Censorship in Media   Leave a comment

Last semester when I took RTF 309: Communication Technology and Society, we spend a few weeks talking about censorship laws. Much to my surprise and dismay, the censorship laws concerning media are very subjective and unclear. As an aspiring filmmaker, this made me nervous. What am I allowed to put in my work so theatres will still pick it up? How do I cut out pieces of a finished project to get an appropriate rating? What are my parents going to say if something I make is given an NC-17 rating? What if something I make gets an NC-17 or R rating and some parent brings their much-too-young children to it?

That is disturbing.

When I was a freshman here, I went to see Spring Awakening the musical. All of the advertisements and the signs in front of the theatre warned that there was mature content and they recommended an audience of age 17 or older. Did everyone heed those warnings? Of course not. I sat near a girl who was about twelve while two characters were simulating some rather explicit sex on stage. That not only was uncomfortable for me but for everyone else around us…and she may not have fully understood the context of why that was happening and the repercussions around that one scene within the show.

Which brings me to my controversy:

Concern: How can we make the censorship laws more clear?

Topic: The censorship laws are not specific enough and the burden of censorship does not just lie with one entity.

Question: Who’s responsibility is it to censor what is shown in the media?

Should it be the government and the FCC? Should it be the entertainebt industry itself? Should it be the parents who monitor what their kids watch?

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Posted September 7, 2011 by laurenshelton in Uncategorized

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