America is desensitized to violence

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As mass media grows, the amount of death people
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 8:47pm

Violence in the media continues to focus too much on the perpetrator rather than the victims, creating a desensitized population. Media entertainment needs to move away from violence so people can start to feel the rejuvenation of empathy.

Andrew F. Nunnelly, a writer for “The Harvard Crimson,” explains before the Vietnam War there wasn’t a lot of places to see violence in the media, which allowed for a more empathic response to the war.

The first televised war was the Vietnam War; the first to show violence on a mass scale; The levels of empathy where high. There was a direct connection from the American people at home to the war grounds.

As mass media grow, the amount of death people see has increased. The media doesn’t just mean the “fake news,” media includes, but not limited to: video games, news channels and newspapers.

Media normalizes violence though quantity of violence shown. I am not saying that the news needs to stop reporting violence but the increasing amount of violence found in TV, video games and book makes people care about real death less.

It isn’t the quantity alone that causes the desensitizing of America but also how the media covers violence. Jillian K. Peterson and Roxane Cohen Silver in a research paper called developing an Understanding of Victims and Violent Offenders: The Impact of Fostering Empathy, talks about our empathy towards the victims and perpetrators; they explain that the more attention given to the perpetrator and the reasoning to why do did the trouble action dulls the anger that people feels towards them.

They reported that getting to know the victims gives more empathy then there already is but focusing on the victims and not the perpetrators allows the blame to stay with the perpetrator while increasing positive responses from the general public.

An example of the media zooming in on the perpetrator can be found in the NBC news coverage of the most recent shooting in Las Vegas. At the beginning of the article, the first words are, ” A lone gunman unleashed a rapid-fire barrage of bullets from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel late Sunday…” right at the start the gunman is talked about. Later in the same article, it tells the perpetrator’s name, age, where he is from and how many guns he had. There was few bits talking about the victims and when NBC does talk about them it is only in numbers.

The New York Times reported on the victims and their family of the Las Vegas shooting. They listed seven-teen people who where killed; they reported on where they came from and what they did for a living. This is an example of what needs to be done. Media needs to move away from putting the shooter on the front page and make it about the ones who we lost.Violence in the media continues to focus too much on the perpetrator rather than the victims, creating a desensitized population. Media entertainment needs to move away from violence so people can start to feel the rejuvenation of empathy.

Andrew F. Nunnelly, a writer for “The Harvard Crimson,” explains before the Vietnam War there wasn’t a lot of places to see violence in the media, which allowed for a more empathic response to the war. The first televised war was the Vietnam War; the first to show violence on a mass scale; The levels of empathy where high. There was a direct connection from the American people at home to the war grounds.

As mass media grow, the amount of death people see has increased. The media doesn’t just mean the “fake news,” media includes, but not limited to: video games, news channels and newspapers. Media normalizes violence though quantity of violence shown. I am not saying that the news needs to stop reporting violence but the increasing amount of violence found in T.V., video games and book makes people care about real death less. It isn’t the quantity alone that causes the desensitizing of America but also how the media covers violence. Jillian K. Peterson and Roxane Cohen Silver in a research paper called developing an Understanding of Victims and Violent Offenders: The Impact of Fostering Empathy, talks about our empathy towards the victims and perpetrators; they explain that the more attention given to the perpetrator and the reasoning to why do did the trouble action dulls the anger that people feels towards them.

They reported that getting to know the victims gives more empathy then there already is but focusing on the victims and not the perpetrators allows the blame to stay with the perpetrator while increasing positive responses from the general public.

An example of the media zooming in on the perpetrator can be found in the NBC news coverage of the most recent shooting in Las Vegas. At the beginning of the article, the first words are, ” A lone gunman unleashed a rapid-fire barrage of bullets from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel late Sunday…” right at the start the gunman is talked about. Later in the same article, it tells the perpetrator’s name, age, where he is from and how many guns he had. There was few bits talking about the victims and when NBC does talk about them it is only in numbers.

The New York Times reported on the victims and their family of the Las Vegas shooting. They listed 17 people who where killed; they reported on where they came from and what they did for a living. This is an example of what needs to be done. Media needs to move away from putting the shooter on the front page and make it about the ones who we lost.

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