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Non-profit organizations

It has been observed that the amount of parental involvement in regards to supervising media exposure of the children matters a lot. Number of research findings show that increase in parental guidance from the parents is equally important as reducing the media violence itself. Despite the fact that children may learn negative patterns and values from TV and other experiences, parental guidance help children to sort out these influences and enable them make sound decisions on their own.

In addition to this, interactive media forms such as Internet, computer and video games unlike other passive media forms which include television, movies and videos have stronger effects on children. This is due to the fact that children are theoretically more prone to behavioral influences when they are active participants than observers and this has made the effects from interactive media increasingly troublesome. The negative influence of media does not have effect on the children only but adults are also affected.

The most renowned world incident is the Montreal Massacre that occurred on December 6th, 1989 at the E’cole Polytechnique in Montreal Quebec, Canada. A twenty five old year man by name Marc Lepine using his legally obtained semiautomatic rifle shot twenty eight people

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that lead to death of fourteen women and the rest sustained serious injuries before he shot himself dead. As he went into this college he found sixty engineering students and separated men from women where he demanded men to leave. He claimed to hate feminists and in rage he shot any woman on sight.

The Canadians largely attributed this to media violence (http://archives. cbc. ca/society/crime_justice/topics/398/, 2006). In order to fight back such vices, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (CRTC) which is the national regulator of TV, radio and cable TV commissioned two key studies that focused on television violence. After these studies, it was concluded that there was a link between television violence and violence in the society with widespread national support to this view.

Coincidentally, a thirteen years old girl during this time mounted a national petition that demanded action on television violence which she considered to be the root cause of her sister’s rape and murder. She demanded outlawing all the violence on TV and this was supported by about two million signatures. In response to this, CRTC put universally acceptable long term goal of making violence on television socially unacceptable. The Commission set guiding principles that called for abandonment of ideological or legalistic approach by embracing a cooperative strategy that recognizes TV violence as a major mental –heath problem for children.

It also sought to protect children without censoring adults as well as stick to a focused agenda on glamorized violence not diffusing effects by adding on sex , foul language , specific feminist concerns or more controversial issues and bringing all key players on board among other things. The CRTC policy on TV violence recognizes the need of media and public education to support of the more high-quality non-violent Canadian programming for children (http://www. crtc. gc. ca/ENG/SOCIAL/VIOLART. htm, 1996). This has resulted to coming up of non-profit organizations such as Media Awareness Network (MNet) in Canada.

Media Awareness Network is a non-profit organization that has pioneered into the development of media literacy programs from when it was incorporated in 1996. It promotes both media and Internet education through production of online programs and resources as well as working in partnership with Canadian and other international organizations and communicating to audiences across the globe. Its operations are based on the rationale that to be functionally literate in the world we are living today ability to ‘read’ the messages that inform and entertain, young people are in need of critical thinking skills.

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