Monday, February 26, 2007

Should Violence Be Banned in Media?

As a part of my posts this week in which I decried the prevalence of violence--particularly violence against women--I googled "violence." I found an article from Thursday's Christian Science Monitor titled "As Screen Violence Rises, So Do New Tactics To Curb It."

Those who create and sell violent media--and the elected officials, regular citizens, or parents who have a concern that this media is creating a more violent society or contributing to the degradation of our culture--need to come together," says Indianapolis's mayor, Bart Peterson. As the recently elected president of the National League of Cities, Mayor Peterson has adopted the issue of media violence as the theme of his upcoming year in office.

The article goes on to describe increasing efforts around the country to curb violence in media: the FCC issued a draft report indicating that perhaps we need to regulate violence over the airwaves, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) is considering strengthening the ratings system--now voluntary--for films, and the Indiana Senate will consider a bill to criminalize selling of adult video games to minors.

Mayor Bart Peterson believes regulation is not the answer. He suggests that education is the key to stopping increasingly violent content.

Ken Ferree, former head of the FCC's media bureau agrees. "The courts have been ferociously protective of the First Amendment when it comes to new platforms. Every time the FCC tries to go there with new regulations, the courts slap them down. This trend reflects a deeply held societal bias that everyone should be free."

It would be harder to find a stronger advocate of the First Amendment than me. My personal belief is that we must fight violence in the media with our wallets. If we do not support films, books and programs glorifying violence, the media industry will set up and take notice.

To read the entire article, go here.


B.E. Sanderson said...

You've got it exactly, Maya. The best way to curb anything we find tasteless, offensive or unpalatable is to show our displeasure by the choices we make. It's not by making a law against it.

Marie Tuhart said...

I agree with both you Maya and b.e. Making a law against it isn't going to help. Though I do think a stronger rating system for adult video games and movies with fines to anyone who sells the game or lets an underaged person into the movie would go a long way in helping.