Write down two or three ways in which the mass media may contribute to or cause negative social effects.
Post your lists and read and respond to each other. Do you agree that the mass media contribute to the effects that you have listed? Can people working in the media do something to lessen the negative effects?
Consider what interventions could be made in the education of media professionals to solve these problems. What factors work against your proposed solutions? In other words, what are competing influences in the media industry that might stymie reforms? Do people working within the mass media have a responsibility to try to lessen negative media effects?
What counts as “violence” on television? Is driving a sport-utility vehicle through a stream violent? Is shooting a man before he sets off a bomb that’s about to kill onehundred people violent, or a good deed? Is a parent screaming at a child violent? Is it violence if the child screams back? Is an accidental shooting by a police officer violent? Is an image of a gun violent? Is an act of nature violent? Is the context of violence important? If there’s remorse after a violent act, or “real” consequences to violence in a certain program, does that mitigate the conception of violence? Is it possible to count acts of violence? Can the context of violent acts on television be objectively understood, or is context more a matter of personal interpretation? If there can be many definitions of violence, what are the implications for TV ratings systems?