Saturday, 1 April 2017

Book Review Notes: Censorship - Julian Petley

I have recently been reading Julian Petley's book on Censorship which I have found to be very relevant to my coursework and exam revision. In his book he discusses a variety of different kinds of censorship in the media, including journalists who are targeted, the press in England and other parts of the world, censorship in films and the cinema. Each chapter gave a detailed account of various situations where censorship is used. 

- Derek Jones defines censorship as "a variety of processes...formal and informal, overt and covert, conscious and unconscious, by which restrictions are imposed on the collection, display, dissemination and exchange of information, opinions, ideas ad imaginative expression". 
- Most effective form of censorship consists in preventing contentions material from ever being produced in the first place. 
- Licensing - a system by which the authorities give permission to certain bodies to operate in the marketplace, and is meant to ensure that only works which are produced and/or approved by these organisations are allowed into circulation. 
- Differences between the US and the UK licensing systems for films/videos/DVDs 
- Licensees have been forced to take account of changing public tastes and standards. 
- The British System of licensing films concludes that it is in fact less independent of the state then is generally supposed, while the US system suggests that, the last analysis, it represents a form of economic censorship
- American film makers do not have to submit themselves to the licensing process (as they do in Britain), but if they refuse, they may find it impossible or extremely difficult to get their films shown in mainstream cinemas or sold/rented by major DVD chains. 
- Market Censorship - narrows the range of the media content on offer, elevates entertainment over info, treats audiences as consumers rather than citizens. 
- And puts too much power in media owners and encourages close relationships with the government and media corporations. 

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