chapter  5
– violent events /
effects of violence
Pages 10

The debate about whether media portrayal of violence encourages violence in society has centred on fictional violence, not on the images of real-life violence shown on television and innewspapers. A fewvoices complain about ill-effects ofviolence in the newsbut they are a small minority. Pictures of factual violence provoke many more complaints on grounds of taste so that when newspapers and television curb what they show,which they often do, they do so on those grounds, not on grounds that excessive scenes might encourage or incite others to violence. Many newspapers, especially local papers, are reluctant to show bodies, and when they do show them it is rarely in close-up. Traditional television is the same. Themotive is to avoid upsetting and offending people. Occasionally, when a picture not shown is of a mutilated victim who might be recognised by a reader or viewer, an editor will say people deserve dignity in death. Exceptions occur when the bodies are foreign and when editors decide people should know the full force of terrible atrocities. Even then, the worst is rarely shown, always a matter of taste and decency.