Television and Censorship - Violence Rating System Needed for TV

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Violence Rating System Needed for TV Programs

While society recognizes the detrimental effects of general television on children, parents and other child advocacy groups don't feel as though there is an adequate rating system. Consequences of ineffective rating systems are that children's personalities are being negatively affected. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made legislation to address this issue, but the children's advocacy community is still dissatisfied. This community includes The National PTA, the American Psychological Association, The Center for Educational Priorities and other child advocacy groups. Current discussions include the government and FCC's disregard for parent's feedback on current ratings systems, the violence chip's effectiveness as a simple solution and the current movie-based ratings system. Educational shows like Sesame Street significantly increase general school readiness skills, but the average American child is exposed to 25 hours of television each week and parents demand a system they feel accurately evaluates all television shows.

As part of this legislative process for Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law 104-104, statistical research on television's effects was done. For example in 1972, the Surgeon General reported that evidence shows a link between television violence and aggressive behavior (APA 1998). The American Psychological Association goes on to say that these lawmakers aren't responsive enough to feedback done by parent groups. They contend that the government isn't active in enforcing or defining the phrase "educational and informational"(CEP 1997). This results in the entertainment industry gaining profit by continuing to increase detrimental conten...

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...~burniske/utopia98/student/causal/smith/www.pta.org accessed October 11, 1998.

Center for Educational Priorities "Telecommunication Act of 1996" available online. http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~burniske/utopia98/student/causal/smith/www.cep.org accessed October 15, 1998.

Center for Media Education "Children's Television Act Toolkit" available online. tap.epn.org/cme accessed October 28, 1998.

Children Now Organization "Summary of Key Differences Between V-Chip Rating Systems" available online http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~burniske/utopia98/student/causal/smith/www.childrennow.org accessed October 26, 1998.

Jeremy Craig. "Understanding the Ratings System" Children Now Organization. Available online. (c)1997,1998. http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~burniske/utopia98/student/causal/smith/www.childrennow.org/current_action_alert.html> accessed October 11,1998.

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