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Learning to Live TogetherPreventing Hatred and Violence in Child and Adolescent Development$
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David A. Hamburg and Beatrix A. Hamburg

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195157796

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195157796.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

Media as an educational system

Media as an educational system

Can the Media Help?

(p.185) 13 Media as an educational system
Learning to Live Together

David A. Hamburg

Beatrix A. Hamburg

Oxford University Press

The media, even in democratic societies, have been faulted for glorifying violence, especially in the entertainment industry. And we have seen how the harsh use of hateful propaganda through the media, by nationalist and sectarian leaders, can inflame conflicts in many parts of the world. The international community can support media that portray accurate information on current events, show constructive relations between different groups, and report instances in which violence has been prevented. Foundations, commissions, and universities can work with broadcasters to help provide responsible, insightful coverage of serious conflicts. For example, through constructive interactions with the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, CNN International moved to balance coverage of violence and strategies for peaceful conflict resolution. Social action for prosocial media may become an effective function of nongovernmental organizations, similar to their achievements in human rights. Research findings have established a causal link between children’s television viewing and their subsequent behavior in the United States and a variety of other countries (e.g., Australia, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland). Both aggressive and prosocial behaviors can be evoked, depending on the content of programs. There is no reason to assume that the impact of movies is substantially different. As early as age 2, children imitate behaviors (including violent behaviors) seen on television, and the effects may last into their teen years. Must violent content predominate forever? How can the media help to prevent deadly conflicts in the future? The proliferation of media in all forms constitutes an important aspect of globalization. Films, television, print, radio, and the Internet have immense power to reach people with powerful messages, for better and worse. At present, the United States is largely responsible for the output of film and television content seen by people worldwide. But advances in technology are making it increasingly feasible for media to be produced in all parts of the world–all too often with messages of hate, and they may become even more dangerous than the excessive violence in U.S. television and movies. Films have great, unused potential for encouraging peace and for nonviolent problem solving. They entertain, educate, and constitute a widely shared experience.

Keywords:   American Psychological Association, British Broadcasting Corporation, CNN International, Cuban missile crisis, Degrassi Junior High, Educational Testing Service, Gulf War, Internet

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