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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  22 time, the coders found the issue of likeable perpetrators not applicable to these stories (63.8%), in 19% of the acts the perpetrator was decidedly not likeable and in 5.1%, he or she was deemed a likeable person. Similarly, the victim’s likeability was determined to be irrelevant by coders 65.7% of the time. However, in 2.9% of the acts, the coders determined the victim to be particularly non-likeable, and in 13.8% of the acts, the victim was viewed as particularly likeable. Finally, guns were the most common weapons discussed in the newspaper stories featuring physical violence against people (35.3%). Fists or other body parts were also somewhat common (11.4%), as were bombs (7.2%), knives (6.3%), and other objects used as weapons (8.6%). In addition to the physically violent acts against people described above, there was an average of .54 instances of verbal violence against people and 1.58 acts of physical violence against objects per newspaper story that contained violence. A breakdown of the contextual factors pertaining to those instances of violence is located in Table 1. Of the 557 stories in newsmagazines sampled, 82 contained violence, 14.7%. Of the 82 stories with violence, 40 appeared in Newsweek and 42 in U.S. News and World Report. The average length of the stories that contained violence was 883.04 words. In the stories that contained violence, on average, there were 7.61 acts of physical violence against people (see Table 1). Of those acts, over two-thirds (68.6%) were given the highest score for severity, while in 15.2% severity was impossible to determine. The vast majority of physical acts of violence in the newsmagazines were either indeterminate in terms of graphicness (46.5%) or not particularly graphic in nature (20.0% not graphic at all). Though discussion of rewards or punishments was absent about two-thirds of the

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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time, the coders found the issue of likeable perpetrators not applicable to these stories
(63.8%), in 19% of the acts the perpetrator was decidedly not likeable and in 5.1%, he or
she was deemed a likeable person. Similarly, the victim’s likeability was determined to
be irrelevant by coders 65.7% of the time. However, in 2.9% of the acts, the coders
determined the victim to be particularly non-likeable, and in 13.8% of the acts, the victim
was viewed as particularly likeable. Finally, guns were the most common weapons
discussed in the newspaper stories featuring physical violence against people (35.3%).
Fists or other body parts were also somewhat common (11.4%), as were bombs (7.2%),
knives (6.3%), and other objects used as weapons (8.6%).
In addition to the physically violent acts against people described above, there
was an average of .54 instances of verbal violence against people and 1.58 acts of
physical violence against objects per newspaper story that contained violence. A
breakdown of the contextual factors pertaining to those instances of violence is located in
Table 1.
Of the 557 stories in newsmagazines sampled, 82 contained violence, 14.7%. Of
the 82 stories with violence, 40 appeared in Newsweek and 42 in U.S. News and World
Report. The average length of the stories that contained violence was 883.04 words. In
the stories that contained violence, on average, there were 7.61 acts of physical violence
against people (see Table 1). Of those acts, over two-thirds (68.6%) were given the
highest score for severity, while in 15.2% severity was impossible to determine. The vast
majority of physical acts of violence in the newsmagazines were either indeterminate in
terms of graphicness (46.5%) or not particularly graphic in nature (20.0% not graphic at
all). Though discussion of rewards or punishments was absent about two-thirds of the


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