USES AND ABUSES OF MEDIA: IS CENSORSHIP IN MEDIA NECESSARY? NAME: ALAGENDRAH CLASS: ENGLISH A9 SUBMISSION DATE: 11 SEPTEMBER 2011 CONTENT PAGE Abstract 2 1. 0 Introduction 3 2. 0 Body of report 3 2. 1 Blessing in disguise in enforcing censorship 3 2. 1. Censorship keeps social problems at bay 3 2. 1. 2 Censorship ensures the existence of a peaceful country 4 2. 2 Setbacks in enforcing a censorship 5 2. 2. 1 Censorship as a sign of dictatorship 5 2. 2. 2 Ignorance of the society 5 3. 0 Conclusion 6
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Reference List7 Abstract Media is divided into television, radio, internet, newspaper and many more. Most of the purpose is to send the accurate and witty information to the society. Some say that too much information is revealed by the media which may divulge the government and cause danger or scheme to the entire country, therefore a few selected articles or news must be screened or censored before it is published. But in the other hand, people want to get true information and don’t want the fact to be censored. Therefore this report was conducted to study and examine the argument based on the evidence given. . 0 Introduction It is the ultimate truth that our lives are now dominated by media be it television, newspapers, magazines or radios. It is inevitable to turn a deaf ear when any important issue is being discussed in any one of these media. Such is the influence and power of media in our world at the present time. Therefore, when the matter of censorship being imposed on media was brought up, it sparked a great deal of debate among many parties and it still continues till date. Many think that it is wise to impose such censorship while others greatly oppose it. Why these 2 different opinions?
Is censorship necessary? These are the aims of this report. 2. 0. Body of report 2. 1. Blessing in disguise in enforcing censorship. In this new era where the world very much looks like an electronic village, the media undeniably plays a very important role in shaping and molding the mentality and stature of the society especially the younger generation. It is because of this reason, many argue that censorship is necessary on the basis that it keeps social problems at bay and ensures the existence of a peaceful country. 2. 1. 1. Censorship keeps social problems at bay.
Those who support this argument claim that censorship is vital simply because children and teenagers have very high tendency to idolise and portray certain characters which might not be suitable and/or act out part of an inappropriate scene due to their mimicry nature and unstable sense of judgement. Filmmakers know very well that films containing containing high number of action and intimate scenes are more preferred by the crowd compared to slow, heart-warming movies. In order to say that violence is only a small genre in the film industry would be an understatement.
These supporters who mainly consist of parents have agreed that stunning visual graphics used in film to make a particular scene as violent as possible indirectly cultivates the wrong message in these children and teenagers who are at their most vulnerable state. A sense of trying out those stunts regardless of how dangerous it could be gives these young buds an emotional satisfaction. Parents also agree that by censoring certain portion in the media, children and young adults are prevented from learning something that could harm both themselves and others.
Besides violence, sexually explicit film content and reading materials also pose a threat to the society. “Baby-faced boy Alfie Patten is father at 13”(2009) was an article from the newspaper The Sun by Lucy Hagan was very shocking for every single parents and they doesn’t wants another Alfie Patten to emerge . Perhaps, that is the reason why they believe that censorship prevents the corruption of their children. A teenager in Boise, Idaho recently burnt his genitals as a result of copying a similar act from the movie American Pie.
This clearly shows the extent to what teenagers are willing to do without censorship. “The Kaiser Family Foundation”(2001) has found out that 70% of teenagers encounter pornographic materials involuntarily while surveying the net. This might lead, if not all, some of them to be addicted to porn and hence the occurrence of social problems such as rape and underage sexual practices. It is for the reasons gave above why censorship is crucial in order to produce more intellectually capable younger generations. 2. 1. 2. Censorship ensures the existence of a peaceful country.
Medias such as newspapers, televisions and magazines have long been used as a tool to debate over a certain matter, exchange ideas and even for announcements. It is then no wonder that supporters of this group say that without censorship, it will only make it easier for terrorists to send messages to their allies smoothly with minimal detection. Their point of argument is that since terrorists are pressured into isolation, censoring the media will make their connection with the outer world rupture and messages will not be sent to their accomplices and therefore can be easily detained to preserve the unity f a certain country. With the presence of mankind’s greatest invention, the Internet, globalisation is occurring at an unprecedented rate. Sadly, terrorist groups too have seized this opportunity to fulfil their mission. “Eileen Sullivan”(2011) wrote in the Seattle news and I quote, “Because the Internet’s easy access makes it possible for al-Qaeda members and other terrorist sympathisers to spread their beliefs and recruit new followers, the government needs a coordinated and thorough response that it currently lacks”.
Why censorship can’t be one of the government’s coordinated and thorough response in handling these terrorist messages is the question posed by supporters of this group. When further investigated, the Committee Chairman, Joe Liberman(2006), said that, “al-Qaeda is better at communicating it’s message to Americans than the US government is at it’s messages. This means that people can be radicalized at home, without leaving the country or going to a terrorist training camp”. This is what exactly the supporters of this groups are living in dread of.
