Teen Report: Media's Role in School Violence

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A host of media outlets influence the lives of teenagers’ everyday, and the effects are not lost on local high school students.

Leon High School Student Avan Aziz says, "I think it affects the way kids, especially in today's society with what's going on around the world, the way they think and the way they act."

Many teens believe the media's coverage of teen violence might increase the likelihood of more teen violence, causing a copycat effect.

Eden Joyner, another Leon High School student says, "I think that violence gives you clues on how to act around other people, you learn how to do things you probably wouldn't know."

However, media coverage is not the sole reason for this violence, according to experts.

FSU Assistant Professor of Communications Arthur Raney says, "Media can influence that motivation, but it surely is not the only thing that's kind of pushing that motivational button. Family upbringing, social situations, chemical imbalances, I mean there's any number that will lead to that motivation."

Recent school-related violence sparked debate over whether the media was sensationalizing these types of events.

"If the media keeps showing it, then it's just the same attention factor that so many people crave," says Aziz.

While television, magazines, and the Internet are used as news sources, some students believe they still may glamorize issues like school violence.

Teenagers today have many ways to gain access to news, but with violence appearing so often, some wonder whether all the coverage, lessens the serious nature of the violence.