Critical readings : violence and the media by C. Kay Weaver, Cynthia Carter

By C. Kay Weaver, Cynthia Carter

This advent to present wondering media violence and its strength effect on audiences adopts a clean point of view at the media results debate. The authors argue that the day-by-day repetition of media violence is helping to normalise and legitimise the acts being portrayed.

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Morrison, D. E. , Svennevig, M. and Firmstone, J. (1999) Defining Violence. Luton: University of Luton Press. National Television Violence Study (1997) National Television Violence Study, vol. 1. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. NCH (2005) Putting U in the Picture: Mobile Bullying Survey 2005. i=237 (accessed 1 August 2005). Paik, H. and Comstock, G. (1994) The effects of television: a meta-analysis. Communications Research 21: 516–546. Potter, J. (2003) The 11 Myths of Media Violence. Thousand Oaks and London: Sage.

In these terms, Hill theorizes organizations that deliberately stimulate moral panics about the possible effects of media violence as ‘social amplification stations’. Using the British examples of the 1980s ‘video nasty’ controversy, the murder of the toddler James Bulger in 1993, the 1996 massacre of 16 school children at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland, and the banning of the film Crash, Hill demonstrates how organized social amplification of risk informs media reporting, public debate, and policy regulation of violent media content.

Leslie Steeves’ ‘The role of radio in the Rwandan genocide’, which looks at the role governmentcontrolled radio played in inciting genocide through an analysis of its broadcasts and observational accounts by those working in radio at the time. Extreme media dependency in Rwanda set the stage for radio campaigns that in turn served as catalysts for ethnic hatred and fear. Media dependency and the generation of collective fear provide only part of an interpretation of the role of radio in the genocide.

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