To have more terrorist build up that easily would be nightmare for any country, these supporters claim. Blake Synel in his article, Censorship’s Necessary Evil, said that it was beyond his point of interest to know what the next step of the US army troops in Iraq was but the same information would have been really helpful for rebels in Iraq to launch an attack that would nullify the whole of US army’s plan. According to his article, in a poll conducted in America, more than 70% of the nation voted for a necessary censorship to protect the overseas troop, and hence their nation. 2. 2.
Setbacks in enforcing a censorship. On the contrary to those who support censorship, we also have certain groups who believe that censorship is completely and utterly unnecessary. This group argue that censorship is no longer relevant at this point of time where globalization is at its peak. They say that media censorship can be perceived as a sign of dictatorship and withholding information from reaching the crowd will lead to ignorance of the society. 2. 2. 1. Censorship as a sign of dictatorship. It is a world known fact that the media’s utmost priority is to deliver the truth to the public, be it sweet or bitter.
Therefore, this group points out that to suppress the freedom of the media is in a way, a form of dictatorship. Inhibiting the media from doing something which they are morally and ethically linked with angers these supporters. One main interesting point voiced out by some of them in this group is that it gives the government full authority and power indirectly to control the way the public think and act which is unfair because in any country, the people should be heard and not be treated as the walking dead.
Khaled Hosseini (2009), the world renowned author of Kite Runner, in his novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, depicted a scene where the Talibans would forcefully eradicate any foreign elements that enter their country. It was so severe that women who walked around the neighbourhood without wearing a head scarf (symbol of modernism) can be lawfully beaten by armed male guards.
Besides that, these supporters also agree strongly that one example of censorship-gone-wrong can be seen in Afghanistan where religious fundamentalist such as the Talibans, altered a lot of things all in the name of censorship but all they did was intrusion into a person’s personal life and the stagnation in the free flow of ideas. In a poll conducted by the Committee to Protect Journalist ( CPJ), North Korea topped the list of most censored countries. The conclusion drawn by this organisation is that, ” North Korea has no independent-journalists and all radio and television receivers are locked to government specified frequencies”.
It is perhaps for this reason that followers of this group refuse the media to be censored as they view this situation occurring in North Korea as a sign of oppression towards the media industry. Other countries which were in the list are Cuba, Syria and Uzbekistan. CPJ Executive Director, Ann Cooper, said that people in these countries are virtually isolated from the rest of the world by authoritarian rulers who muzzle the media and keep a chokehold on information through restrictive laws, fear and intimidation. 2. 2. 2. Ignorance of the society.
Another issue that was brought up by supporters of this group is that censorship of the media, in the long run, will create a society which will not be able to reason out right and wrong as the mind has always been programmed in such a manner due to insufficient input. That kind of cuckoo a society will be completely unbeneficial and will not aid in the building of a well-balanced nation with first class mentality society. It is also interesting to note that this group came up with another point which is if censorship is imposed on the media, it would be a tad bit difficult to teach sex related topics and the dangers of HIV to teenagers.
In addition to that, censoring information will also lead to a wrong image perceived by the public. According to the Committee to Protect Journalism(CPJ)(2010) organisation, North Korea, supposedly have only positive news published. Examples of those articles would be ideology and personal cult of Kim Jong-il and the absence of famine and poverty in the country. Coercing the public to believe in you simple because you have power over the media is absurd and totally archaic said some of the group members.
This step also abruptly stops the process of globalisation due to lack of information in certain countries where censorship is heavily imposed on the media. One last argument which was very well supported by other members is the very fact that the people have the right to know. Undeniably, the people deserve and have the right to know what is happening in and out of their country. Failure to do so indicates a slight breach in the basic human rights. Potter Stewart(1958), the Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court once said this, ” Censorship reflects a society’ lack of confidence in itself.
It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime” 3. 0. Conclusion. It is really hard to come up with a final decision on whether censorship of media should be imposed or not. Controlling the media’s freedom has its own pros and cons but with careful judgements and fair treat to everyone, a solution to this problem is surely attainable for media is the greatest and most powerful tool of today’s world. Malcolm Little, an American black militant leader once said that, “The media is the most powerful entity on earth.
They have the power to make the innocent guilty, and the guilty innocent and that is power because they control the minds of the masses”. Reference List Dozier,K and Sullivan,E. (2011), “2 terror suspects may be US citizens”, 10 September, viewed 10 August 2011 ;http://community. seattletimes. nwsource. com/mobile/? type=story;id=2016152200;; Hagan,L. (2009), “Baby-faced boy Alfie Patten is father at 13”, 13 Feb, viewed 8 August 2011 ;http://www. thesun. co. uk/sol/homepage/news/article2233878. ece; Richard. 2006), “Al Qaeda Endorses Joe Lieberman”, 10 August, viewed 8 August 2011 ;http://www. freedomszone. com/archives/2006/08/al_qaeda_endorses_joe_lieberma. php; Tae-Hoon,L. (2010), “Censorship on pro-NK websites tight”, 9 September, viewed 19 August 2011 ;http://www. koreatimes. co. kr/www/news/nation/2010/09/113_72788. html; Walter,N. (2007), “Behind the veil”, 19 May, viewed 15 August 2011 ;http://www. guardian. co. uk/books/2007/may/19/featuresreviews. guardianreview21; Stephanie R. Kelly,(2004), Rumors in Iraq