What scholars and experts have to say about the topic

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Reference no: EM131302143

Language Censorship on Network Television and Radio

Prompt: Your paper should start by presenting information about the topic. To do this, you will synthesize and connect source information, making clear for the reader what scholars and experts have to say about the topic. Your paper will then shift into your own argument(s) on the topic.

To successfully complete this assignment, be sure to

• considerately and ethically gather and present research from a varied sources
• synthesize source material to demonstrate a "conversation" among sources
• assume a position or multiple positions within this "conversation" that respond appropriately
• In the introduction, identify and articulate the actual scope of and contribution by your research
• revise your work to reflect a scholarly tone, purpose, and attention to detail

Topic of choice: Language censorship on radio and television

Research Question: Has FCC lost its purpose of language censorship on broadcasting television and radio?

Structure of the essay:

• History of censorship

o When FCC was introduced and censorship in television and radio.
o Breakthrough & advancements

• Type of profanities

• Consequences/fines of profanities in radio and television

o What it takes to lose those stakes

• Language censorship in USA: social issue (religious beliefs, race, and ethnicity).

• Advocates vs.oppositions of language censorship in US

o Whether or not language censorship (FCC) has been outdated?

• Conclusion (last 2 pages)


Indecency, profanity, and obscenity has been challenged by broadcasted radio and television for many years now, while still trying to send their message to the audience. Federal communications commission has been regulating and monitoring television and radio channels to make sure such censorship policy is being followed. However, in today's society, such vague restrictions have gotten looser. Language censorship on television and radio is slowly losing its value as this can certainly effect our society in many way.

By late 1930's language censorship was beginning to establish as the directors of the radio and television networks assured of scripts to be free of any obscene and sensitive jokes that could offend listeners. "By 1939, NBC programs were prohibited from talking about suicides or describing homicides on the air. Demeaning or ridiculing public officials was banned. In children's programs, parental authority was sacrosanct, but NBC also proscribed horror shows, the use of vulgar or profane words, stories of torture, kidnapping, or morbid suspense or hysteria. Any program that described a medical operation, sexual disease, or advocated mercy killing or capital punishment was also strictly taboo" (Pondillo, 2010). Censorship during this era showed its relevancy.Sexual radio content was almost nonexistent, and even atomized words were scrutinized for double entendre.

However, today's humor and language use has had negative depiction from its viewers. South Park, being one of the most watched American animated show on comedy central television network has used profanities and indecency language for over a decade, in order to keep their audience entertained of such comedy animated show. Schulzke investigated the existence of profanity and mockery toward different background culture and races (Schulzke, 2012). This has left many people puzzled, questioning the such lack of control over language censorship on broadcasted cable television.

According to a research, "FCC rules don't apply to cable or satellite TV, so Comedy Central can produce an over-the-top satire like "South Park," in which animated children swear for laughs, while HBO can produce a serious drama like "The Wire, "in which characters swear for the sake of realism" (Adalian, 2006).

In the research on profanity in media and its association with attitude and behavior revealed that, individuals that were often exposed to profanity in multiple form of media, beliefs about profanity and its use, tend to be more aggressive. Overall, broadcasted television and radio programs that are self regulated have clearly lost their edge on language censorship policy, making it highly accessible to children, as well as causing harmful and negative depiction toward certain viewers.


Pondillo, Robert. America's First Network TV Censor : The Work Of NBC's Stockton Helffrich. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2010. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 19 Nov. 2016.

Schulzke, Marcus. "Contentious Language: South Park And The Transformation Of Meaning." Journal Of Popular Film & Television 40.1 (2012): 22-31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

Adalian, Josef. "... But Just In Case, Networks Censor Themselves." Variety 402.10 (2006): 13. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.

Coyne, Sarah M., et al. "Profanity In Media Associated With Attitudes And Behavior Regarding Profanity Use And Aggression." Pediatrics 128.5 (2011): 867-872. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

Reference no: EM131302143

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