are a major industry in the United States...the entertainment industry is
not only economically important, but it carries powerful messages of who we
are, how we live, and what we dream. It represents the spirit and culture of
America - to ourselves, to the world, and to history."
- Dr. Donald E. Cook, MD, FAAP,
before the US
Senate Commerce Committee, 2000
MEDIA - THE SECOND
(DYSFUNCTIONAL) FAMILY :
"Media, with which
children spend more time than with parents or teachers, have great potential
for shaping the hearts, minds and behaviors of America's young people and we
need to take this potential very seriously."
- Dr. Donald E. Cook, MD, FAAP, AAP President,
before the US Senate Commerce Committee, 2000
Misogynistic TV - The "VJ's" do not represent us and the content of
the majority of the shows are not geared towards us (even though 90% of the
music is performed by us). The shows are aimed toward middle to upper
teenaged white america who are enamored with urban "black" culture. Yet if I
was white america, I would believe we were a bunch of gold teeth,
panties-only, breast implanted, thugs who basically are the new "minstrels"
- posted by nekalove on the
black woman's message board,
(many more opinions like it on
commercial logic [of MTV] is the idea that everything is dedicated to the
idea of selling something. The whole point of the relationship with the teen
is to turn them upside-down and shake all the money out of their pockets.
That's the sole purpose of it - the artistic, the creative. There's
traditionally been a distinction between the editorial or creative side and
the commercial side. It was a common theme in our media for much of the
Author, Research professor,
Institute of Communications Research at the University of
"We all know more about the personal
lives of our favorite movie stars than we do about officials who make
decisions that affect our rights and lives directly."
- Ashley Stewart, Youth Radio
For another young
woman's take on MTV, read
Does media matter?
yes. In fact, the four principal agents of child socialization are 1)
media, 2) parents, 3) school and 4) peers. This socialization dictates what
attitudes and emotions about self, others and the world around us are
hardwired into our brain. These attitudes and emotions affect our behavior
in the future.
Media is so influential in a child's life that it is now called " the
second family." This may be a misnomer, however, because children spend 2
times as many hours with media - television, movies, ads, magazines, music, the
internet - as they do with their parents, and 67% more time with media than
in the classroom. In fact, they spend 4.7 out of 7 leisure hours per day
with media. By the time we're old children of 70, we've watched 10 years
of television alone.
To find out more - read about and watch the informative and always well-crafted
PBS Frontline shows "Merchants
of Cool" (about MTV) and "The
Persuaders" (about media's influence on human behavior).
...Ok, there's no real debate these days that media influences our thinking, and, thus,
behavior - even as we get older - or why else would corporations and the US
government spend billions on "capturing our hearts and minds" (and now the
minds in the Middle East) with ads and political "messages" each year?
The so-called "debate" is whether media can actually influence us to do
anti-social, unhealthy things and limit our lives and our potential. The
media establishment says "no way!" but what do doctors, psychiatrists,
social workers, teachers and child development experts say?
DID TV MAP YOUR BRAIN?
2001 study called TV Violence
and Brainmapping in Children documented the actual physical
effects of media violence on the brain. Authored by media studies
honcho Professor Ken Murray, a professor of Developmental Psychology at
Kansas State University, the study has been accepted by mainstream
scientific organizations as proof positive of the detrimental and lasting
effects of establishment TV. Believe it or not, the effect of
television violence was a concern as early as
1952 and has been studied - and
obscured by industry lobbyists - ever since.
Using MRI's, Prof. Murray and a team of neuroscientists concluded "the
brain is treating the entertainment violence as real violence, " activating
that part of the brain - the amygdala - that holds long-term traumatic
memories, such as those relating to rape and war.
And take a look at this:
"In magnitude, television violence is as
strongly correlated with aggressive behavior as any other behavioral
variable that has been measured." - Prof. Ken Murray,
The Impact of Televised Violence
- 1994 Hofstra Law Review.
In fact, neuroscientists have also found "mirror neurons" in HomoSapien brains that
send signals to our body chemistry and shape our brains when we are simply
watching an activity in person or on video. See NOVA's
You can read about Neuromarketing
To be continued!
:: Children NOW
on the debilitating messages media sends to
girls and to
:: The American
Psychological Association on the connection
between violent media
and violent kids
Dads and Daughters
- an amazing organization that "inspires
fathers to actively and
deeply engage in the lives of their daughters and galvanizes
fathers and others to
transform the pervasive cultural messages that devalue girls
Moon Publishing for some interesting, creative
books that don't exploit people
or rely on violence to "entertain"!