Few of the elements of media are entertainment, which is done through many forms like movies, games, TV shows, awareness through news channels and print media. In entertainment, violence captures the attention of most viewers and it is portrayed as a reliable means to resolve disputes. Over several decades portrayal of violence to resolve disputes has been ingrained in the minds of the audience as answer. From the days of the classical western like “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” of late 60s till the modern day movies like the “James Bond” movies we see that the protagonist always had resorted to violent means to annihilate or silence the antagonist. We see this trend in many Hollywood action, adventure and thriller genre movies. For example, there are specific movies like ‘Dread’ which show that violence alone solves everything. In these types of movies; sympathy, compassion or forgiveness is completely eradicated with captures the attention of people but affects them subconsciously.
Portrayal of violence in media in present society glorifies negative instances, thus propagating such activities instead of preventing them the effect of which has been witnessed in third world countries where illiteracy still prevails. Media affects people on large basis where people prefer violence as an outlet to feel better and solve issues. This can be seen in India where people attack doctors if their patients die instead of overseeing the situation rationally. When emotion take over, people become more violent instead of being composed and patient. Their emotions turn into violent measures because they have been exposed to such actions in many TV shows, movies etc.
Another negative factor caused by portrayal of violence in media is desensitization. People tend to become emotionally immune to violent instances taking place around them. They become desensitized after witnessing various scenarios of violence portrayed by media and began to think that violence is the norm and violent scenario taking place around them is probably for greater good. This emotional dysfunction makes them not to help the victim in need. In children, emotional dysfunction towards violence affects them in greater planes, particularly after being exposed to certain cartoons. In cartoons children are shown that instantaneous recovery is possible after immediate violent scene and they may correlate this with real life scenario.
Another example we see in the present scenario is sensationalize of news by highlighting negative and violent incidents which leads to social construction and resulting in mean world syndrome among the viewers. This changes the people’s thinking process making them believe everything happening in the world is violent and catastrophe is approaching. Due to this sensationalize involving violence under the concept of agenda setting theory, viewers are made unaware of various important and necessary events such as global warming, climate change, wildlife extinction etc.
As per media guidelines, news or entertainment should follow certain regulations such as not to exaggerate for the purpose of popularity and ratings. Media must realize that society depends on news and glorification of news affects major portion of the society. Media must also be concerned with various other important issues like ecological and environmental factors which are beneficial to the society. As far as entertainment is concerned, children constitute a part of the society and are impressionable, so media must be sensitive and censorship must be enforced upon the content promoted. Violence even affects adults and it changes the way we perceive our society and thus it should not be glorified.
Written by Praveen Durugu