Censorship Nick Moore, Elizabeth Miller, Aaron Holthaus, Dustin Peterson, Alan Werden, Ben Pauley, Jennifer Christensen, Nicholas McElhome
Censorship Psychology Definition:Prevention of disturbing or painful thoughts or feelings from reaching consciousness except in a distinguished form.(www.urbandictionary.com) AKA In the media censorship is something that the media tries to prevent from the audience to view or hear, that they may think is unacceptable. (Elizabeth Miller)
Background Facts • “In ancient societies, such as those of Israel or China, censorship was considered a legitimate instrument for regulating the moral and political life of the population.” (“Beacon for Freedom” par 1.) • “In China, the first censorship law was introduced in 300 AD.” (“Beacon for Freedom” par 1.) • “In the 18th century, the press in most of Europe was frequently subject to strict censorship. The 19th century saw the emergence of an independent press, censorship gradually having to cede to the demand for a free press.” (“Beacon for Freedom” par 2.) • “The term is generally linked with government efforts to control speech or media content” .”(“Wise to Social Issues” par 1.) • “The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of expression but there are exceptions to this guarantee, with some classes of speech enjoying greater protection than others.”(“Wise to Social Issues” par 1.)
NY Times Censorship Controversy: In 1971, some important information from the Pentagon had leaked to the New York Times. With Richard Nixon being the president at the time, he was not very happy. He tried to prosecute the journalists with treason for revealing this secret information. It was not the journalists fault that they had information leaked to them. So, in 1971 the Supreme court ruled that the New York Times could publish the papers. (NT Times Takes on Pentagon)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Censorship The Federal Communications Commission was established in 1934 for the purpose of regulating communication in the United States via radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC’s jurisdiction includes the 50 United States and other establishments, such as U.S. military bases and Puerto Rico The FCC is purposed with censoring obscene material, but is barred by the U.S. Constitution from attempting to censor points of view. The Commission is composed of multiple bureaus and offices including The Enforcement Bureau, the Media Bureau, the Office of Engineering and Technology, and many others The FCC is governed by 5 Commissioners, appointed by the President of the United States and approved by the U.S. Senate for terms of 5 years. The Chairperson is designated (of the five Commissioners) by the President.
The FCC – Policies • Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution • Federal law forbids the broadcast of obscene material at any time, and the FCC is charged (by Congress) with the duty of enforcing that law • Obscene material is defined based on 3 rules1: • “An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest” • “The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law” • “The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. “ 1 Rules obtained from www.fcc.gov
The FCC – Policies (continued) • It is also against the law to broadcast profane language or indecent material during certain hours (6am-10pm) • FCC.gov definitions: • Indecent material - “language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities.” • Profane language – “language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.”
The FCC – Reporting a Violation • The FCC accepts complaints via e-mail, an online form, phone, or fax. They recommend the online form as the best way of reporting a violation. • FCC staff examine each filed report to see if it contains enough evidence of a violation. If so, an investigation begins, which can include a letter of inquiry to the source of the material. • If evidence suggests that there was no violation, the FCC will notify the person who filed the complaint, or make a public announcement. The complainant may file a petition for reconsideration. • If the report is confirmed, the FCC may issue a Notice of Apparent Liability, which is a preliminary announcement that a law has been violated
The FCC – Reporting a Violation (Continued) • The FCC considers context to be a key issue in a matter of possible violation • Upon receiving a report, the FCC staff must analyze what was broadcast, its nature, and its context to determine whether or not it is a violation • The FCC must also consider the date & time of the broadcast, along with station in question and its medium (Radio, TV, etc)
The FCC - Enforcement • If a violation is found to have occurred, the FCC has Congress-given power to do different things: • Revoke a station license • Impose a monetary forfeiture • Issue a warning FCC Works Cited: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Home Page. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://www.fcc.gov>.
The Political angle of Censorship Political Censorship: exists when a government attempts to conceal, distort, or falsify information that its citizens receive by suppressing or crowding out political news that the public might receive through news outlets. In the absence of unflattering but objective information, people will be unable to dissent with the government or political party in charge. It is also the suppression of views that are contrary to those of the government in power. The government often has the power of the army and the secret police, to enforce the compliance of journalists with the will of the government to extol the story that the government wants people to believe, at times even with bribery, ruin of careers, imprisonment, and even assassination. The word censorship comes from the Latin word censor, the job of two Romans whose duty was to supervise public behavior and morals, hence 'censoring' the way people act.nin the United States via radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC’s jurisdiction includes the 50 United States and other establishments, such as U.S. military bases and Puerto Rico The FCC is purposed with censoring obscene material, but is barred by the U.S. Constitution from attempting to censor points of view. The Commission is composed of multiple bureaus and offices including The Enforcement Bureau, the Media Bureau, the Office of Engineering and Technology, and many others The FCC is governed by 5 Commissioners, appointed by the President of the United States and approved by the U.S. Senate for terms of 5 years. The Chairperson is designated (of the five Commissioners) by the President.
