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24.07.2007

Too much violence on Ukrainian television

   

The International Women’s Human Rights Centre “La Strada – Ukraine” has released the results of a survey which it commissioned the Ukrainian Institute of Social Research to carry out on violence in the Ukrainian media.

The survey did not focus on particular films or channels, but on the general attitude of Ukrainians to scenes of violence and brutality on their screens and in the press.

The results were released at a meeting attended by psychologists and members of human rights organizations. Representatives of the State Committee on Television and Radio Broadcasting and the Ministry of Culture were invited, but chose not to attend.

The Head of La Strada – Ukraine, Kateryna Levchenko explains: “The survey showed that Ukrainians are most negative about stories which degrade people, as well as films with filthy language. The older the respondents, the less willing they are to view violence on the screen. On average, 20% said that they no longer watched action films or thrillers, while another 43 to 55% said that they would be prepared to give them up. This, unfortunately, does not include young people who would be less inclined to forfeit such viewing”.

Ms Levchenko believes that the majority of modern films encourage violence. Even “heroes” like Schwarzenegger or Seagal resolve their problems with force. The press reported that while a series “Brigade” was running, the number of fights in schools increased, and in the Vinnytsa region a gang even formed their own “brigade” carrying out violent robberies.

Representative of the information and advertising agency “Style S” Oleksy Syrov agreed with the comments. He pointed out that most channels are forced to work to a certain budget, and therefore often show a number of B-grade films.

Those present felt that there was an argument for limiting films with violence and open sex to paying channels.  They had a number of questions to the Ministry of Culture which allows such films to be shown at prime time.

They did however feel that it was not enough to simply ban violent films. Psychologists call for a system of strategic upbringing, and also mentioned that in Japan a child would not be able to turn on such a programme even if there were no adults around.

They suggest that changes need to be made to the Law on protecting public morals, and stress that the problem should not just be left to parents, but that experienced psychologists and teachers should become involved.

Based on information from www.telekritika.kiev.ua and La Strada – Ukraine’s website: http://www.lastrada.org.ua/readnews.cgi?lng=ua&Id=1300

 

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