Jesuit Communication Project

  Information Packet: Violence and the Media

Compiled by: John J. Pungente, SJ
Jesuit Communication Project

Video Resources Related To Media and Violence
  • Brother of Mine - YTV - Dec.5/93 - 1 hr. discussion with teens
  • Between the Lines - episode on new code for tv violence - TVO December 9, 1993 - 1 hour.
  • Does TV Kill?, 90 mins, FRONTLINE, PNS January 10, 1995.
  • Don't Be A TV: Television Victim - 18 min. video containing segment on media violence - 1993 - Media Watch, PO Box 618 Santa Cruz, CA 05061 (408) 427-3169
  • "How Much Violence is Too Much Violence?" 5 part serieson CITY TV 6.00 p.m. News, Nov.15 - 19, 1993 (approx. 20
  • In Your Face: Violence and Music, Much Music, 1992, 1 hour look at various issues of violence as they appear in music videos.
  • - Media Mayhem - More than Make Believe, NEWIST/CESA 7, Studio B, University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA 54311, 30 mins., 1994. A look at violent film, television, video games and music videos.
  • Minding The Set! , Rogers & Alliance for Children and Television, 1994, 30mins. - parents and experts and kids talk of tv and violence and other things.
  • Power Rangers: on TODAY, December 1994, 10 minutes.
  • Power Rangers: 20/20, ABC, December 16, 1994, 10 mins.
  • Prime Time Violence, One of Art and Entertainment's Investigative Reports centering around Senator Paul Simon's statements with reactions from entertainment people. A & E, August 19, 1994 - 1 hour.
  • The Simpson's Episode (1991-92 season) Episode where Marge Simpson organizes the campaign to remove violence from TV cartoon show. (25 minutes)
  • Television Violence - CBC Newsworld - November 1992 (60 mns.)
  • Television Violence"- CPAC Cable Live from Atlantic Canada ,December 3, 1993, 90 mins.
  • Unintentional Experiment: Children and Television Violence, Maclean Hunter Cable TV Production, 1993 ($25 + tax from Earl Catchpole, Program Manager, London (519) 433-9522
  • Violence Against Women"segment of CITY MEDIA TV - Jan.30/92 (4 mins.)
  • The Violence Factor - (1984) - 56 mins. ($54.00 USA) California Newsreel, 149 Ninth Street - Suite 420 , San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 621-6196
  • Who's Minding the Set?: Television Violence and Our Children, Combined documentary and public forum hosted by Ann Media and Sylvia Sweeney. Rogers Community Channel, June 19, 1994 - 1 hour.
  • YTV NEWS - February 28, 1993, segment on media violence and youth (approximately 5 min)

Media Violence and Media Literacy

"One thing is certain: the effects of television violence can be controlled in pre-adolescent children by certain factual interventions involving social cognition. A strategy of media literacy, implemented by the various agencies responsible for socializing children - particularly parents, schools, and the broadcast industry - would be a first step in this direction."

Scientific Knowledge About Television Violence. Andrea Martinez. Ottawa: CRTC, 1992, p.47.

"In reviewing the scientific literature, the Journal of Adolescent Health Care concluded in 1990, that the impact of TV "can be reversed through intervention that stresses parental disapproval for violent acts depicted on TV and school-based programs on how to critically view TV."

"Tuned Up To Hate", Henry Mietkiewicz, The Toronto Star, January 16, 1993, p.E1.

"A second area for (joint) action is educational. . . A multiyear program of media literacy for children, parents and teachers should try to give more responsibility and tools to the individual family, and teach children more discernment."

Speech by Keith Spicer, Chair CRTC, at the Hincks Institute Conference, published in Reclaiming Childhood: Responsible Solutions to TV Violence and Our Children. Toronto: Hincks Institute, February 1993, p.7.

"The Committee urges the Department of Health and Welfare to conclude an agreement with the National Film Board to produce, in cooperation with provincial educational authorities, a media literacy guide which would provide children with the tools to understand the positive potential of television and help them become discerning television viewers. The Committee recommends that television violence form an important component of the proposed media literacy guide."

Television Violence: Fraying Our Social Fabric. Report of the Standing Committee on Communications and Culture. Ottawa: House of Commons, June 1993, p.40.

"We need to come more "media literate", including learning how to view TV and films critically, "to discern the meaning of media messages."

Policy Statement, USA National Council of Churches, November 11, 1993.

Bibliography: Violence and the Media

Barlow, Geoffrey and Hill, Alison. Video Violence and Children. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985.

