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The Truth Behind Media Violence

By Conscious Owl | Inner Power

Jul 20
media violence

Have you ever felt that, if you were going to witness one more beheading, police shooting or mass murder, you were going to puke?

Have you started to lead a conscious life for yourself and your children only to realize that you are bombarded 24x7 by sensational violence streaming from TV, newspapers, your digital tablet, your smart phone, even your smart watch?

Forget about being a responsible citizen. How much blood and gore is enough?​

How the News Media Glorify Gratuitous Violence

Bad news sells.

Disasters can be profitable…to some people. All commercial media thrive on people’s attention and patronage. TV networks live off ratings to justify the high fees they charge their advertisers.

Film studios depend upon a strong first-week box office to cover the upfront investment in the feature. The more sensational the depiction, the larger the potential audience.

Have you ever noticed how people cluster around fire trucks and freeway pileups with overturned cars and mangled bodies. The Highway Patrol has to shoo them away. Our shadow always seems to follow us.​

How the Industry Justifies All the Gory Details

Extensive research is used to maintain that violent games and depictions don’t BY THEMSELVES necessarily CAUSE mass shootings and the like.

They are merely a contributing factor, along with a high rate of divorce, hard drugs in school and increasing numbers of people failing to find fulfillment in traditional religion.

There is a definite difference between causation and correlation. When two events are paired, one does not necessarily cause the other. They are merely tied together.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees Freedom of the Press. Censorship is despised in democracies. Even the federal and local governments depend heavily on an informed electorate.

How are you going to vote responsibly unless you know the issues that matter, what is going on in the country?

Games and movies have rating systems. Television for a long-time carefully maintained certain standards, especially around explicit sex. Should the news reporter fail to carefully cover the actual scene, it might be considered a professional negligence.

The explosion in special effects, high definition and 3D animation makes it much easier and affordable to graphically portray all the gruesome elements in the scene. Do you want to bore your readers, listeners and viewers? After all, they chose to participate.​

How the “News Delivering” System Actually Works

Twenty years ago, multimedia emerged, along with the World Wide Web. Computer graphics and sound were standardized on computers, leading up to the introduction of 2D animation, as well as 3D animation in films. Entertainment became possible in education, then called edutainment, as well as information, then called infotainment.

CGI (Computer-generated images) on TV became much more elaborate and sophisticated around news broadcasting. The coverage became much more fun to watch.​

news delivery

This had a subtle effect on the networks. Since news reporting was a major part of their programming, the more entertaining the news, the larger their audience, the higher the ratings, and the greater the ad revenue.​

People outside the media industry fail to consider that, from an advertising standpoint, the content in the program is just filler around the ads.

The real action is not in the TV program, itself, but in the ads that support it. Advertisers choose programs, not only for content appropriate to their products and services, but also for the size of their audience.

Exciting programs deliver more emotionally charged people, who are more likely to recall their commercials.

Many people in the media want to make a positive difference. However, when a growing market for violent content and programming actually presents itself, they feel compelled to play in that arena.

Initially, they may choose positive themes and subjects and engage in self-censorship. As the New York Times used to put it, “All the news that is fit to print.”​

At that time, all the news was most definitely NOT fit to print. This has changed with time. It is now too easy to become cynical now that standards have been relaxed and simply go for profits.​

How the Tide is Turning

Recently, public awareness of the proliferation of violence has reached a breaking point.

Democrats in the House of Representatives staged an actual sit-in within the nation’s Capitol. In the Presidential election, both parties now recognize the primacy of containing violence, whether it is mass shootings or policemen systematically killing people of color.

One party seeks to strengthen unity, the other is focused on singling out illegal immigrants and enforcing law or order.​

The media have become increasingly fragmented, as TV went to hundreds of channels with satellite, websites went into the hundreds of millions and smart phones capable of shooting and distributing video are now everywhere.

Blockbuster movies sensationalizing violence don’t always do as well as hoped in the box office, and studios are being compelled to come back to the basics of good story. YouTube is also opening up millions of fascinating videos on every subject imaginable.​

Founders of highly influential publications, such as Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, are taking a public stand around creating news that promotes well-being, social responsibility and a conscious life. Independent film producers still win Oscars in the Academy for socially sensitive topics, such as 12 Years a Slave.​

The idea of walking into the house and automatically turning on the TV is rapidly decreasing with the preference of the millennial generation for digital devices, such as surfing the web and using mobile apps.​

TV news

People are expecting more out of their media, and Hollywood and New York are doing their level best to keep up with changing tastes and preferences.​

Immediate Steps to Peace of Mind

  • Become media-savvy through online courses, classes or books. Learn to think more critically and consume programs more selectively.
  • Filter programs by watching your TV on digital screens, computers or tablets. Use mobile apps that aggregate and personalize the news so that you can focus on what is truly important.
  • Vote with your wallet. Go out of your way to support those networks, programs, studios and publishers that are producing inspiring work that minimizes the depiction of violence.
  • Consider watching more comedy and romantic movies, as opposed to plain shoot and kill films. While conflict is essential to drama, it can be delightful, as opposed to distressing.
  • Get into educational media with such apps as Coursera, Udemy, PBS and TEDx lectures.
  • Produce your own video on a subject of passion and load it onto YouTube. Many people have developed their own channels starting out with their desktop, laptop or tablet camera. Why don’t you discuss your favorite topic and see what happens? You may be pleasantly surprised by the wide range of interest from all over the world.

With such a proliferation of news on a 24x7 basis, we have an exaggerated sense of violence and doom.

Yet there is always hope. If you are even asking the question, it is not too late. The best way to demonstrate this is decisive action in your own personal life. There is no better time than now to get started.

If puzzled how… read this article: Consciously Create Your Future From The Future​


About the Author

One conscious owl to another... sharing what we learned over the years, and from many wise owls before us.