Censorship on book in mass media

Subject: Media
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 887
Topics: Book, Censorship, Journalism, Mass Media

What is the difference between banned books and censored books?

Books can either be banned or censored. Banned books include all printed works like plays, novels, essays, journals, among other books that are censored and prohibited by the law. On the other hand, censored books are reading materials that the government, media outlets, various institutions, and authorities suppress their printing or access by members of the public (Reichman 34). Both banning and censorship are undertaken if such material are deemed to presents controversy on the basis of  political, moral, religious, legal, and business views of specific group or the whole national population. The objections imposed through censorship are likely to culminate into banning as the total measure of containing the sensitivity of identified book’s content.

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What is the significance of burning, banning or censoring a book?

The United States has strong institutional structures that oversee the content of printed and unprinted media content. There are books that have particularly attracted the attention of members of public, specific groups, government and non-government organizations. The supremacy of the constitution emphasizes religious tolerance, racial accommodation, political peace, religious sanity, and moral standards (Reichman 67). Some of the media materials have posed threat to the existing pattern of American society and hence banned or censored. Banning, burning, or censoring help in eliminating such material that may be harmful to general public of specific groups such as children, religious groups, people of specific political inclination, among others. As such, the government intervention help in mitigating the potential disaster that such material can cause in peaceful coexistence, interpersonal relations, and acceptable code of conduct.

Who should get to decide whether or not a book should be burned/banned/censored?

Banning of books must involve participatory decision making from members of the public, government agencies, specific social, economic, and political groups, members of the media, and education stakeholders (Boyer 63). In that respect, censorship should be done with recommendations from parents, lobby groups, religious leaders, school boards, and all other individuals in positions of leadership in media.

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What are the reasons people give for censoring books and for defending books?

There are multiple reasons for both supporters and opposition to censoring books. Some books that are supposed to be used in school fail moral test and expose children to immoral practices. Such books with excessive sexual and obscene language expose the young minds to moral rot (Demac 51). Other content that contain strong and violent language may influence culture of impunity, rebellion, and violence among young people. Such material must be banned. Some material portrays discrimination towards specific religious faith, political associations, and cultural beliefs, among others. The prospects of hate, intolerance, and conflicts that may be incited by such books inform the proposal to censor them.

In some cases, censorship has attracted criticism and protests from media firms, journalists, students, learning institution, and individuals. The argument is that in some cases censorship is ill-informed or politically motivated. For instance, media material that seeks to expose excesses of people in power, governments, and other organizations may be shunned through censorship thereby perpetrating unacceptable acts. In other cases, censorship is considered as killing creativity among students, and adults. The right to free speech is always breached when politically motivated censorship target suppressing delivery of sensitive information that may be of great interest to the society.

Under what circumstances (if any) do you think it is right or wrong to censor or ban books?

If the book have strong sexual or violent language and is supposed to be used as learning material by young people, it should be banned. If the material preaches religious intolerance, radical ideas, and criminal issues, it should be censored (Demac 55). It is also important to censor such books that preach political extremism, discusses other cultures as inferior, or refer to other persons in a manner that can inflame conflict within the society. Materials that fail the curriculum standard as stipulated by authorities may prove misleading to students and members of the public hence justified if banned.

It is wrong to burn a book if it addresses specific social justice on specific persons or communities. As long as the parental guidance clause is included in the access of the specific reading material then censorship is wrong. In the instances where the book clarifies some political evils and individuals in authority that have committed heinous wrongs the society through corruption, human rights violation, and other forms of abuse of office, the material should not be censored (Boyer 77). In cases where horrific material is meant to demonstrate the consequences of specific behaviors, a book should not be censored.

In the contemporary society, Censorship of books is important as it help contain development of criminal behavior, immorality, among other evils. In that regard, the question of censorship must remain place as long as it is done in line with proper considerations.

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  1. Boyer, Paul S. Purity in Print: Book Censorship in America from the Gilded Age to the Computer Age. Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002. Internet resource.
  2. Demac, Donna A. Liberty Denied: The Current Rise of Censorship in America. New York, N.Y: PEN American Center, 1988. Print.
  3. Reichman, Henry. Censorship and Selection: Issues and Answers for Schools. Chicago: American Library Association, 2001. Print.
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