Political Censorship in the World • Strict censorship existed in the Eastern Bloc. Throughout the bloc, the various ministries of culture held a tight reign on their writers. Cultural products there reflected the propaganda needs of the state. Party-approved censors exercised strict control in the early years. In the Stalinist period, even the weather forecasts were changed if they had the temerity to suggest that the sun might not shine on May Day. Under NicolaeCeauşescu in Romania, weather reports were doctored so that the temperatures were not seen to rise above or fall below the levels which dictated that work must stop. 1 Rules obtained from www.fcc.gov
Independent journalism did not exist in the Soviet Union until Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader; all reporting was directed by the Communist Party or related organizations. Pravda, the predominant newspaper in the Soviet Union, had a monopoly. Foreign newspapers were available only if they were published by Communist Parties sympathetic to the Soviet Union.Possession and use of copying machines was tightly controlled in order to hinder production and distribution of samizdat, illegal self-published books and magazines. Possession of even a single samizdat manuscript such as a book by Andrei Sinyavsky was a serious crime which might involve a visit from the KGB. Another outlet for works which did not find favor with the authorities was publishing abroad.The People's Republic of China, which continues Communist rule in politics, if not in the controlled economy, employs some 30,000 'Internet police' to monitor the internet and popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo.Iraq under Arab socialist Saddam Hussein had much the same techniques of press censorship as did Romania under NicolaeCeauşescu but with greater potential violence.Cuban media is operated under the supervision of the Communist Party's Department of Revolutionary Orientation, which "develops and coordinates propaganda strategies". Connecting to Internet is illegal.icationin the United States via radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC’s jurisdiction includes the 50 United States and other establishments, such as U.S. military bases and Puerto Rico The FCC is purposed with censoring obscene material, but is barred by the U.S. Constitution from attempting to censor points of view. The Commission is composed of multiple bureaus and offices including The Enforcement Bureau, the Media Bureau, the Office of Engineering and Technology, and many others The FCC is governed by 5 Commissioners, appointed by the President of the United States and approved by the U.S. Senate for terms of 5 years. The Chairperson is designated (of the five Commissioners) by the President.
Internet Censorship Since 1995, the content of many internet sites were in the cross fire of public opinion and the first amendment. By 1997, the Supreme Court turn down the Communications Decency Act in Reno v. ACLU, allowing a majority of the first amendment protection to the internet (Internet Censorship). However, in 2002, the government categorized basic internet censorship into four main areas: government policy with filtering/ blocking techniques, penalties for open explicit material for minors, government mandated blocking, and government prohibition of public access to the internet (Law and Policy). Even with this new protocol in terms of internet material, new advances in internet capability has led to even more debate over the censorship with the internet. • With popular sites such as Youtube or facebook, our current “show all/ post all” culture has open the doors for private moments to become public entertainment. Many have rallied together to restore the Communications Decency Act. According to courses.cs.vt.edu, identifying what is and is not appropriate for internet communication “lies in the gray zone” where it all comes down to a personal matter of taste. The current arguments with having complete censorship is creating an “boring” and de-progressing technological movement. The best any authoritative position can do to “censor” is to monitor with close eye, provide warning signs to prevent minors from entering “adult” areas, provide basic guide lines and procedures, and address “red flags” at appropriate times.
Overturning in 1997 • In 1997, the Supreme court overruled the Communication Decncy Act granted less censorship for internet sites. • As of 2002, the internet is censored by 4 main criteria: • Use of filtering/blocking techniques • Laws and policies of “underage material” • Blocking adult sites • Prohibition of Public access
Communication Decency Act • Created after the court case Reno v. ACLU. • Censored material included: • Patently offensive • Sexual or excretory acts or functions • Depicting or describing • Indecent • Contemporary community standards
A Brief History of Censorship in Film By: Dustin Peterson
Films Beginning First movie was made between 1880 to 1890 First commercial film was called “Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory “ and was produced in 1895. Contained no sound 32 people paid in attendance to witness the birth of Cinema Consisted of 10 short 46 second films First film with sound was in April of 1923 in New York First colored Film appeared in 1922 Black and white was still used predominately until the mid 50’s. • Click here to view First film • Click here for One of the First Colored films • Early Film with Sound
A Brief Timeline of the evolution of Censorship 1900 – 1960 First censorship acts enacted in Chicago in 1907 Sparked many cities across the nation to enact their own laws Many Groups such as The Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), heavily lobbied for government regulation of films. In 1915 the Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio, the supreme court ruled that films were not covered under the First amendment, thus allowing local governments to continue to censor films. In 1930 the Hays codes are created condemns movies that "lower the moral standards" of viewers and promises that "the sympathy of the audience shall never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil, or sin." Movie producers pay little attention to the Code, however. 1945 the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is formed, later to completely reevaluate the Hays Codes. In 1952 in the case of Burstyn v. Wilson, the supreme court for the first time rules that "motion pictures are a significant medium for the communication of ideas," entitled to some First Amendment protection. In 1956 the MPAA initiates a review of certain codes, which results in loosening its prohibitions on the portrayal of drug use, abortion, prostitution, and abortion. The revised code added a prohibition on blasphemy and ridiculing the clergy.
