Violence on Television

BY Akhila Shivdas| IN Books | 12/04/2002
The monitoring study was jointly conducted by a group of researchers in close association with an audience panel

The monitoring study was jointly conducted by a group of researchers in close association with an audience panel. The researchers were involved in designing the project which included determining sample size, evolving the monitoring format, and the methodology for tabulation and analysis.

The audience panel provided quantitative and qualitative feedback. The panel consisted of nine young viewers (18-25 years old: 4 male and 5 female). The monitors were given a pre-tested format, which ensured both quantitative and qualitative data-collection. The monitoring was done while the programmes were actually being aired. To that extent, the responses of the panel members were spontaneous and those of the average viewer rather than the deliberate scrutiny of a researcher. However, the research team rechecked the consistency of the data.

Quantitative Findings

In all, there were 759 distinct acts of violence across the 5 channels over a period of nine days.
In proportion to the hours monitored Zee had the highest acts of violence and DD1 had the lowest.



















Types of Violence

·         In all 59 types of violence, both audio and visual, both physical and psychological were identified. Of these threats, slapping, screaming, shooting, assaulting, expletives, pushing, clobbering, stabbing, mental torture, eerie soundtracks, threatening music are extremely prominent. These categories of violence account for over 50 per cent of the total acts depicted. Hence much of the violence is explicit and graphic.

·         Some depictions of violence are unnecessarily lengthy.

·         Nearly one-third of the depictions (283 acts out of a total of 759 acts) appeared in 25 per cent or 21 out of 81 episodes monitored. These 21 episodes were in the genre of horror/ murder/ mystery/ suspense thrillers.

·         Some of these serials are often the most violent or disturbing - especially for children. For example: X-Zone and Anhonee (Zee) together had 118 or 53 and 65 acts of violence respectively; Aahat (Sony) had 13 acts of violence; Kohra (STAR Plus) had 30 acts of violence in a single episode


The remaining two-third acts are depicted in the 60 episodes of drama serials monitored. In fact, family drama serials or programmes specifically targetting children are no less violent. In a single episode of the serial Gumraah there were 32 acts, while there were 17 acts of violence in the child-specific Shaktimaan.

Part II

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