Violence in the Media

Archive Report

Inquiries into Media Violence

Once more millions of Americans have witnessed on home television the gunning down of a public figure. The attempted assassination of Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace on May 15 flooded the viewer's mind with other tragic scenes of the recent past: Jack Ruby's murder of President Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, on screen and “live”; the bedlam in a hotel ballroom upon Robert F. Kennedy's slaying; and on-camera rioting in American cities after Martin Luther King's murder. To a public inured to violence in the media of entertainment, the shock of these televised tragedies is that they are not “crime shows.” They are for real. In what way does this frequent exposure to real-life violence increase the likelihood of more violence? ...

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