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Media Violence

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Media Violence

Currently in society 60% of the television programs aired contain violence, 40% of �wicked’ characters go unpunished, 68% of news stories associate violence with youth, approximately three quarters of scenarios carried out by �evil’ characters present no remorse, criticism, or penalties and less than half of the programs aired on television actually link violence with pain. As you can automatically presume, media violence is sweeping the nation by storm. This high of concentration of violence displayed by the mass media however, makes it conventional to behave in a violent manner and thus increases aggression by exuding distorted perceptions of a certain race and age; encouraging the public to act violently and lastly by desensitizing the contemporary society to violent crimes that occur across the globe.

Nowadays the media tends to overemphasize and/or exaggerate events in order to attain viewers and ratings. However, by exuding distorted perceptions of the truth, the media detrimentally affects the public’s view of the world.

Recently, “depictions of race have been distorted” (Dorfman and Woodruff, 1998). For years now African Americans have been greatly overrepresented in television news stories. In fact between 1988 and 1992, they accounted for 65.2% of the population living in poverty despite constituting for only 29% of the individuals actually living in scarcity. Most recently however, African Americans have been greatly overemphasized in news stories regarding illicit drug use, despite being vastly outnumbered by the percentage white drugs users present in society. By overemphasizing the extent of drug use present amongst African American communities the media “distorts issues of race by under-representing white perpetrators” (Dorfman and Woodruff, 1998).

Currently the images displayed in the mass media do not reflect the lifestyles of many African Americans living and surviving in society. As Robert Entman stated, “the reoccurring images of African American perpetrators and victims displayed in the mass media juxtapose the consistent images of African Americans fully integrated in society” (Dorfman and Woodruff, 1998).

Currently, African Americans are not the only sub-group of individuals targeted by the mass media, youth between the ages of 15 and 24 are also the subject of misrepresentation. “When youth appear on the news, it is most often as the victim or perpetrator of violence” (Dorfman and Woodruff, 1998). Currently, local television news broadcasts provide the public with a distorted picture of youth. “Most youth are not violent, yet the circumstances in which they are seen are overwhelmingly violent” (Dorfman and Woodruff, 1998). Currently in society, only 6% of news stories displayed in the media present the accomplishments of youth. If the media began to focus more on expressing the positive, rather than the negative then distorted perceptions of youth and African Americans would eventually fade.

However until then, false depictions of particular sub groups will continue to increase as the media continues to project its overemphasized and/or exaggerated interpretations of the new counterculture. As the media carries through with these plans however, violent acts against these sub-groups will also increase if the media continues to misrepresent individuals.

Currently in society, violent acts are the result of the growing popularity of media violence. With media violence on the rise however, individuals should be weary of the extent of violence they watch on television, since too much may stir angry thoughts and aggressive feelings. Eventually these emotions, may lead to subsequent aggressive acts against members of society.

“Exposure to media violence tends to lead to aggression through five ways” (Huesmann and Moise, 1996): Imitation, or observational learning, acceptance, justification, cognitive

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