Awareness Impact Of Censorship Media

Essay add: 28-10-2015, 13:58   /   Views: 702

Censorship in media is a much controversial topic at present. It discusses whether there should or shouldnt be censorship of media. It has become more of a matter of freedom, power, control and moral superiority. On one hand, it is said that censorship should not be imposed on the citizens by the government or any other agencies; adults have a right to choose what they want to view or listen. On the contrary, the public also declares that there is excessive violence portrayed on television and that this violence ultimately negatively affects viewers, especially children. In other words, some think censorship in media is healthy whereas the more that believe in civil rights believe that it is an unnecessary violation of the right to freedom of speech for all humans.

Even though the word censorship is used to describe this problem, it is really a problem of freedom, power, control and moral superiority. In the sense, censorship has become a problem because people think they are being deprived of their freedom and the authorities which censor information wants power and control over the rest of the people, making moral superiority the core issue at hand.

Sri Lanka can be considered one of the top countries which this problem exists in high scale. The Sri Lankan media is subject to a large amount of censorship. It is not only censorship of visual content, but also ideas. This second kind of censorship is one that controls the words, language, information and participation. In the past, before Sri Lanka became a free market economy, people weren't aware of the outside world and what is happening in other countries and therefore censorship was not more of a problem. But after Sri Lanka opened up and turned into a free market economy, people were exposed to foreign cultures and a lot of new and unknown things to them. The media was rapidly developed and played a major role in introducing the rest of the world to the Sri Lankans. The exposure was too much to take in and the foreign cultures were totally opposite to the Sri Lankan which alienated the people and it made the government rethink their decisions and censor the vast amount of information media was distributing to the population. Starting with that, came the war era (1980s) where the conflicts started and media was subjected to severe censorship several times. The year 1998 holds a significant importance for the Sri Lankan media when the 'Free Media Movement' was established and The Editor’s Guild of Sri Lanka and the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka signed a historic document called ‘The Colombo Declaration on Media Freedom and Social Responsibility’ following an international media conference held in Colombo in April 1998. Despite for all the movements supporting freedom for media, censorship was strictly imposed during the war against LTTE restricting the media to broadcast any report relating to the war being fought in the north and east sections of the island as government realized full freedom of media gave out vital information providing tactical benefits to the LTTE. Any local or international coverage of the war was prohibited and a separate officer was put in-charge to oversee the censoring matters. Later on, as the country developed little by little it was not only war reports which were censored, but also many other media broadcasts like news, movies, advertisements, tele-dramas etc.

In this paper I am looking into media censorship in a broader way. My limitations of this paper would be that I will only be discussing about the censorship in television media. Another major obstacle I would have to face is that censorship is not something which is discussed at large or openly as anything which talks about it will also be or can be censored and it is a challenge to find a lot of research, case studies, information and statistics. In the first chapter I will be investigating general forms of censorship and what are the forms which are specific for Sri Lanka and also a few case studies/ examples of Sri Lankan television media being censored. In the second chapter I will be looking into how censorship affects the society, government and the advertising field. It will also discuss the psychological and emotional impact of censorship on people, including, awareness and reaction on censorship and how it clashes with the strong cultural and religious beliefs of Sri Lankan communities. The third chapter would include a thorough understanding of all the alternative and subversive forms of communication which can be used to get around this problem. In the fourth chapter I will be discussing how this problem affects me as a designer, by looking into how censorship affects advertising agencies, what are the laws restricting them, what they do to get around this problem, compare this issue locally and internationally and how it affects the way of communication through design.

Methodology I would be using to gather information is mainly through online research and I will also be using newspaper articles, and a few books on media. I have gathered information through questionnaires which were given to different demographic parties such as parents, teenagers and young adults to identify their behavior patterns and to what extent does censorship in television media affect their lives. I also interviewed a couple of people from advertising agencies who were specifically selected from a local ad agency and foreign (multinational) ad agency to compare and contrast how each handled the problem of censorship. Also some other relevant statistics and information were gathered from government departments and institutions.

To summarize, in this paper I would be discussing about censorship in Sri Lankan television media, how it affects people, how they deal with it, how government deal with it, its effects on designing and communication (as individuals and industry as a whole), alternative/ subversive forms of communication for this problem, compare and contrast this issue from past to present and locally and internationally and the question that is censorship in media really necessary for a contemporary society.

Article name: Awareness Impact Of Censorship Media essay, research paper, dissertation