The Mass Media before the Bar

Arthur J. Freund
1949 Hollywood Quarterly  
a practicing lawyer in St. Louis since 1916, with an honorable record in municipal service, is chairman of the Section of Criminal Law of the American Bar Association and chairman of its Committee on Motion Pictures, Radio Broadcasting and Comics in Relation to the Administration of Justice. The present paper is adapted from his remarks at the second meeting of the Committee, held on November 8 and 9, 1948, in Washington, D.C. THE COMMITTEE on Motion Pictures, Radio Broadcasting and Comics in
more » ... lation to the Administration of Justice was originally formed in the American Bar Association upon the initiative of the Criminal Law Section. The chairman and secretary of this section were selected to hold corresponding offices in the committee. The membership is composed of a small but highly competent and influential group of members of the association as well as distinguished representatives of the press, publishers, news services, and newspaper editors, comic-strip syndicates, comics producers, and the national advertising association representing radio producers. At the initial meeting of the committee, in June, 1947, there was a general concurrence that the media and the bar would approach the subject with sympathy in a genuine endeavor to reach a satisfactory solution. The problems posed at the meeting by the chairman of the committee in behalf of the bar were (a) the emphasis placed by the media upon the depiction of crime and the portrayal of the manner in which crimes of violence were committed, detected, and prosecuted, and (b) the manner in which the lawyer, the judge, and the processes of law are depicted. The views presented to the committee by me at that time were substantially as follows: Outside of the classroom, the home, and the church it would appear that the motion picture, the radio, the comics, and the comic strips constitute the most powerful existing educational influences upon the mental growth of the child, the adolescent, and the impressionable. The usual routine of the 190]
doi:10.2307/1209389 fatcat:hrzapclrt5hfdg44qeh2zmu6wm