In the eye of the storm

Date of publication: June 15, 1992

Abstract:

Concern regarding the effects of violence on television, especially on children, is one of the most important areas researched by academics. In contrast, relatively little attention has been given to this problem by commercial researchers. In addition to the theoretical background, the practical situation in South Africa and how the SABC approach the problem is discussed. The results of five extensive studies on the effects of television violence in South Africa are discussed. Comparisons between black and white children's reactions to violence on television are also dealt with. Some of the results indicate slightly negative effects of television violence on children; children's surprising robustness in watching scenes from rented videos; particular scenes that cause anxiety and the positive role of social interaction in relationships between children and television. Specific recommendations for broadcasters are made.

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