Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 6:56am
FCC MOVES TO RESTRICT TV VIOLENCE
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Stephen Labaton]
Concerned about an increase in violence on television, the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday urged lawmakers to consider regulations that would restrict violent programs to late evening, when most children would not be watching. The commission, in a long-awaited report, concluded that the program ratings system and technology intended to help parents block offensive programs -- like the V-chip -- had failed to protect children from being regularly exposed to violence. As a result, the commission recommended that Congress move to limit violence on entertainment programs by giving the agency the authority to define such content and restrict it to late evening television. It also suggested that Congress adopt legislation that would give consumers the option to buy cable channels â€œÃ la carteâ€ -- individually or in smaller bundles -- so that they would be able to reject channels they did not want.
* Congress May Be Free To Regulate TV Violence
* FCC Report Urges Limits On TV Violence
* FCC says children still see too much violence on TV
* FCC Report: Action On TV Violence "Should Be Taken"
* FCC TV Violence Report Threatens Cable
* FCC HAS EASY JOB -- TELLING CONGRESS TO DEFINE TV VIOLENCE
[SOURCE: TVWatch, AUTHOR: Wayne Friedman]
[Commentary] It's expected that the FCC will recommend Congress limit "excessively violent" content much as it limits indecency, by curbing its airing between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. That's the easy part. Here comes the hard part: The FCC leaves it up to Congress to define "excessively violent" content. TV pressure groups and civil-rights organizations have already said defining "excessive violence" is difficult, if not impossible.
-- From the FCC --
* FCC Adopts Report on Violent Television Programming and Its Impact on Children (News Release)
Chairman Martin: "These findings make clear, and the Commission today affirms, that exposure to violent programming can be harmful to children. When it comes to protecting their children from such harm, parents are the first and last line of defense. Thus, it is critical then that they have the necessary tools to protect their children."
* Commissioner Copps: "Television is perhaps the most powerful force at work in the world today. When used for good, it can enlighten minds, convey powerful ideas, educate, and lay the foundation for human development. But when it is used to mislead, misrepresent and distort, it can - it does - inflict lasting harm."
* Commissioner Adelstein: "The problem with this Report we are presenting to Congress is that it is not clear from reading it which if any primetime shows are being recommended for regulation. Are we saying Law and Order should be banned during hours when children are watching? It is anyone's guess after reading this Report. The Report is not a model of clarity."
* Commissioner Tate: "[W]e, parents, must take responsibility for the media that is viewed inside our homes, but also must be active in changing the media landscape outside our homes. I encourage all parents to let your local TV station know when something you find inappropriate is aired, and be sure to notify your representatives in Congress. If enough parents speak out, perhaps we will not only improve the tools that are available to parents to help minimize their children's exposure to violent content, but we will actually see an increase in the amount of family-friendly, uplifting and nonviolent programming being produced."
* Commissioner McDowell: "In my view, the next step should be to review fully the screening and content selection tools parents currently have and find ways that industry and government can help educate parents regarding those options. Parents should be the first and last line of defense in protecting their children from excessively violent content, or any other content that may cause harm to children. Unfortunately, today's Report does not sufficiently brief Congress on the full range of tools available or what can be done to mobilize parents in this pursuit."
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