Uploaded by Admin on Mar 30, 2002
"The relationship between violence on the screen and violence in real life is extremely complicated. But while the relationship may not be that of direct cause and effect, we must bear it in mind. Violent programmes may depress some people, shock others, de-sensitise some and encourage imitation by a few."
(BBC Handbook-Guidelines for T.V Producers Regarding Violence and Censorship)
The media is all around us and for this reason I feel it is inevitable that it will have some sort of effect on us. Television is the most popular and accessible form of media; everybody has at least one television set in their home. It is also said to be the most vivid portrayer of the world. Screen violence is a term given to violence seen in television programmes, videos and cinema; basically any violence viewed on a screen. What causes a problem when debating screen violence is how we define and measure violence, as different people have different interpretations of what is violent. Some kinds of 'violent' activity are labelled as 'violent' others as 'war heroism'.
Everybody interprets and responds to the media in different ways. The 'hypodermic syringe' or 'effects' model is a theory, which concentrates on the negative effects of the media i.e. what the media 'does to us'. The power is believed to lie with the media and terms such as 'the mass media' or 'mass communications' are often used to emphasise the size and scale of media operations. It believes in a passive audience and highlights certain groups of people as being more vulnerable than others are. Children, people who are mentally ill, women, and the working class are the named groups because they are either obviously vulnerable (i.e. children and the mentally ill), or exposed to the media much more than other groups of people (i.e. women and the working class). I agree with this as far as children and the mentally ill are concerned because they have little control over what they are exposed to and are not selective viewers. However, the other groups mentioned are not as vulnerable, as they are able to decide for themselves what they watch and can create their own opinions about it. There are two key effects that this theory believes can be induced in an audience:
Inactivity- the couch potato
Manic activity- where the audience imitates what they have seen, i.e. copycat crime (often related to violence)
There are of course problems...