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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  10 newspapers, newsmagazines, television news, and primetime television entertainment. Furthermore, this study continues the tradition established by Clark and Blankenburg (1972) and Hoerrner (1999) of examining the amount of violence in the media as a dependent variable. In this study, we consider real world crime statistics, press coverage of the issue of media violence, and governmental attention to media violence as factors that may explain changes in the amount of media violence portrayed. Based on the findings of Clark and Blankenburg (1972), Gerbner and colleagues (Gerbner, Morgan, & Signorielli, 1994), and the National Television Violence Study researchers (1996, 1997, 1998), in our first hypothesis we predict that primetime television will contain the largest amount of violence compared to the other types of media examined. Furthermore, Clark and Blankenburg (1972) compared print media (newspapers and fictional magazines) to broadcast and film and found that print media had slightly less violence than broadcast or film media. Therefore, we use their study as a foundation for our second hypothesis. H1: Primetime television will contain the highest frequency of violence in all four media types. H2: Print media will contain slightly less violence than broadcast media. The Gerbner data (Gerbner et al., 1994) show that primetime and children’s television programming at the beginning of the 1990s contained slightly lower amounts of violence compared to years past. Yet, the longitudinal data collected by the researchers also show that, generally, fluctuations in the amount of violence on television tend to be rather short-lived and the overall trend is one of great stability in violent content over time. Similarly, Clark and Blankenburg (1972) did not find evidence of significant trends

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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newspapers, newsmagazines, television news, and primetime television entertainment.
Furthermore, this study continues the tradition established by Clark and Blankenburg
(1972) and Hoerrner (1999) of examining the amount of violence in the media as a
dependent variable. In this study, we consider real world crime statistics, press coverage
of the issue of media violence, and governmental attention to media violence as factors
that may explain changes in the amount of media violence portrayed.
Based on the findings of Clark and Blankenburg (1972), Gerbner and colleagues
(Gerbner, Morgan, & Signorielli, 1994), and the National Television Violence Study
researchers (1996, 1997, 1998), in our first hypothesis we predict that primetime
television will contain the largest amount of violence compared to the other types of
media examined. Furthermore, Clark and Blankenburg (1972) compared print media
(newspapers and fictional magazines) to broadcast and film and found that print media
had slightly less violence than broadcast or film media. Therefore, we use their study as a
foundation for our second hypothesis.
H1: Primetime television will contain the highest frequency of violence in all four
media types.
H2: Print media will contain slightly less violence than broadcast media.
The Gerbner data (Gerbner et al., 1994) show that primetime and children’s
television programming at the beginning of the 1990s contained slightly lower amounts
of violence compared to years past. Yet, the longitudinal data collected by the researchers
also show that, generally, fluctuations in the amount of violence on television tend to be
rather short-lived and the overall trend is one of great stability in violent content over
time. Similarly, Clark and Blankenburg (1972) did not find evidence of significant trends


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