chapter  2
The research
Pages 22

The research project described in this book was launched in a climate of growing public concern about violence on television in which the major broadcasting organizations in the United Kingdom and their regulators had come under increasing political pressure to tackle what was seen in a number of quarters as being the serious problem of violence on television. Incidents such as the Hungerford massacre in 1988, the more recent murder case of James Bulger in Liverpool, and the Thomas Hamilton mass shooting of small children in Dunblane, Scotland, shocked the nation. In the search for an explanation as to why such horrific incidents could occur, media violence became targeted in all three instances as a possible causal factor. The attention drawn to television, in particular, as an alleged purveyor of violence, led to questions being asked at the highest levels of government about the degree of control over television programme content and the effectiveness with which the medium was regulated.