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Discerning Eyes

Discerning Eyes

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Discerning Eyes

Viewers on Violence

By Julie Firmstone

Publication date: 2002
Total pages: 112
ISBN: 1 86020 565 8
Price: £ 15.00


Discerning Eyes reviews all major recent studies of viewers’ perceptions of screen violence. This authoritative and complete account of the research in the field covers all aspects of television programming including news and current affairs, documentary, crime reconstruction, crime drama and other fictional programming. In addition to this comprehensive interpretation of research into adult viewers’ perceptions of screen violence Discerning Eyes also provides an analysis of similar research conducted with children. Furthermore, the author addresses research in the topical area of violence in video games.

This important review gives attention to specific areas of research into screen violence such as women’s perceptions of television violence, the contribution of screen violence to fear of crime and perceptions of screen violence by survivors of violence and their relatives.

Discerning Eyes makes a major contribution to the understanding of the role of screen violence in people’s lives by bringing together a number of disparate studies in an organised and informative structure. This practical approach allows the reader to readily identify the key issues and findings of the research in this area of study.

Julie Firmstone’s concentration on research into audience perceptions offers a welcome change from the bias of much academic enquiry in the effects tradition. The contextual historical essay by Professor James D. Halloran is of particular importance in setting the social and political context within which mass communications research and research into screen violence has developed. Drawing from his own experience as a founding figure of British mass communications research, Professor Halloran explains the reasons why research began to turn away from a traditional focus on the effects of televised violence. His reasoning and description of British communications research, and communications research in general, provides a fascinating account of the politics of research.

Foreword by Professor James Halloran


Julie Firmstone graduated in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds. Since graduating she has worked as a researcher on several audience research studies at the Institute of Communications Studies, and has recently begun research based in the Institutes’ Centre For European Political Communications into the role of the media in the communication of European politics and the representation of European news in the media.

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