Censorship 2 Term Paper

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Censorship Can Be Abbreviated By "B.S."

I had been watching television with my younger cousin last week, when he asked why the different shows had different letters on them. I wasn t quite sure of what he was referring to, but then I realized that he was referring to the rating the show was given. "The letters tell us who should watch this show. Some shows are for everyone to watch, some are for big kids and their parents, and some are just for parents to watch. It s called censorship." I explained. Then he wanted to know what "censorship" meant. I tried to think of a clever answer but I wasn t sure of the meaning myself, so how could I explain the word to a five year old child.

The definition for the word is quite easy to define, but the ideas behind it are not that simple. The Merriam-Webster explains the word as the act of stopping the transmission or publication of matter considered objectionable. That definition is simple enough, but when does it come into play? What is the criteria needed to make someone decide if censorship is needed? Who is the one who uses the censorship? Is there certain censorship for actions or words, or is it used for the objectionable as a whole?

After brainstorming about these ideas, I came to the conclusion that censorship is something used to make sure that all end the ends are covered. Movie producers use it so they won t get sued when a teenager shoots his parents after watching their violent film. They are covered because they told you there would be violence. The music producers slap on "explicit language" stickers to the millions of CD s they sell to kids, so later when your eight year old tells you to f k off after you have asked them to do their homework, you can t blame them for the fowl language.

Censorship seems to be a false way of protecting us and our children. Yes, they warn the viewer or the listener that the content may be objectionable, but they don t monitor the person who is selling it or giving to our kids. Day time television shows have Jerry Springer promoting sex and violence. Why are shows of that content being aired while younger kids are flipping through the channels to find their favorite cartoons? In my eyes, censorship is just a big word used to protect the media while they pretend to protect us.

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