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TELEVISION CENSORSHIP WHAT IS CENSORSHIP Censorship is the supervision and control of the information and ideas that are circulated among the people within a society In modern times censorship refers to the examination of books periodicals plays films television and radio programs news reports and other communication media for the purpose of altering or suppressing parts thought to be objectionable or offensive The objectionable material may be considered immoral or obscene heretical or blasphemous seditious or treasonable or injurious to the national security Thus the rationale for censorship is that it is necessary for the protection of three basic social institutions the family the church and the state Censorship and the ideology supporting it go back to ancient times Every society has had customs taboos or laws by which speech play dress religious observance and sexual expression were regulatedMicrosoft Encarta 95 CENSORSHIP OF OBSCENITY The beginning of a new legal approach may be traced to the action of the federal courts in the 1930s when they held that Irish author James Joyces Ulysses was not obscene and could be freely passed through customs The courts ruled that the use of dirty words in a sincere and honest book did not make the book dirty Since the 1950s many obscenity cases involving books magazines and film have been brought before the Supreme Court In the cases during the 1970s the court ruled that laws against obscenity must be limited to works which taken as a whole appeal to the prurient interest in sex which portray sexual conduct in a patently offensive way and which taken as a whole do not have serious literary artistic political or scientific value The Court has further held that obscenity should be determined by applying contemporary community
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