The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions — its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror (WHPR1, 2002).
Months before on February 13, 2002 during a Press Conference with President Musharraf of Pakistan, Mr. Bush declared:
And I think that statement was clear enough for Iraq to hear me. And I will reserve whatever options I have, I’ll keep them close to my vest. President — or Saddam Hussein needs to understand I’m serious about defending our country (WHPR2, 2002).
And During his speech at the Virginia Military Institute on April 17, 2002, Mr. Bush made these claims:
And, finally, the civilized world faces a grave threat from weapons of mass destruction. A small number of outlaw regimes today possess and are developing chemical and biological and nuclear weapons. They’re building missiles to deliver them, and at the same time cultivating ties to terrorist groups. In their threat to peace, in their mad ambitions, in their destructive potential and in the repression of their own people, these regimes constitute an axis of evil and the world must confront them (WHPR3, 2002).
With all these statements made in the presence of media persons and the way it had been made that a major part of America and the world really believed that Saddam Hussein and the Iraq is the real threat to the civilized society.
Despite the presence of law which prohibits the Bush administration from disseminating government propaganda at home. But in an age of global communications, there is nothing to stop it from planting a phony pro-war story overseas — knowing with certainty that it will reach American citizens almost instantly.
This is the power of media and especially electronic media. It has the capability to make any one believe in what it wants to convey. The beautiful newsreader on a TV channel giving us the news. After that the news analysis program is aired. The program brings a battery of analysts to our bedrooms, drawing rooms or shops. These serious looking intelligent faces sitting in front of camera with a list of burning issues are giving their view on the issues.
Their facial expression and smartness over words, language and the contents can make anyone feel ill informed. This makes us glued to the television screen. And once the program gets finished we have an unusual feeling that now we have gained great information on issues about which we were quiet ignorant few minutes or hours before. A single program made some change in our self and our personal database of information. This is the actual effect of one of the most popular form of media called the electronic media.
But the point of concern is not its power but its ability of influencing human especially child psyche. The actual issue which has been raised this time is the way it makes an impact on our world views. The authenticity of the content which is aired is now being discussed. The focus is shifting towards the way it influences religion, culture and social belief. After all the US govt., with all its efforts didn’t found a single weapon of mass destruction.
The Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was defeated by the combined US and UK army. But the main issue that led to the war was the weapons of mass destruction which Saddam Hussein regime was allegedly possessing, was nowhere present. This means what the US govt. and its allies were telling the whole world was actually a farce. It was nothing more than a propaganda war against a nation which was adamant to pursue those policies which were not influenced by US.
Things mentioned above are some of the many effects caused through electronic media. Moving on to its actual definition, electronic media are those communications mediums which are based on electronic or electromechanical means of production and most often distinguished from print media. The primary electronic media sources familiar to the general public worldwide include — radio, sound recordings, television, video recording, and streaming internet content. And this electric communication technology goes further than any of the previous products of man’s skill. Earlier technologies extended the power of man’s limbs, and with the invention of writing, man’s memory in a sense could be placed outside of himself. Present communication technologies supplant man’s external senses, and more recently, the internal senses of imagination and the most important, the central or common sense, which brings the various data of the external senses together into a cohesive unity (McDonald).
The world of information, however conceived, may appear to exist in its own right by means of electronics, and the human user becomes a mere participant in that world. Now if we look upon things that influence a child and how the media impacts those factors in its formative days. The child in its formative sees many things and in accordance with its understanding capability it takes decision.
A healthy child hood is very necessary thing to provide sound academia knowledge not just beautified propaganda. The media which include television, radio, internet and newspaper are perhaps the biggest source of knowledge and information. And they are now very much a part of academic development of the child. As, there are many possible factors which affect the child and at the same time these factors come under continuous inferences through media; hence these factors have strongly associated and have become reason can be the
- Material wealth: It depicts the average financial state of area or the society which breeds crime. It quantifies the very material or average prosperity of the family and the society of which a person is a part of. Media’s depiction of strength, material wealth and prosperity makes a strong case in child’s mind and his purpose of study and academic excellence.
- Health: This factor under the influence of news and information obtained through media has its importance while quantifying security at the physical as well as mental health of the people. It decides the affluence and the penury that has been faced by the child.
- Social security and stability: The overall development and upbringing of a child is a multiple of this factor. The child is greatly affected with the type of society media presents and hence his academic performance gets an impact.
- Family life: The condition of a family on an average is an indication of family life of the child. The divorce rates are being given the status of indicator for quantifying this factor. The rising instances of single parenthood are another very important cause. The separation is a very traumatic experience of a child and can be a reason behind the creation of a situation of loneliness and the state of depression.
