Posted on April 12th, 2012
Avocet Independent Social Workers look to put the needs of the child as the priority; by ensuring the suitability of the environment in which they live (amongst various other things). For some time there have been proposed links that the material children are subject to on the television could have an impact on their behaviour. Instances such as the murder of James Bulger in 1993 or the Columbine shootings in America in 1999 have had attributive links to negative media imaging. More recently, Daniel Bartlam, aged 14, was convicted of murdering his mother using similar means to that seen in a plot of Coronation Street. So what is the impact that exposure to violent television has on our children?
Daniel Bartlam appears to have had a significant influence from what was shown in the popular soap Corrie. What is most striking about the incident is the degree to which the boy was able to not only murder his mother, but also how he attempted to alleviate the blame from himself; Bartlam set fire to the body and told the police that a burglar had killed his mother. The depth of planning that appeared to have gone into the incident does not fit the mould of a typical 14 year olds behaviour.
The solution appears easy; don’t let children watch programmes containing violent scenes. But even programmes designed for children, take Tom and Jerry for example, have scenarios of simulated violence that could just as well have the same impact as Coronation Street. But what separates these two? One suggested route could be the realistic nature of the programme; by subjecting children to ‘real’ people in potentially ‘real’ situations it could contextualise concepts such as murder or assault as normality.
This weeks blogger – CM.
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