Today, we live in a media society and, without a shadow of a doubt, media is shaping deeply the way we think. Media can affect us both positively and negatively. As a matter of fact, media experts’ opinions on the subject are divided between those who say media has harmful effects on our society and amplifies our perceptions of a problem, and those who say that the role of media is very important as it informs, educates, and fosters the human mind with a variety of experiences and new information.
Media has always been a source of moral panic, fear, and anxiety. Most people consider it as the main reason behind the Anti-social behaviors we perceive in our society because some people are imitating all what they see on the media, especially violent Tv programs. In 1993, in Britain, two 10-year-old kids abducted and murdered a 2 year-old child called James Bulger. The event was captured by security cameras belonging to the shopping center where James disappeared. After that the authorities captured and tried the murders, the judge, Mr.Justice Moorland, said the following : ” It is not for me to pass judgement on their upbringing , but I suspect that exposure to violent video films may , in part , be an explanation”. In other words, judge Moorland raps the media for transmitting the violent scenes to those children who committed the killing.
On the other hand, other people believe media plays a main role in educating, informing, and shaping positively the the society we live in. They say media can help foster violence but it has nothing to do with it directly as violence is deeply embedded in human’s consciousness. For instance, back in 1912, Nicolas, a 10 year-old french kid killed his little brother after hitting him over and over in the head with a sledgehammer. Taking into consideration the fact that media at that time had not yet flourished as in today, psychologists said the child’s violence, at that time, was absorbed from his parents constant fights. Thus, from this perspective, media is not the reason behind violence and anti-social behaviors we encounter everyday in our society.
As we have seen, opinions about media vary from one person to another, but still, the thesis which claims that media is the reason behind the anti-social behaviors is not rightly accepted either. Nothing is confirmed nor rejected yet because you can’t just put the blame on violent Tv programs without providing scientific evidences.
Written by The Moroccan Times thorough reader Mr.Amine Cholay.