Joined: 19 Jan 2014
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Please rate my AWA [#permalink]
19 Jan 2014, 02:06
Please help me by rating the essay below. Here is the prompt:
“In some countries, television and radio programs are carefully censored for offensive language and behavior. In
other countries, there is little or no censorship.”
In your view, to what extent should government or any other group be able to censor television or radio programs?
Explain, giving relevant reasons and/or examples to support your position.
The issue of media censorship by governments is an extremely complex one. The wide variety of approaches that various governments take to regulate television and radio programs shows that few governments agree exactly how to address this issue. Some censorship can help prevent antisocial behavior, but the dangers of excessive censorship are many. The best approach is a light touch: anything beyond minimal censorship should not be allowed.
One reason excessive censorship is undesirable is that it allows governments to suppress the voices of political opponents. This was the case in Nazi-ruled Germany up to and during World War II. The Nazi regime tightly controlled all media, preventing anything but official propaganda from being printed or transmitted, thereby silencing any opposition. Invariably, regimes that censor information claim they are only censoring offensive language or behavior; they do not admit they are silencing opposing views. Claims that policies merely target offensive behavior are often insincere and dangerous; allowing such claims gives bad governments cover to engage in unsavory and even illegal behavior.
Excessive censorship can also be used as a tool to aid in corporate malfeasance. For example, recently, it was revealed that some Chinese pharmaceutical companies bribed government officials to disallow television advertisements by competing drug manufacturers. Officially, the advertisements were not allowed because they offended bald people, the group targeted for treatment by the drug makers. However, it is easy to see that the real reason was the suppression of information dangerous to the bottom line of a powerful company. Such malfeasance would have been impossible with less strict rules regarding censorship.
However, there is merit to some small degree of television or radio censorship. Programs that are easily seen or heard by children, such as those aired during after-school hours, should be censored so as not to frighten or disturb young audiences, and so as not to encourage self-destructive or antisocial behavior. Children are prone to imitate behavior they see or hear; therefore, during the appropriate daytime hours, it should be strictly against the law to portray children smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or engaging in malicious violence. Other behavior may be disallowed depending on the cultural norms of the society in question. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the issue of censorship.
Overall, censorship of television or radio is a complex issue that can only be addressed on a case-by-case basis. In general, though, minimal censorship is necessary to protect children from age-inappropriate material, while more strict measures leave the system open to abuse by governments or any other body able to influence media transmission. A light touch, therefore, is the best policy regarding censorship.
Many thanks, everyone!