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How Does Television and the Media Influence Children? Essay

Media plays very a important role and has influence in virtually every aspect of our lives. It is considered as the best source to know about the happenings of world. Newspaper, magazine, radio, television and internet are the different types of media. It greatly affects our lives because media has the power to influence our thoughts. This influence is sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS Media is the most influential one for the people to resort violence. Studies have suggested that the exposure to violence on television, movies and video games make the children more aggressive, fearful, less trusting and more accepting of violence. This does not mean that they will start bringing weapons in the school but they will be more aggressive and less trusting towards their friends, teachers and siblings. Some of them may carry out same violent act that they see in the violent programs and eventually become more disposed to commit acts of violence.

In the past, news about some murder, accidents etc. were used to be published in simple sentences or we can say in a way to just inform the people about a particular happening. But now all has changed. Today news is published in an exaggerated manner to attract the attention of people. This is against the ethics of journalism. So instead of being constructive, media plays a destructive role. People who read much of these news or view excessive violence on television, trust less and take the world more frightening than it is.

Sex and violence in media also lead towards the sex crimes in the society. It traumatizes youngsters which result in abuse in the home, streets, towards children etc.

Some advertisements try to influence the people by telling them the importance of branded items. As a result children and youngsters become status conscious and thinks that by using these items they can show their high status in the society. To fulfill their needs or to impress others they many times go violent to get money.



Huston and colleagues have estimated that the average 18-year-old will have viewed 200,000 acts of violence on television _(Huston, A.C., Donnerstein, E., Fairchild, H. et al. Big World, Small Screen: The Role of Television in American Society. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1992.)_

41% percent of American households have three or more televisions _(Nielsen Media Research, 2000)._

56% of children ages 8-16 have a television in their rooms _(Annenberg Public Policy Center, 2000. Media in the Home 2000)_

Percentage of television-time children ages 2-7 spend watching alone and unsupervised: 81 _(Kaiser Family Foundation, 1999. “Kids and Media @ the New Millennium.”)_

Television alone is responsible for 10% of youth violence. _(Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Report, 1999.)_

Average time per week that the American child ages 2-17 spends watching television: 19 hours, 40 minutes _(Nielsen Media Research, 2000)_

Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70 _(Tashman, Billy. “Sorry Ernie, TV Isn’t Teaching.” New York Times. Nov 12,

Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 _(Barber, Benjamin. Harper’s. Nov 1993: 41)_

Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1,023 _(Nielsen Media Research, 2000)_

The influence of media on children extends to health related issues. Although television has the power to educate on nutrition, exercise, and a wide variety of health related issues, it can also be a negative force through images and advertisements which influence viewers to make poor food choices or to overeat. In addition, excessive television viewing can result in inactivity which further contributes to excessive weight gain and poor fitness levels. Children are specifically targeted by some advertisements and are even more vulnerable than adults to their influence. Adults must assist children in questioning and thinking critically about the messages they see on TV. Limiting television viewing time and encouraging physical activity are precautions that parents should consider.

Formal essay plan

Topic: Influence of media on our lives.

Position: I agree that media influences our lives.

Style: debate, convincingly


Media is the most influential aspect for people to resort violence

The power of Adverts on T.V account for obesity upon young adolescents and many older people.

T.V, Magazines, Newspapers. All influencing a child with a turning of a page or a push of a button.

Concluding statement

It is obvious that media plays a crucial part in today’s community, though clearly it can be seen that sitting on the couch watching midnight murders influences negative aspects to our lives.

Paragraph 1: Media influence on Children.

Although Media has the power to educate on nutrition and conflicts; it can also be a negative strength in a wide range of categories such as health. Media influence upon Adolescents extends towards much health related issues. T.V or magazines use advertising as 30% of content .Without a doubt we are seeing an up rise in child obesity from negative influences through the media.

Images and Advertisements of food retailing influence children to make deprived decisions on food. Additionally, excessive viewing of Television can promote poor health conditions and excessive weight gain. Young adolescents are the main targets to the advertising industry as their influences are more venerable that those of adults

Studies show that the, Average time per week that the American child ages 2-17 spends watching television: 19 hours, 40 minutes. Over 40% of watching time is contributed to Advertising. With 56% of children ages 8-16 having a television in their rooms children are one of the Victims encased in this web.

_”Cinema, radio, television, magazines are a school of inattention: people look without seeing, listen in without hearing.”_

Robert Bresson

Paragraph 2: Media influences on Behavior.

Number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school: 8,000

Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000.

So instead of Media being constructive, media plays a destructive role. People, who experience much of this news or view excessive violence on television, become influenced and take the world for a dangerous and violent place. The violence and abuse experienced through media, traumatizes children and can lead to abuse in the home, streets, etc.

Studies have suggested that a surplus amount exposure to violence on television, movies and serials make people aggressive, fearful, less trusting and more deceptive. To the extent, people mainly teens are smuggling weapons into schools and society.

Essay Topics:

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