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Media Violence and The Effects on Children Essays

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Does media violence have a negative effect on children?
On September 11th, 2001, millions around the world crowded around televisions across the globe, watching the horrific scenes of terrorism that had struck New York City, Washington, D.C and Pennsylvania on that ill-fated and now infamous morning. Our sense of security and impenetrable protection crashed 110 stories to the shaken streets of New York City. We watched with shock and horror, disbelief and grief as the images were repeatedly flashed before our eyes, with the all the drama of the plane crashing through the World Trade Center and bursting into an indescribable ball of fire and of the surreal scenes of demolished piles of what used to be the Twin Towers of New York City. We witnessed desperate pleas for help from family members of missing victims. We were shown images of the wounded victims and of the unimaginable destruction in the streets of New York. Our expeditious system of mass media provided us with an immediate window to this dramatic and unprecedented tragedy.
We were not alone as we stood looking through this window to the trauma and terrorism enveloping us. As we looked on with fear and horror, so did children. As we watched the 24-hour coverage of the events unfolding, so did children. Every major station broadcast continuous coverage of the "attack on America" for days following the tragedy. While networks provided live coverage, personal interviews and professional analysis, cable stations flashed messages of condolence and sympathy across the bottom of the screen during regular programming, as a constant reminder and acknowledgement of tragedy that had shaken us to our knees. If we as adults were so affected by the trauma of the events, then what can be said for the children who witnessed these same images of horror and terrorism? How, with such an undeveloped capacity to understand the world and the proximity of danger, can we say that children were not affected by the violence of this tragedy? In a time when adults cannot fully understand the context of the violence in our world, how can children possibly be expected to make sense of it? They cannot. Living in a culture and time where violence permeates countless aspects of society in both fiction and reality; visual, verbal, implied and overt; and given the prevalence and pervasiveness of the violence surrounding us,...


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...fficult to avoid the influence of media violence. For impressionable children who are constantly shaping and reevaluating the world around them, media violence plays a role in the formation of their negative perceptions of society and their surrounding environment. They are affected by the frequent influence of violent depictions in the same way that they are influenced to want a toy because of the commercial that promotes it. It is the degree and severity of this effect that remains open for heated debate in the arena of social policy and public interest.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Anonymous. (1999). Get Real. Broadcasting and Cable, 62, 129.
CNN. Bethesda, MD. 12, Sept. 2001.
2. Cutler, Maggie. (2001). Whodunit-The Media? The Nation, 18-20, 272.
3. Hepburn, Mary. (1997). T.V. Violence! A medium's effects under scrutiny. Social Education, 244-249, 61.

4. Mifflin, Lawrie. (1999). Many Researchers Say Link is Already Clear on Media Violence and Youth Violence. The New York Times, 27, 03624331.

5. Mitchell, Dr. Jeffrey. "Children need 'reassurance' in the face of tragedy." Interview

6. Posch, Robert J Jr. (1993). What you do emerges from who you are. Direct Marketing, 43, 56.



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