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GMAT Essays : AWA / AWM Issue Essay 1.1 :

GMAT Essays - AWA / AWM Analytical Writing   
'Analysis of Issue' Essay


Contributed by Andy
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Issue Topic 1.1 The degree of censorship for improper content and language in radio and television programs varies in different countries.

Discuss the extent to which the government and other bodies should be allowed to censor public media.

ESSAY (Contributed by Andy)

In my view, censorship of radio programs is not required because offensive language is significantly less damaging than improper visual content. Consequently, the government or any other agency should definitely be allowed to censor the content displayed on television.


The ambiguity lies only in the extent to which the content should or can be censored. I believe prime-time television programs should be very carefully censored and made appropriate for viewing by the entire family. Young children below the age of twelve should be spared the risk and danger of viewing improper and offensive content. Young children should not be witness to unnecessary violence or obscene material. Specifically, in many households, the television is switched on for inordinate amounts of time in a day allowing a small child to view the television anytime. At some of these times, there is no adult to monitor the child and check the channels the child is viewing. Lack of parental guidance and adult supervision is the root cause of inappropriate content being viewed by children. Furthermore, advertisements and endorsements should be meticulously censored because improper scenes and pictures which are normally very eye-catching to young children are shown during the commercial breaks.


As mentioned at the outset, the use of offensive language or the airing of disturbing and sensitive news on the radio may have adverse effects of a child; however, these will in general be mild. On the other hand, improper and indecent content on the television can completely change a child's focus or aim in life. For example, a young mind exposed to a music channel for an extended period of time may lose interest in academics, decide to drop out of school, and decide to pursue a career as a pop star or a member of a rock band. This goal in life may not per se be a bad one, but will not be agreeable to a majority of the parents being a contrarian kind of view. However, this path that not everybody takes could help the young mind identify and recognize his passion for music. It is even possible that following the road less traveled may make the youngster a superstar and a millionaire.


It is thus crucial to know about the realities of life at a particular age. There is an appropriate age at which viewing all content is acceptable. The practice followed by some television channels of displaying the minimal age suitable for viewing a particular movie or program is indeed a good one from both the viewpoint of parents and children, and should be enforced by the government to be strictly followed by every channel.


It would be meaningful for adult content to be aired on television only late in the night. In this regard, there should be minimal or zero censorship for night programs on television. This is primarily because each individual has the right to decide what is good or bad for him or her. The government thus respects the freedom of expression of the citizens and allows them the opportunity to be aware of the various realities of life. In fact, it is imperative that censorship be minimal on night programs to allow teenagers, adolescents and adults the freedom to view the real world in its entirety and decide for themselves.


In conclusion, I think completely banning improper content on television can curtail a person's growth in later life. Viewing all types of content is part of growing up and should not be completely cut out because television provides a powerful educational medium. So, I think the government or any other appointed body should be allowed to screen the prime-time content to a large extent for young children but should not be allowed to censor night programs on television. A clear definition of time slots for censored and uncensored television would allow parents and responsible adults to monitor and guide young children in viewing appropriate content.

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