(Okay, “lies” is a little harsh, more like “disillusions” but it doesn’t have the same ring to it.)
I’ve been told that I am lucky enough to be born into the “media age”, that is, I have never experienced a world without media constantly surrounding me. Whether it is older forms such as newspapers or more modern (digital) forms such as social media platforms, I have consumed my fair share of media. So… why aren’t I an incredibly dangerous threat to society? The answer is simple and explained in David Gauntlett’s ’10 things wrong with the Media Effects Model’.
Problem number 1, The effects model tackles social problems backwards. Gauntlett states
“The ‘media effects’ approach, in this sense, comes at the problem backwards, by starting with the media and then trying to lasso connections from there on to social beings”.
Basically researchers are grasping at anything media related and are creating imaginary links to their behaviour, just so they can blame a something most offenders are supposedly exposed to. A Hagell and Newburn study in 1994 concludes that offending children had less consumption of media than non offending children and that they did not like to watch violent programs any more than ordinary children. Again, it’s the same story, connections are being made to put the media into a bad light when studies are showing the complete opposite proving that there are no link between violent media and violent actions. Perhaps instead of blaming the media as a common link between subjects, researchers should focus on less common similarities such as family dysfunction or metal health.
Ultimately, billions of people are exposed to violent media every day and it is the absolute minority of people who view this media that express violent acts, so can we really blame the media without making other logical connections?