Media Censorship for Kids – Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

We live in a world where our children are vulnerable to different kinds of risks and threats on a daily basis. Some of these may harm them physically, but there are many other threats that can cause psychological damages if we fail to protect our kids from them. The media has often been accused of exposing kids to graphical violence and explicit sexual content that often leads to aggressive behavior and increases the chance of kids becoming sexually active at a young age. This is where the role of censorship in public broadcasting enters the discussion.

Media Censorship for Kids
Is Media Censorship a Bliss?

Media Censorship for Kids - Imperative or Irritant?

Censorship can be defined as the suppression or deletion of any form of speech or other communicative material that is deemed as harmful, offensive, provocative or unfit for public consumption by a censor. The debate about censorship in the media revolves around the perceived need to protect children – a topic that has been discussed in a lot of argumentative and controversial settings. The effects of violence in movies and video games, full or partial nudity, vulgar scenes, depiction of criminal behavior, and underage drinking have been inconclusively debated over the years.

Is it true that children who are exposed to television violence and sexual content, more likely to be fearful of the world around them and/or more aggressive towards others? Is it true that the demand for media censorship, despite the well intentions behind it, has some fundamental flaws that make it impossible to implement? Here are some of the arguments for and against both points of view.

Arguments in Favor of Media Censorship for Kids

  • Child and adolescent psychologists believe that while children should not be too overtly protected from the occurrences around them, but rather, should be protected from content that may be too distressing or graphic for them, especially images of the deceased or animals. In order to attract more viewers and achieve higher ratings, the media is more interested in presenting dramatic and even shocking footages than protecting children.
  • Another argument in favor of media censorship is that news reports on television are more likely to distress young children because they represent reality, which makes it difficult for parents to comfort upset kids, assuring them that what they see may not be completely real or true.

Arguments against Media Censorship for Kids

  • Critics of media censorship argue that monitoring children’s television viewing is a personal and parental responsibility, and the government and other regulatory bodies cannot assume that kind of responsibility for them. It is the parents’ obligation to stay informed and to nurture their kids with the appropriate behaviors, not by pushing the responsibilities towards a third party.
  • As for censoring news and current affairs programs on television, critics of censorship believe that similar to adults, children have the right to be informed about what is happening in the world around them.
    Regardless of whether a media censorship is in effect, you, the parents, need to be personally involved with monitoring what your child is watching on television, what video games he or she is playing and what websites they are browsing. Make sure you are aware of the content of all the media your child consumes to make an informed decision about what your child are restricted and/or allowed to view.

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