The British Parliamentary Group Video Enquiry was set up in 1983 to produce factual evidence relating to the effects upon children of their viewing scenes of violence in video films. This book contains the findings of the academic Working Party which undertook the necessary research into this field.
Bird, Bud (Chair). Television Violence: Fraying Our Social Fabric: Report of the Standing Committee on Communications and Culture. Ottawa: House of Commons, 1993.
Report investigating tv violence, initiatives against this, and recommendations for action.
Carlsson-Paige, Nancy and Levin, Diane E.. Who's Calling the Shots?: How To Respond Effectively to Children's Fascination With War Play and War Toys. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1990.
Examines the positive developmental needs served by childrens' dramatic play and contrasts them with the unimaginative, narrowly scripted play encouraged by today's merchandise-oriented children's television and the accompanying highly specific war-related paraphernalia. Helps children learn the skills for building a less violent future.
Docherty, David. Violence In Television Fiction. London: John Libby, 1990.
This report - based on a British survey of public attitudes to violent television, and on a special survey of viewers in Northern Ireland - explores the nature and complexity of public opinion about violent television fiction.
Gunter, Barrie. Dimensions of Television Violence. London: Gower, 1985.
An examination of audience perceptions of different forms of tv violence in fictional settings.
Gunter, Barrie. Television and The Fear of Crime. London: John Libbey, 1987.
New findings on whether and in what ways television viewing may be linked to public perceptions of crime and discusses research from around the world.
Hincks Institute. Reclaiming Childhood: Responsible Solutions to TV Violence and Our Children. Toronto: Hincks Institute (114 Maitland Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 1E1), 1993.
Transcript of the conference which brought together parents, educators, broadcasters, government, and researchers to discuss television and violence.
Marshall, Pat Freeman and Vaillancourt, Marthe Asselin (co-chairs). Changing the Landscape: Ending Violence - Achieving Equality. Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services, 1993.
The final report of the Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women. Contains a section on Media and Culture.
Martinez, Andrea (Editor). Scientific Knowledge About Television Violence. Ottawa: CRTC Public Affairs, 1992.
A summary of scientific research on tv violence grouped as research about the perceptions, uses and gratifications associated with television violence and as research about aggressiveness and violent behaviour. Contains a bibliography of books and articles.
Mulligan, Suzzane. A Handbook for The Prevention of Family Violence. Hamilton, ON: The Family Violence Prevention Society, 1991.
Deals with every aspect of family violence and has an especially good chapter on Media Violence and Children which deals with - among other topics - Violence as Entertainment, Verbal Violence, and the Problems of Televisual Violence for Children.
Pomeroy, Dave. Video Violence and Values. New York: Friendship Press, 1990.
A workshop on the impact of video violence in "slasher" films.
Schlesinger, Philip et al. Women Viewing Violence. London: British Film Institute, 1992.
The authors uncover the complex patterns of response to television's depiction of violence against women.
Spears, George and Seydegart, Kasia. Gender and Violence in the Mass Media. Ottawa: Health Canada, 1993.
Addresses the incidences of sexual stereotyping, gender bias and the connection to the depiction of violence in Canadian media.
Twitchell, James B. Preposterous Violence: Fables of Aggression in Modern Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Dealing with comics, television, movies, and video games, Twitchell stresses the outrageousness of the violence depicted and its ritualistic nature. He argues that such violence serves an important socializing function for its audience of mostly adolescent males.

