The Importance Of Censorship On Radio

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As briefly mentioned in the previous paragraph, potentially offensive content such as swear words, sexual references and drug references are quite often grounds for censoring by radio stations, governments and society in general. Music censorship even occurs as a result of an artist speaking openly about their political views. One such example is when songs by Dixie Chicks were no longer given airplay on American radio stations due to the band’s lead singer, Natalie Maines, insulting President George W. Bush at a performance, ‘…we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas’ (Rossman, 2012). The musicians were blacklisted largely due to listeners of said radio stations complaining that they were still playing the band’s songs. …show more content…
Maines was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech, even if it was controversial. Artists speaking out about their political views is becoming more and more common, as is obscenity in popular music. Cuss words in songs are ‘bleeped out’ on radio, however artists, particularly rappers in the 21st century, are choosing to create two versions of their songs; a ‘dirty’ one and a ‘clean’ one (Benesch 1994). This is known as self-censorship and is not as controversial as other types of censorship in relation to freedom of expression. In fact, Neil Strauss (2000) believes that, ‘the editing… actually improve[s] the song… bringing a touch of subtlety back to urban music’. ___________ Furthermore, by recording two versions of a song, an artist has a chance to earn more profit as the ‘cleaner’ version could be played anywhere while some people prefer to listen to the original explicit version. Ultimately, censorship of music is a violation of an artist’s freedom of expression, but on the other hand, an artist has the freedom to choose to censor their own music if they so …show more content…
In Eastern societies, such as in Africa and Afghanistan, music has been a source of power for many decades which is harnessed by both religious and political groups through censorship. In 20th century Africa, popular music was being severely censored as ‘…traditionalists, colonialists and liberationists all had censorial agendas’ (Cloonan 2006, p. 7). The colonialists fought to implement imperial rule through the use of many forms of music such as music theatre and Christian Hymns. Traditionalists opposed this rule, as did liberationists, so they ___ prevent it by restricting these music avenues. ___, colonialists censored music that may have assisted the traditionalists or the liberationists. This resulted in all three organisations essentially restricting any and all music that could be interpreted as supporting or opposing any of the political movements. Consequently, both musicians and listeners in African countries had no freedom to express how they felt about - and therefore have any say in - how their country was to be governed. This was similar in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, however the country was solely ruled by one political movement. The Taliban held power in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and censored music very strictly. This could be explained by the belief that ‘…the rank of a ruler is measured in part by the music he can command’ (Baily

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