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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  8 Clark and Blankenburg concluded that “violence indexed by synopsis may be inherently low,” especially in the case of sitcoms since violence is peripheral to common story lines (p. 196). Nonetheless, the researchers determined that the synopses were appropriate means of determining the presence of violence that was significant to the plot and were associated with the numbers of acts of violence in the programs themselves. Then, 982 synopses from 17 October editions of TV Guide from 1953 to 1969 were examined. Overall, they found that 27.4% of the primetime programs of ABC, CBS, and NBC contained violence. There was little support for a correlation between amount of violence in these programs and actual crime statistics. Amount of violence did not change significantly in the years following Senate hearings on the issue of television violence. Yet, they did find that high Nielsen ratings for a genre that typically contains violence in any given year predicted more of the same types of programs, and therefore more violence, in the following year. Clark and Blankenburg also studied violence in movies that appeared on television, with the use of the publication Movies on TV, listing some 7,000 synopses of films sold to television. They coded 807 such synopses of movies produced between 1937 and 1966 and found that 35.2% contained violence. The amount of violence in the films did not correlate with the Nielsen ratings they received when they aired but did correlate with actual crime statistics, although the authors interpret this latter correlation as a fluke. Due to the role of general interest magazines in pre-television entertainment, Clark and Blankenburg also studied the amount of violence that appeared in the fiction sections of the Saturday Evening Post. They examined a systematic sample of 159 fictional stories appearing in the Saturday Evening Post from 1925 to 1964 and found that

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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8
Clark and Blankenburg concluded that “violence indexed by synopsis may be inherently
low,” especially in the case of sitcoms since violence is peripheral to common story lines
(p. 196). Nonetheless, the researchers determined that the synopses were appropriate
means of determining the presence of violence that was significant to the plot and were
associated with the numbers of acts of violence in the programs themselves.
Then, 982 synopses from 17 October editions of TV Guide from 1953 to 1969
were examined. Overall, they found that 27.4% of the primetime programs of ABC, CBS,
and NBC contained violence. There was little support for a correlation between amount
of violence in these programs and actual crime statistics. Amount of violence did not
change significantly in the years following Senate hearings on the issue of television
violence. Yet, they did find that high Nielsen ratings for a genre that typically contains
violence in any given year predicted more of the same types of programs, and therefore
more violence, in the following year.
Clark and Blankenburg also studied violence in movies that appeared on
television, with the use of the publication Movies on TV, listing some 7,000 synopses of
films sold to television. They coded 807 such synopses of movies produced between
1937 and 1966 and found that 35.2% contained violence. The amount of violence in the
films did not correlate with the Nielsen ratings they received when they aired but did
correlate with actual crime statistics, although the authors interpret this latter correlation
as a fluke. Due to the role of general interest magazines in pre-television entertainment,
Clark and Blankenburg also studied the amount of violence that appeared in the fiction
sections of the Saturday Evening Post. They examined a systematic sample of 159
fictional stories appearing in the Saturday Evening Post from 1925 to 1964 and found that


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