Media Violence: Myths and Facts

Subject: Entertainment & Media
Pages: 5
Words: 1212
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: School


Media violence is the creation and distribution by the media of content involving violence and cruelty. Public concern about this issue is caused mostly by the content of feature and animated films, as well as violent video games and Internet sites. The problem is compounded by the fact that the media in favor of momentary ratings continue to fill the news with scenes of violence. This essay compares and contrasts two articles examining the topic of violence and cruelty in modern media.

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Summary of “The Violence is Fake, the Impact is Real”

In the article “The Violence is Fake, the Impact is Real”, Goodman addresses the impact of television violence on children back in 1977. She criticizes the broadcasters because they only think about how to make a profit. The expected conclusion of these studies is that “violence on the television does lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers who watch the programs” (Wyrick, p. 577). The most likely audience can be ordinary citizens who should understand the incentives of the government and the broadcasters for showing violent scenes in media. Goodman supports her arguments by providing some statistics and examples of ways to regulate this problem.

Summary of “TV and Movies Distort Reality”

In the article “TV and Movies Distort Reality,” Popov dwells on the negative consequences of violent scenes shown in the media. He provides several examples of shows and films, which may affect the public significantly and lead to “a feeling that the world is an awful and dangerous place” (Popov, p. 94). The most likely audience of this article is ordinary people, which is similar to the first article. The author uses many rhetorical questions to make readers think about this crucial issue.

Comparison and Contrast (Point-by-Point Style)

Violence in Media in the Past

Initially, there were no bans on the cruel content on media, and any movie could be shown to people. Similarly, both Goodman and Popov identify the historical perspective of the problem, claiming that the presentation of some news, films and shows is often terrifying, while many important issues were omitted. In “TV and Movies Distort Reality,” the author argues that the media use the news for speculative purposes. They select, filter, or omit certain events, come up with artificially half-created causal relationships (Popov 92). In turn, Goodman states that the image the television makes on the public was long been underestimated, but it deeply entered the everyday life of society.

People Enjoy Media Violence and Ignore Its Negative Impact on Their Personality

While Goodman stresses the adverse impact of violence presented in the media on children, Popov discusses this issue in terms of a broader context. The key difference in the views of these authors lies in the fact that the former is sure that the media produced a negative impact, and the latter mentions the role of human basic instincts. In other words, Popov suggests that there is a potential impact of spectators on the media since the demand seems to cause an increased supply. Murders, rape, and simplistic approaches to violence are noted by Popov as those that can be dominant in the media. Watching a TV show or series, people think that they enjoy their time and relax by observing violent scenes. Their perception of adverse actions changes, and violence tends to become a norm,

A similar idea is expressed by Goodman, who argues that children, who are allowed to watch violence in the media, are likely to consider it acceptable in real life. In “The Violence is Fake, the Impact is Real,” the author focuses on children and states that violence is becoming normalized as people do not see it in terms of pain and suffering, perceiving it as excitement (Wyrick, p. 578). It leads to the perception of cruelties as usual situations. However, contrary to Popov, Goodman believes that it is the media that is to blame for the harmful impact of violent presentation, and people are only passive views.

The future of the media violence that is discussed in both of the articles is another point that the authors consider differently. The author of “TV and Movies Distort Reality” highlights that it leads to positive results for the media as their rates and revenues increase. On the contrary, Popov pays particular attention to shows in which the shootings of black people by white police officers are frequently demonstrated. As a result, some people will find more reason to fear and distrust the police. Nevertheless, despite these violent scenes, people love this movie and idolize the hero who was a killer, which seems to be connected with people’s basic instincts.

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In contrast, Goodman, in “The Violence is Fake, the Impact is Real”, mentions the “unwritten rule” in Japan as a countermeasure against positive images of violence in the media (Wyrick, p. 578). The author also claims that in the real world, people repress aggression because they know the consequences. That is why she considers it essential to demonstrate a negative side of violence to prevent them from exhibiting this kind of behavior in real life. The images they see on TV should help in promoting the idea that violence is not normal and that it should cause sympathy and a clear understanding that cruel behaviors should not be practiced.

Media Violence and the American Public

Bushman and Anderson are professors of communication and psychology and experts in the sphere of violence in media. They wrote several articles addressing this issue from different perspectives. In “Media Violence and the American Public: Scientific Facts Versus Media Misinformation,” the authors discuss the connection between “a mass media explosion and a violent crime explosion” and raise several crucial questions (Bushman and Anderson, p. 477). Giving answers to them, they conclude that there is much more violence in the virtual world than in the real world.

The review of the three sources that are discussed above allows stating that the study by Bushman and Anderson is the most relevant for a student to collect the necessary information. These authors offer a detailed clarification of the history of media violence while two other sources mention it briefly. Moreover, Bushman and Anderson emphasize the comparison of the real world and media violence based on the statistics and figures that are taken from reliable sources. Also, the scientific evidence examined by the mentioned scholars is supported by their unique insights and comments that add to current knowledge of violence presented in the media. College students can learn this topic from different perspectives, including the connection between the media and crime rates, smoking, aggression, and so on.


Media violence has recently become and remains a crucial issue. That is why many authors discuss this problem and provide different solutions to it. “TV and Movies Distort Reality” by Popov is a thought-provoking article, which draws readers’ attention to the detrimental consequences of violence in media for people and its benefits for the media itself. Goodman, in turn, highlights the threat posed to children, who are the most vulnerable segment of the population, by violent scenes, demonstrated in films and cartoons. Furthermore, Buchman and Anderson conducted a significant study and provided valid results over this issue. Therefore, people should pay more attention to this problem and find effective ways to tackle it.


  1. Bushman, Brad, and Anderson, Craig. “Media Violence and the American Public: Scientific Facts Versus Media Misinformation.” American Psychologist, vol. 56, no. 6-7, 2001, pp. 477-489.
  2. Popov, Andrei. TV and Movies Distort Reality.” Making Sense: A Guide to Sound Reasoning and Critical Thinking, 8th ed., edited by Debra Stevens, Pearson Publishing, 2016, pp. 92-94.
  3. Wyrick, Jean. Steps to Writing Well, 11th ed., Cengage Learning, 2010.