses pay more attention to issues that affect a majority of the nation. The government can put in measures that ensure violent content is only aired at late hours when children have no access to television, radio or the internet. Another way through which the government can protect children is by educating parents on their role in keeping children protecting from harmful content.

References

Berkowitz, L. et al. (2010). .

Boyle, K. (2007). Media and violence: Gendering the debates. London: Sage.

Freedman, J.L. (2005). Media violence and its effects on aggression: Assessing the scientific evidence. Toronto: University of Toronto press.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Media Violence Effect on Youth and Its Regulation." May 16, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/media-violence-review/.

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