Bibliography: Children and Media
Berry, Gordon L. and Asamen, Joy Keiko (Editors). Children & Television: Images in a Changing Sociocultural World. Newbury Park, CA, Sage, 1993.
Essays which identify the social and cultural impact of television on the psychosocial development of children in a multicultural world.
Buckingham, David. Children Talking Television: The Making of Television Literacy. London: The Falmer Press, 1993.
Discusses children's responses to tv programming and analyses the role of television in family and peer group relationships.
Carlsson-Paige, Nancy and Levin, Diane E.. Who's Calling the Shots? How to Respond Effectively to Children's Fascination with War Play and War Toys. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1990.
Examines the positive developmental needs served by dramatic play and contrasts them with the unimaginative, narrow -scripted play encouraged by today's merchandise-oriented children's tv and the accompanying specific war-related paraphernalia offered by the toy industry.
Davies, Maire Messenger. Television is Good For Your Kids. London: Hilary Shipman, 1989.
The book draws on recent research and first-hand evidence from children. It shows how children bring their own resources of common sense, scepticism and creativity to bear on television; and that their lives and imaginations can be stimulated and enhanced by the use of television.
Dorr, Aimee. Television and Children: A Special Medium for a Special Audience. London: Sage, 1986.
The author emphasises the child's active role in making sense of television and determining its effect on him or her.
Gore, Tipper. Raising PG Children in an X-Rated Society. Nashville: Abingdon, 1985.
Written for parents who want to understand how to deal with the explicit messages on tv that bombard their children.
Greenfield, Patricia Marks. Mind and Media: The Effects of Television, Computers and Video Games. London: Fontana, 1984.
The author argues that the media can contribute to a child's development and that the ideal environment includes a multi-media approach to learning.
Gunter, Barrie and McAleer, Jill L. Children and Television: The One Eyed Monster? London: Routledge, 1990.
Examines how children use television, their response to it, and the effects it has on them, and concludes that children are far more selective and critical viewers than we give them credit for.
Hodge, Bob and Tripp, David. Children and Television: A Semiotic Approach. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1986.
An analysis of the messages of television cartoons and an examination of how children interpret these messages.
Kinder, Marsha. Playing With Power in Movies, Television and Video Games: From Muppet Babies to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
Traces the commercial and stylistic exchanges and interconnections among movies. videos, video games etc to show how they position today's youngster both as a passive consumer and as an interactive player.
Liebert, Robert M. and Sprafkin, Joyce. The Early Window: Effects of Television on Children and Youth (Third Edition). New York: Pergamon, 1988.
An updated account of the theory and research which has a direct bearing on television and children's attitudes, development and behaviour.
Livesley, Jack and Trotz, Frank. The Penguin Guide to Children's TV and Video. Toronto: Penguin, 1993.
A discussion of children's television from Saturday morning to prime time as well as reviews of over 400 tv shows and videos for children.
Luke, Carmen. Television and Your Child: A Guide For Concerned Parents. Toronto: Kagan and Woo, 1988.
A practical guide for parents on how to teach children to watch television.
McDonnell, Kathleen. Kid Culture: Children & Adults & Popular Culture. Toronto: Second Story Press, 1994.
Examines why pop culture is an irresistable lure to kids and at the same time an adhesive which binds them together in a subculture of their own.
Murray, John P. and Salomon, Gavriel (Editors). The Future of Children's Television: Results of the Markle Foundation/Boys Town Conference. Boys Town: Boys Town Press, 1984.
The papers examine what are the factors which will influence future programming and what can be the result of proper programming trends.
Palmer, Edward L. Television and America's Children: A Crisis of Neglect. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
The author focuses on the role of government, commercial television and public television in a search for a solution to the problem of American children's tv programming.
Neuman, Susan B. Literacy in The Television Age: The Myth of the TV Age. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1991.
A review and synthesis of the major studies on how television influences children as well as a discussion of a new series of studies which analyze the relationship between media and literacy using both quantitative and qualitative measures.
Palmer, Patricia. The Lively Audience: A Study of Children Around The TV Set. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1986.
The book reveals how children interact with television, how they incorporate it into their lives, and how television means very different things to different children.
Provenzo, Eugene F, Jr.. Video Kids: Making Sense Of Nintendo. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991.
The author argues that from a social and cultural point of view, video games reflect and pass on the particular values of mainstream culture.
Rosengren, Karl Erik and Windahl, Sven. Media Matter: TV Use in Childhood and Adolescence. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1989.
This book is the outcome of a decade's studies by a Swedish research group concentrating its efforts on the media use of children and adolescents, its causes and consequences.
Schneider, Cy. Children's Television: The Art, The Business, and How It Works. Lincolnwood: NTC Business Books, 1989.
A guide for professional marketeers that looks at the forces that drive children's television, from programmers and advertisers to parents and children.
Schrag, Robert L. Taming The Wild Tube: A Family's Guide to Television and Video. Chapel Hill, NC: North Carolina University Press, 1990.
Written by a media professional and parent, the book proposed a genuinely constructive role for television in the lives of families and shows how to do this. Over 100 videotapes and programs are reviewed along with ways to influence network offerings.
Signorielli, Nancy. A Sourcebook on Children and Television. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
A review of the literature and research relating to television's history, content, and cognitive, behavioral, and educational effects on children.
Tuchscherer, Pamela. TV Interactive Toys: The New High Tech Threat to Children: Fight Back Without a Gun - Arm Your Child With Knowledge. Bend, OR: Pinaroo Publishing, 1988.
Describes the possible effects of interactive tv toys on children and also deals with how to help children become critical viewers of television.
Vernon, Ruth (Leader). Television and Your Children. Toronto: TV Ontario, 1985.
A handbook for parents on how to watch television with children.