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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Media Violence Defines Hypocrisy

“Media to Blame for Violence in the Nation.”

“Violence in Media Trickles Down.”

“Kids Mimic What They See in the Media.”

All of these claims are from reputable news outlets throughout Massachusetts. No doubt violence has gone up, particularly in Boston, creating an epidemic of gang violence and a resurgence of crime among the younger generations. Many activists and even media circuits themselves are claiming that media violence, seen in print, heard on the radio, viewed on screen, causes impressionable young people, and some older folk who subscribe to the themes presented to them in the media, to imitate what they are being exposed to in real life situations. The level of hypocrisy surrounding the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech is hard to ignore.

The same publications that published the lines above regarding media violence were quick to publish, front page might I add, the grotesque pictures of the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Seung Hui, wielding a pistol and aiming it towards the camera. I grabbed one of each of the newspapers as I entered the Campus Center, and as I looked at one I felt a chill. Hoping to perhaps escape the horror that was on the front page of the more liberal of the two papers (I’ll let you figure that out), I looked towards the more “conservative publication” hoping it would have more sense than to publish pictures of this grotesquery. Nope. All three newspapers I read that day before class had the same picture.

Hypocrisy at best, a mockery at worst. Sensationalism can be an effective media tool, but if we have so much “violence in the media” that is “causing” the youth to turn weapons upon each other why do these newspapers, all distributed at subway stations, including those with high crime rates, insist on putting images of media violence, further perpetuating the use of violence-laced messages in the media?

Perhaps newspapers forget that daily publications go out to hundreds and thousands of readers per day. Perhaps they consider themselves an exception to the rule. Regardless of the mindset of those in charge of publishing these images, the fact still remains that until the media truly does away with violence in the media, these newspapers have no right in applying a double standard that says there is too much violence in the media while continuing to publish such violent portrayals. Laden with hypocrisy, these newspapers should stick to the true purpose of the news: to educate, inform, and even entertain their audiences, not provoke terror amidst their readers by showing the exact thing that they claim to be against.