Timeline 1960 – present In 1968 the MPAA institutes a nationwide system of voluntary ratings based on the viewer's age, The original ratings are G for General Audiences, M for Mature Audiences, R for 16 and above, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, and X, under 16 not admitted. 1970s - 1980s The X rating, comes to be associated with pornography. Newspapers and TV refuse advertisements for X-rated movies, and some theaters refuse to screen X-rated movies. 1990 The X rating is replaced by NC-17 to tell art film from pornography. Even with this religious activists pressured large video chains and retailers, such as Blockbuster and Wal-Mart, not to stock NC-17 titles. 1900-Current- While MPAA membership is voluntary, all seven major Hollywood studios submit their films to its rating board. Many Movie theaters will not show films with out an MPAA rating. But there has been a substantial market for non-rated films in the DVD release of some films.
Some Pros and Cons of Censoring films Pros Cons • Censoring out pornographic material Prevents young children from inadvertently seeing such images • Allows the filtering of offensive language and action • Upholds the moral values of the people • Helps people who are sensitive to offensive material to be rightfully warned of such material in their films • Puts a hamper on the creative nature of an individual. • Freedom of speech is put in jeopardy • It is sometimes misused for ones own gain • There are many different standards of morals among the people and can be quite different from the imposed ones by the censorship.
Why Educational Censorship? • What books should be taught in school? This is a seemingly simple question but the answer is far from simple. School authorities face great challenges when deciding on censorship decisions in schools. Advocates of banning books maintain that children will be harmed if we don’t protect them from inappropriate materials. Opponents of censoring educational materials insist that it violates the academic freedom and diversity protected by the US Constitution.
What Is The Issue? • Matters of educational content, age level, acceptability by parents and communities, and appropriateness in the classroom setting are among the decisions that need to be made when deciding on censoring/banning a book. • It is argued that censorship is only valid, ethical, and required when it appears to be the only way to avoid harmful outcomes for students, teachers, and the school itself. • The problem is when schools censor ideas, books, topics, etc. students become increasingly interested in such subjects and usually discover other means to gain access to these taboo topics. Many feel that parents and teachers are obliged by their positions to censor specific words and images from students. • The content of school textbooks is often the issue of the educational censorship debate because their target audience is young people who are easily influenced by things.
Does This Happen Often? • Many people think that banning books is a thing of the past. That is not the case at all. According to the American Library Association (ALA) more than a book a day faces removal from open public access in US schools and libraries. • In a 2006 ALA report there were 546 known attempts to remove books in 2006, and more than 9,200 attempts since the ALA began compiling information on book challenges in 1990.
Major Factors of Censorship • There seem to be several main motivating factors for banning a book: • Family values • Religion • Political views • Sex and drug education • Teaching evolution • Minority rights
Classics Being Banned • Many books that have been deemed to be classics have been banned from schools. Some of these classics include Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. A version of the book Fahrenheit 451 that is used by most schools contained approximately 75 separate edits and changes from the original book. Even The Little House on the Prairie has been challenged because a parent thought the book contained racially offensive material about Native Americans. The book did not end up being banned but there was a suggestion to the school that another book choice might be wise.
TV Censorship • Censorship in TV, means how stations and the FCC leave out certain topics (controversies), social groups (religion) or language from their portion of the broadcast. Censorship usually has been set up against the explicit parts of the shows morality. It has been purely based on assumptions on the real life issues going on and what people tend to believe. Television audiences are broken into categories of the topic.
Timeline • 1952- Lucy gets knocked up • 1956- Elvis’ pelvis shoved off screen • 1967- Actors successfully hide pot during set • 1970- Studios learn to cope with cannibalism • 1970- The FCC is created • 2004- Janet Jackson shows nipple during Super Bowl halftime show • 2006- South Park causes controversy by showing image of the Prophet Muhammad
Works cited • Head, Tom.“NY Times takes on Pentagon”. Sept.20,2009.<http://civilliberty.about.co m/od/freespeech/tp/History-of-Censorship.htm> • Ross,Andrew. “Wise to Social Issues” Censorship. Sept. 20,2009<http://socialissues.wiseto.com/ Topics/Censorship/>. * Newth, Mette. “Beacon for Freedom of Expression.” Sept.20,2009. http://www.beaconforfreedom.org/about_project/history.html>.
Jack Valenti , 2005. How it All Began. http://www.mpaa.org/Ratings_HowItAllBegan.asp Bill Wright. December 3, 2007 . First Movie Ever Made: A History of Film Firsts. Associated Content. Retrieved from: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/461209/the_first_movie_ever_made_a_history_pg3.html?cat=37 Teresa, Koberstein . A brief history of film censorship. Retrieved from http://www.ncac.org/issues/film_censorship.cfm
Censorship. (2009, September 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:32, September 29, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Censorship&oldid=317191104 • Clark, Larra (2006). Banned Books Week 2006. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org • Cromwell, Sharon (2005). How to Handle Cries for Censorship . Retrieved from http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr031.shtml