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Media Censorship Is Unconstitutional - Essay Example

Date:  2021-10-01 13:06:41
5 pages  (1288 words)
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Most citizens in the U.S talk of different matters and issues happening in their lives every day. These individuals convey their freedom in public through the TV, radio and social media. However, despite them being aware of their rights to freedom of expression, speech, it is true that they suffer under media censorship by the government. The tension of what the government and everyone may approve has limited their freedom. There have been controversies on the censorship concern which has become so intense in the modern society. This rule should not be so strict, and everyone should be entitled to their rights to speak out their thoughts, feelings, and opinions according to the first amendment (Adams 16). In this essay, I contend that censorship is unconstitutional, and it breaches related human rights and freedoms.

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Most nations worldwide face the challenge of censorship in the media like televisions and radios, where words are cut out, sound hummed and images blurred in certain scenes. Governments in such nations and opponents claim that censorship prevents offensive viewing by vulnerable citizens like children (Heins 120-144). The higher authority uses censorship to prevent negative replies and comments that would trigger chaos alongside destructive publicity for politicians (Rosanvallon and Goldhammer 234). The media today is featured with provocative incidents like substance abuse, sex, violence for instance in cartoons and vulgarity. Censorship is said to prevent children from corruption, as children are said to imitate what they see in media and real life.

What is at stake for the readers is on the choice of media, which should be upon an individuals decisions. One should, therefore, take control of what is present in their lives, regulate what is to be rejected or allowed in their lives, rather than limiting the fun and entertainment on media. It is better off if one was left to the interests and the accept what they deem colorful things in their lives. The liberty and constitution of citizens were shaped and based on the principle that all individuals have the right to express their opinions and feelings, orally or written (Blitz 1050). As the bill of rights outlines, it is true that censorship violates freedom of speech and expression. This is a violation of the citizens rights.

As Steiner, Alston and Goodman (2008) contend, some philosophers argue that all that is uttered by humans is taken to extremism and any comment or response, however mild, is regarded as negative. The government still embraces censorship despite the claims that it violates human rights. Human is hardly allowed to fully exercise their freedom of expression. The restriction of individuals from expressing their ideas or thought that might be deemed critical for the societys betterment makes the individual feel undervalued and not at liberty. As Bo claims, censorship tends to limit opinions that touch on the officials in the government (39-122). A good example is where the blacks suffer discrimination during arrests, and the media hinders them from expressing the concerns and cries. The citizens are therefore left to suffer in silence.

Censorship limits enlightenments and acquisition of knowledge. The internet, for instance, is a source of information, which enhances research and learning especially for discoveries in the scientific field. There it is true that censorship hinders education in certain reading materials. All individuals should have the right and liberty to understand and interpret any written words. Bueno argues that censorship in reading materials limits the desire and urge for scholars to broaden the continuum of their literature. Thus, when the government gets rid of certain reading books or questionable literature in the school libraries, it limits students access to sensitive concerns and concepts.

The counterarguments on censorship of these reading materials constitute the government, teachers, and parents. Their contentions of these reading materials are grounded on the fulfillment of standards like effectively adding a general store of knowledge. Additionally, these conservatives argue that reading materials ought to meet the standards of exercising advantageous influence. Then the question of who determines what is right and sensible for the learners arises. These are acts of dictatorship and not a democracy. It is also inappropriate to censor reading materials based on the age groups and strict supervision. Choosing reading materials on the bases of author or group is traversing the line of extremism.

There is a counter-argument for censorship that children may acquire overage things like vulgarity. More children have also been reported and associated with violence as well as sexual behavior by excessive exposure to the social media. Studies have shown that almost 18,000 children who view murder in the media before they graduated at the high school (Tucker and Hager 1316). This is deemed as the chief causal factor for violent acts, sexual behavior, and murders in todays youngsters. There have also been claims that suicidal film impacts their emotional and mental conditions (Till et al. 319). Proponents of censorship have also claimed that it helps in reduction or eradication of racism and other discriminatory acts in nations such as Malaysia (Sani 341-367).

However, besides all that censorship one still views and hears the censored in various programs. Honestly, people hear the hummed words, see blurred images and people are left to wonder why they had been censored after all. Media brings out the truth in the society and censorship tends to conceal the reality, which may be shocking at first. This is common when concealing political or government issues. It is the duty for all parents to supervise and regulate what their children see and listen while at home. For instance, parents ought to restrict the channels they find inappropriate for their children. Another significant issue arises when the citizens realize and know what had been concealed from them. Blaming the media arises for concealing the truth from citizens. They become enraged by the fact that the vices in the society are not exposed.

Based on the negativities that come along with acts of media censorship, it is depicted that censorship should be eradicated in the society. Firstly, censorship violates the first amendment of the constitution on human rights and freedom, or expression and speech. Media censorship also cuts short entertainment part of the media and limits the broadness of literature and education. It is the responsibility of parents to monitor the channels and programs their children to watch while at home. Everyone should be allowed the liberty to listen or watch what they wished. Censorship is unconstitutional, and a violation of human rights and therefore should be eradicated.

Works Cited

Adams, Julian. "Censorship of Off-Campus Publications Violates First Amendment Rights." Communication: Journalism Education Today (C:JET), vol. 22, no. 4, 01 June 1989, pp. 15-16.

Blitz, Marc Jonathan. "Freedom of Thought for the Extended Mind: Cognitive Enhancement and the Constitution." Wisconsin Law Review, vol. 2010, no. 4, Aug. 2010, pp. 1049-1117.

Bo, Zhao. "Legal Cases on Posthumous Reputation and Posthumous Privacy: History Censorship, Law, Politics and Culture. "Syracuse Journal of International Law & Commerce, vol. 42, no. 1, Fall2014, pp. 39-122.

BUENO, EMILY. "Censorship and the Limits of the Literary." TLS, no. 5873, 23 Oct. 2015, pp. 26-27.

Heins, Marjorie. Not in Front of the Children:'Indecency,'Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth. Rutgers University Press, 2007.

Rosanvallon, Pierre, and Arthur Goldhammer. Counter-democracy: Politics in an Age of Distrust. Vol. 7. Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Sani, Mohd Azizuddin Mohd. "Media freedom in Malaysia." Journal of Contemporary Asia 35.3 (2005): 341-367.

Steiner, Henry J., Philip Alston, and Ryan Goodman. International human rights in context: law, politics, morals: text and materials. Oxford University Press, USA, 2008.

Till, Benedikt, et al. "Suicide in Films: The Impact of Suicide Portrayals on Non-suicidal Viewers' Well-Being and the Effectiveness of Censorship." Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior, vol. 40, no. 4, Aug. 2010, pp. 319-327.

Tucker, Larry A. and Ronald L. Hager. "Television Viewing and Muscular Fitness of Children." Perceptual & Motor Skills, vol. 82, no. 3, 02 June 1996, p. 1316.

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