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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  30 of the four violent content variables. In the years in which the Attorney General made remarks about media violence, there were significantly fewer acts of physical violence against people in the media (r = -.50, p < .05). Once again, therefore, there is little evidence to support an association between governmental attention to the issue of media violence and the actual amount of violence in the media. Discussion This study provides a rare view of data generated from many years of content appearing in four media types—primetime television programs, newspapers, newsmagazines, and television news—and numerous media outlets within those types. In doing so, it replicates and updates many of the methods and findings of Clark and Blankenburg (1972)’s important contribution. It also documents the amount of violence in media content using a fairly comprehensive definition of violence, coding separately physical violence against people, verbal violence against people, and physical violence against objects. Furthermore, in addition to determining how much of these sorts of violence were present in media content over time, the study also examines the context and characteristics of how violence was presented. The amount of violence that this study found in media content is fairly consistent with findings from past research. Clark and Blankenburg (1972), for instance, found 27.5% of primetime television and 35.2% of movies on television contained violence. Gerbner and colleagues (1994) had found that 65% and the National Television Violence Study (1998) 67% of all primetime television programs contained violence. The 47.27% of primetime television containing violence found in this study fits right in the middle of the prior analyses. Furthermore, if the approximately 8% underestimation factor

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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of the four violent content variables. In the years in which the Attorney General made
remarks about media violence, there were significantly fewer acts of physical violence
against people in the media (r = -.50, p < .05). Once again, therefore, there is little
evidence to support an association between governmental attention to the issue of media
violence and the actual amount of violence in the media.
Discussion
This study provides a rare view of data generated from many years of content
appearing in four media types—primetime television programs, newspapers,
newsmagazines, and television news—and numerous media outlets within those types. In
doing so, it replicates and updates many of the methods and findings of Clark and
Blankenburg (1972)’s important contribution. It also documents the amount of violence
in media content using a fairly comprehensive definition of violence, coding separately
physical violence against people, verbal violence against people, and physical violence
against objects. Furthermore, in addition to determining how much of these sorts of
violence were present in media content over time, the study also examines the context
and characteristics of how violence was presented.
The amount of violence that this study found in media content is fairly consistent
with findings from past research. Clark and Blankenburg (1972), for instance, found
27.5% of primetime television and 35.2% of movies on television contained violence.
Gerbner and colleagues (1994) had found that 65% and the National Television Violence
Study (1998) 67% of all primetime television programs contained violence. The 47.27%
of primetime television containing violence found in this study fits right in the middle of
the prior analyses. Furthermore, if the approximately 8% underestimation factor


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