The influence of the media remains a contentious issue. Every time a particularly high-profile crime of violence is committed, there are those who blame the effects of the media. The familiar culprits of cinema, television, video and rock music, have now been joined, particularly in the wake of the massacre at Columbine High, by the Internet and the World Wide Web. Yet, any real evidence that the media do actually have such negative effects remains as elusive as ever and, consequently, the debate about effects frequently ends up as being little more than strident and rhetorical appeals to 'common sense'. Ill Effects argues that the question of media influence needs to be debated by those with a clearer understanding of how audiences and media interact with one another. Analysing the failure of the effects approach to understand both the modern media and their audiences, this second edition examines the influence of the effects tradition in America, the United Kingdom, Australia and Europe as well as the role of the British Board of Film Classification. Contributors examine the increasing number of stories about the alleged ill effects of the Internet and enquire whether this is a prelude to, and a crude attempt to legitimise, the imposition of tighter controls on new media. Ill Effects is a guide for the perplexed. It suggests new and productive ways in which we can understand the effects of the media and questions why many in media education accept a simple interpretation of the effects debate, particularly at times of moral panic. Refusing to adopt the absurd position that the media have no influence at all, Ill Effects reconceptualises the notion of media influence in ways which take into account how people actually use and interact with the media in their everyday lives. Martin Barker, Sara Bragg, David Buckingham, Tom Craig, David Gauntlett, Patricia Holland, Annette Hill, Mark Kermode, Graham Murdoch, Julian Petley, Sue Turnbull.

chapter |26 pages


From bad research to good – a guide for the perplexed
ByBarker Martin, Petley Julian

chapter |20 pages

The Newson Report

A case study in ‘common sense'
ByBarker Martin

chapter |16 pages

The Worrying Influence of ‘Media Effects' Studies

ByDavid Gauntlett

chapter |15 pages

Electronic Child Abuse?

Rethinking the media's effects on children
ByDavid Buckingham

chapter |9 pages

Living for Libido; or, ‘Child's Play IV'

The imagery of childhood and the call for censorship
ByPatricia Holland

chapter |24 pages

Just what the Doctors Ordered?

Media regulation, education and the ‘problem' of media violence
BySara Bragg

chapter |15 pages

Once More with Feeling

Talking about the media violence debate in Australia
BySue Turnbull

chapter |9 pages

I was a Teenage Horror Fan

Or, ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love Linda Blair'
ByMark Kermode

chapter |15 pages

‘Looks Like it Hurts'

Women's responses to shocking entertainment
ByAnnette Hill

chapter |20 pages

Reservoirs of Dogma

An archaeology of popular anxieties
ByGraham Murdoch

chapter |16 pages

Us and Them

ByJulian Petley

chapter |16 pages

Invasion of the Internet Abusers

Marketing fears about the information superhighway
ByThomas Craig, Julian Petley

chapter |23 pages

On the Problems of Being a ‘Trendy Travesty'

ByMartin Barker, Petley Julian