The importance of sources

Students don’s seem to understand the importance of evaluating web sources. I have a feeling that the study described in Study Finds Cable-TV Violence Leads To Network-TV Violence is getting at an important phenomenon. But — especially in this case — it would be a good idea to see if you could find it in a peer-reviewed journal.

Our data shows that cable violence, particularly the more brutal, consequence-free violence found on premium-cable channels like HBO, leads to violence on broadcast channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox,” IMR researcher Donald Peck said. “This phenomenon has created an ever-widening spiral of violence on our nation’s airwaves.”

Peck said the IMR based its report on analysis of 700,000 hours of cable- and network-TV broadcasts from the past 20 years. According to the report, prior to the advent of cable television, relatively little gratuitous violence aired on network television. In the years since the proliferation of cable, however, incidents of violent entertainment have increased dramatically.

(Via Peng, circuitously)

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  1. Lyn Jeffery
    Posted 10/22/2003 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    The same has got to be true of sexually graphic material. I was a bit dismayed to read an article in some recent magazine about a successful real-life cool hunter who sees “all things related to strippers” as “the next big thing.” She predicted we’d see pole-dancing on mainstream TV within 5 years. Yuck.

  2. Posted 10/22/2003 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I can think of far worse things on TV now–I would be happy to see a bit more sex. In fact, I would be OK with more violence as well, despite Gerbner’s claims. The trick is, I would far prefer to see some good TV. I think, in fact, network TV has been getting better over the last few years, in part as a reaction to some of the excellent television dramas that have shown up on cable.

    But I’m not sure where “Fear Factor” and some other shows fit into that.

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