Simon East Media & Communications in Ministry Semester 2 2010
Errington, W. & Miragliotta, N. (2007)
Media & Politics: An Introduction
. South Melbourne, Australia:Oxford University Press.
Chapter 7 Week 9 The Proscription and Prescription of MediaContent
What kinds of communications should be prohibited, and what criteriashould be used when making such determinations?
learly, material that incites physical violence should face restrictions as J.S. Mill said, Whilefree speech was an inalienable right, it could only remain so if it did not cause harm to others(p.119). But when it comes to emotional/psychological harm the boundaries are difficult todefine. This chapter opened my eyes to the difficulty in drawing a solid line in prohibitingcontent theres so much grey area. Although the principles of the
ode (seebelow) provide a great foundation for making such decisions, I would like to see betterprotection from emotional and psychological harm, but cannot currently see a clear way of defining it.
o you think the criteria and principles combined in the ClassificationCode are reasonable?
The first principle Adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want initially causedme concern, because although that freedom sounds appealing in theory, in practice it could bequite damaging. Thankfully, the fourth principle brings some balance to the code: There is aneed to take account of community concerns about depictions that condone or incite violence,particularly sexual violence; and the portrayal of a person in a demeaning manner. Therefore,yes I think these principles are quite reasonable, helping provide a structure whereby freedom ispermitted as far as possible as long as it does not impede on the welfare of others.