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Censorship on Television Essay

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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 ...


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...s to censor. They will take advantage of that and monitor what is expressed on television. Many more propositions will be made and compromised on before broadcasters can come to terms with the public on censorship. The government is correct in trying to censor what is seen on television. The government serves to act in the best interest of the people. The protection of the development of minors in society is a very important issue. The topic of censorship has become such a prevalent issue because of its huge importance to many people. The public has made this an issue that the government and media must deal with in order to make both the broadcasters and the general public happy. It has been proven that violence on television, as well as sex and obscene language has an ill effect on society and it is the governments job to do something about it. Through the use of technology, great advances have been made, but there is still a lot to be done. Devices such as the V-chip and the rating system are small steps in a large gray area of politics. There has to be a "middle of the road" on which everyone can agree, but the government is responsible for laying the groundwork for compromise.


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