America’s youth has become overwhelmed by the media. What was started as just a media stream has become an issue to today’s adolescent society. Before World War II, the only form of media that was available to young people was only print, motion pictures, and the radio (Roberts12). In a ten year span, the television distribution increased from fifty percent to fifty-five percent; then in a four year span it increased to eighty-seven percent. Coinciding with the growth of the media available to adolescents, the content of the media has changed (12). In today’s society, the media has created specific contents aimed at the youth. In Roberts article Trends in Media Use, he states that “ Television has moved from family programming, to children programs, and now to complete channels aimed at the youth market” (12). Ever since the creation of novels and comic books, the effect of media has been debated.
Mass media have existed for centuries; its history is traced back when dramas were performed in the early days in different cultures. The term “mass media” evolved as a result of the printed media (Bhattacharyya). In 868 A.D, the first newspaper was printed in China. Due to the expense of paper and the inability for people to read, the use of newspapers was not popular therefore making it unsuccessful. Europe can boast about being mass media’s primary source because it was in 1453 that Johannes Gutenberg that he printed the first book in a printing press. It was during World War II that the radio, television, and video were introduced. As a result of its information and entertainment, the audio-visual facilities became popular which later paved the way for internet, the later form of mass media. The internet later became popular because of the different things that individuals can do such as generate information about literature, politics, fashion, etc. when others can listen to music while working and playing games (Bhattacharyya). Other forms of mass media include: magazines, video games, compact disc, digital video disc, advertisements, and more.
Adolescents have particular needs that they would like fulfilled. They have the need to be accepted in friendship groups, to become popular, to have relationships with people of the opposite sex, etc. Because mass media publishers and producers understand this need, they create advertisements on television, the internet, on billboards, etc. on how to meet that need using a particular product or doing something contrary to how they were raised (Kulkarni). Therefore, publishers and producers should monitor what they put in mass media because of the violent behavior, sexual influence, and the false body image portrayal to adolescents.
Publishers and producers should monitor what they put in the mass media because of the violent behavior displayed by adolescents as a result of the violent behavior showed on TV and/or video games. There have been about three-thousand studies on the effect of media violence on adolescents; few of the studies show no effect (Strasburger 557). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, an American child would have viewed about two-hundred thousand acts of violence on TV alone by the age of eighteen. “The Mediascope National Television Violence Study found that children are learning aggressive attitudes and behaviors, becoming desensitized to real world violence, and are developing a fear of being victimized by violence” (The AAP). For instance, in the year 1963, Professor A. Badura along with other professors “studied the effect of exposure to real-world violence, television violence, and cartoon violence”. ‘They divided 100 preschool children into four groups. The first group watched a real person shout insults at an inflatable doll while hitting it with a mallet. The second group watched the incident on television. The third watched a cartoon version of the same scene, and the fourth watched nothing....
Cited: Cullen, Dave. "Inside the Columbine High Investigation." Salon.com. 23 Sept. 1999. 26 Nov. 2010
Dahl, Melissa. "More Pre-Teen Images Focus on the Promiscuous." Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, CA). 05 Mar 2007: n.p. SIRS Researcher.Web. 26 Nov 2010.
Huston, Aletha C., Ellen Wartella, and Edward Donnerstein. “MEASURING THE EFFECTS OF SEXUAL CONTENT IN THE MEDIA: A Report to the Kaiser Family Foundation” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (May 1998): 1-94. 17 Nov 2010
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