- Community and Social Life: This factor corresponds to the social behavior of the child and how much social his attitudes are. The negligibility in social life corresponds to lower interest of the child in community life thereby increasing another wave of insecurity at personal as well social level.
- Job Security: This factor is self explanatory and is being indicated through unemployment rate expressed in percentage. A secure job to a youth makes him more confident and ultimately he or she turns out to be a better prospect to the society. At the same time the insecurity in this factor causes frustration and causes the occurrence of diminishing patterns in above mentioned factors especially material well being.
So now the fact is that the criminals and misguided youths are very much a off the track output of the same social upbringing that were meant for the development of moral standards right from the formative years. The development of this is very much due to the behavior pattern of the people that are around them. They are the people whom these children treat with respect and are the personalities they admire.
A child’s behavior is very much a factor of the behavior characteristics of the personalities he or she often meets and admires and is presented through media. Electronic media have been found to present glamorized Robin Hoods with criminal personalities and unusual behavior of celebrities making headlines. The biggest example of this projection is the presence of Che Guevara as a fashion cult despite the fact that he was always against the US imperialist policies. So the concern is how the media is affecting the child and not just child but also the factors that are directly or indirectly related to the child’s development and academic performance.
The news of slowdown in world economy and the rising of Asian economy giants like India and China and the job outsourcing makes the same guy more frightened. He feels threatened. And this perceived threat results in a physical reaction as much as actual physical injury. The same person in a large crowd sees perhaps twenty people around him, but a camera above the crowd reveals a crowd incomprehensible to human imagination.
The widespread anxiety among people in the first world about there being too many people is an effect of them seeing thousands of faces on television, whereas someone may walk for hours on the streets of the suburbs without seeing a single person (McDonald). The reality is that the information beaming capability of the electronic media upsets normal community and family relations based on physical contact and proximity, leading to an ersatz community where people have the illusion of being angels. People in their relations are reduced to being pieces of disembodied information without context or substance. The level of sensation present in our lives affects our intellectual judgment.
According to report, it has been found that there has been an explosion in recent years in electronic media marketed directly at the very youngest children in our society: A booming market of videotapes and DVDs aimed at infants one to 18 months, the launching of the first TV show specifically targeting children as young as 12 months, and a multi-million dollar industry selling computer games and even special keyboard toppers for children as young as nine months old. Their homes are packed with media options, including TVs, computers, DVD players and video game consoles. Nearly all children (99%) live in a home with a TV set, half (50%) have three or more TVs, and one-third (36%) have a TV in their bedroom.
Nearly three out of four (73%) have a computer at home, and about half (49%) have a video game player. In some ways, new media is trumping old: nearly twice as many children in this age group live in a home with Internet access (63%) as with a newspaper subscription (34%). Nearly all of them (97%) have products—clothes, toys, and the like—based on characters from TV shows or movies (Rideout, 2003). But the point of concern is that this rapid changes in our media environment have not been accompanied by a similar growth in our knowledge of how new media may impact children’s cognitive, social, emotional or physical development. These issues are of deep concern not only to parents, but also to educators, health providers, policymakers and advocates.
Many experts have argued that it is especially critical to understand media use by the youngest children, noting that because social and intellectual development are more malleable in these early years, media use at this age could have an especially significant impact. According to Valdemar W. Setzer (1993), some children addicted to electronic games spoke too fast with limited sense, feeling or contents in their speech. This suggests that those children spoke with a speed compared to the use they make of their fingers when playing the games.
There is a correlation between speaking and gesturing, which may be explained by the close proximity of the motor and speech neurological centers in the brain. The fact that children do not have the fully developed, active thinking and consciousness characteristic of adults means they don’t have to make any effort to “switch off” these inner activities when playing electronic games and are not “sidetracked” by outside influences that can act as a buffer to overdevelopment of or addiction to an undesirable trait.
Finally, we can say that though a child’s ability to gather information is enhanced by technology but at the same time we are placed under greater stress, and to maintain equilibrium we must find strategies to cope with it. One strategy is to withdraw from the flood of information and go for selected and conscious input. It is one of the ways but there is a need of finding more.
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Katsh, E. (1989). The Electronic Media and the Transformation of Law, Oxford
Rideout, V. J. & Vandewater, E. A. & Wartella, E. A. (2003). Zero to Six :
Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers., A Kaiser Family Foundation Report.
Setzer, V. W. & Duckett, G. E. (1993). The Risks to Children Using Electronic Games,