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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  21 contained violence. A breakdown of the contextual factors pertaining to those instances of violence is located in Table 1. Of the 828 stories in the newspapers selected on the dates sampled, there were a total of 140 stories that contained violence, 16.9%. The New York Times contained 52 stories with violence (or 37.1% of the total violence in newspapers), the Washington Post 50 stories (35.7%), and the Los Angeles Times 38 stories with violence (27.1%). However, the lower latter figure is due in part to the sampling procedure. 3 The average length of the newspaper stories that contained violence was 470.14 words. Within the stories that contained violence, an average of 3.5 acts of violence appeared on the newspapers’ front pages, and another 10.86 acts appeared on the subsequent pages. An average of 8.63 acts of violence was located in the first section of the newspaper; an additional 5.29 acts were located in other sections. There were 15.04 instances of physical violence against people, on average, in the newspaper stories sampled that contained violence (see Table 1). Of those, the majority (60.4%) was rated “very severe,” on a scale of 1 to 5. The physical acts of violence against people were largely described non-graphically (40.0%) or were given a “not applicable” code (39.6%). Nearly one-third of these acts (32.3%) were associated with punishments rather than being rewarded, although two-thirds (66.2%) did not discuss punishments or rewards at all. Just over one-fourth of the physical acts of violence against people (26.1%) implied some justification for the violence. The level of pain or harm to victims and the presence of regret were deemed “not applicable” for nearly all of the acts in the newspaper stories (98% and 99%, respectively), and there were no instances of a humorous element found in violent stories. Although the majority of the

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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21
contained violence. A breakdown of the contextual factors pertaining to those instances
of violence is located in Table 1.
Of the 828 stories in the newspapers selected on the dates sampled, there were a
total of 140 stories that contained violence, 16.9%. The New York Times contained 52
stories with violence (or 37.1% of the total violence in newspapers), the Washington Post
50 stories (35.7%), and the Los Angeles Times 38 stories with violence (27.1%).
However, the lower latter figure is due in part to the sampling procedure.
3
The average
length of the newspaper stories that contained violence was 470.14 words. Within the
stories that contained violence, an average of 3.5 acts of violence appeared on the
newspapers’ front pages, and another 10.86 acts appeared on the subsequent pages. An
average of 8.63 acts of violence was located in the first section of the newspaper; an
additional 5.29 acts were located in other sections.
There were 15.04 instances of physical violence against people, on average, in the
newspaper stories sampled that contained violence (see Table 1). Of those, the majority
(60.4%) was rated “very severe,” on a scale of 1 to 5. The physical acts of violence
against people were largely described non-graphically (40.0%) or were given a “not
applicable” code (39.6%). Nearly one-third of these acts (32.3%) were associated with
punishments rather than being rewarded, although two-thirds (66.2%) did not discuss
punishments or rewards at all. Just over one-fourth of the physical acts of violence
against people (26.1%) implied some justification for the violence. The level of pain or
harm to victims and the presence of regret were deemed “not applicable” for nearly all of
the acts in the newspaper stories (98% and 99%, respectively), and there were no
instances of a humorous element found in violent stories. Although the majority of the


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