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In modern day America, there is a lot of discussion on the effects of violent media on children. We argue that any at all is harmful against the accusation that it is benefiting the youth by providing them an outlet for their anger. In the articles “Violent Media is Good for Kids” by Gerard Jones and “Why do We Watch Scary Movies” by Whitney Evans the two authors, with differing qualifications, discuss the topic of violent media in adolescents with varied levels of clarity and thought-provokingness.
Gerard Jones’ background includes many humor books, and articles as well as several comic books for Marvel, DC, and Dragon Ball Z and pop culture books, such as The Beaver Papers. He has been the writer for The National Lampoon, Jones also served as the “talking head” on many television documentaries. Whitney Evans’ background includes the fact that she is currently a news director for KSL.com, one of the largest news websites in Utah. Previously, Evans held her internship for Deseret Morning News for two years, during this time she wrote “Why We Watch Scary Movies”. Even though the Deseret News tends to have a more right leaning bias, it is labeled as accredited. Whitney Evans has also worked as a web producer for DeseretNews.com. These credentials allowed her to structure her article “Why do We Watch Scary Movies” in a well-argued manner that makes it easy to follow her thought process.
Gerard Jones starts his article off with tales of his adolescences and alludes to a well-known comic character, the Hulk. Jones includes a quote from Melanie Moore, Ph.D., who is a psychologist who has studied the effects of violent media on kids and urban teens. “Children need violent entertainment in order to explore the inescapable feelings that they’ve been taught to deny, and to reintegrate those feelings into a more whole, more complex, more resilient selfhood” Moore (par. eight). Jones backs this up by saying he has also been studying the way in which children use violent stories to meet their emotional and developmental needs. His research to back it up is lackluster in that he only includes one researcher in a brief paragraph. Jones’ article is filled with personal bias by continually mentioning his childhood throughout the article and mentioning his son’s experiences also. Jones’ writing is easy to follow because he uses his article as a chance to tell a story, his argument is clear, but he is lacking the research to support him.
Throughout Whitney Evans’ article she credits many people who have studied the correlation of violent media and the mind with almost no personal bias from her childhood, unlike Jones. Many quotes from qualified researchers appear throughout her article including Norman Holland, JoAnn Cantor, and Stephen King. She starts off her article with a scenario to get us started, followed by a quote by Norman Holland, “A movie is just like any experience. It may or may not have any positive effect at all or any effect at all “, who is a film critic and an expert in literature and has studied the correlation between the mind and the arts. Evans also quotes American horror author, Stephen King, and his essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies”. To sum it up as simple as Evans did, Stephen Kings article states that we need these horror movies and violent media to prove to ourselves that we can handle it, that we are brave enough.
Evans’ article is easy to follow, she gives us headings to prepare us for what the next section of her article will contain. She also structures her article in a way that we will know what is next, she tells us why we like scary movies but she backs it up by telling us the negative effects that these movies can have on us. Gerard Jones is a comic book artist and an all-around entertainer, that’s his job. As a reader you may find his article more entertaining, but not all that thought provoking. His use of his childhood stories makes it entertaining to read, but not thought provoking as a reader. There’s nothing there to make us scratch our heads and say, “What if…?” Whitney Evans writes articles for an accredited, factual news source. As a reader, her use of modern-day authors such as Stephen King throughout her article may intrigue you. The way she uses verbiage through her article may also make you more interested in it. Such as when she is explaining what kind of audience the genre brings in after she evaluates Norman Holland’s work, “Such films, however, tend to draw a niche audience, which may be why the genre tends to gross far less than more mainstream genres” Whitney Evans. At the end of this segment of her article she provides us with some interesting statistics. Evans not only includes the positive aspects of violent media, she includes the negative effects at the end of her article to make us as readers think on our own “Is this good for our youth?”.
Jones provides us with enough factual evidence to support her claims but leaves us with enough room to question our thoughts on the subject. If you are looking for something interesting to read to pass some time while you sit in Starbucks one afternoon, “Violent Media is Good for Kids” by Gerard Jones is there for you. If you are looking for something factual to back you up in an argument “Why Do We Watch Scary Movies?” by Whitney Evans will provide you with quotes from other researchers and authors to help back your claim on either side.
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