FCC’s Report on TV Violence

+ enlarge

About a month ago, the Federal Communications Committee released a report regarding violent television programming and its impact on children. The FCC reasoned that recent attempts to monitor television violence have fallen short of accomplishing much of anything—except to confuse and confound parents of young children. But instead of giving responsible television viewers, ie parents of young children, effective means to manage the amount of violence that is seen on their television sets, they’ve opted to let lawmakers in Washington do it for us.

A voluntary yet inaccurate rating system, the V-chip blocking technology that most of us had no idea even existed—are these really the only things being offered to us? Besides dumping our televisions in the East River and running for the woods, what can parents do to stop the onslaught of negligent violence on television?

I have two very young kids that watch three things on TV: Cars (as in the Pixar movie that was released last year) whenever it’s on cable, Thomas the Tank Engine on PBS, and Go, Diego, Go! on Nickelodeon. To speed through less thrilling moments like commercials and romantic subplots, I usually haves these programs recorded via DVR. But my oldest child now has full control of the remote control and can read EVERYTHING. So my time as the arbiter of child-friendly television shows is almost over.

Do I leave it up to Congress to spend time and taxpayers’ money to create laws that may prove ineffective? I am a proactive parent, heavily involved in what is exposed to my children, from what comes out of my own mouth to the magazines and books I leave laying around the house. My husband and I set rules like how much television they get to watch a day (less than an hour), and how much time they spend outdoors (as much as possible). My husband and I are responsible for our children and no one else.

I think that laws regarding when certain programs are allowed to air on network television is silly. What about the news? And since TiVo and DVR started to dominate the way we watch television, what makes Congress or the FCC think that we will watch shows when they actually air? And let’s not get started on what gets televised in England, Italy, France….and do our European counterparts have the same problems with violence in their societies?

Can we instead urge Congress to focus on other issues, like gun control, if they really want help alleviate the problem of violence in America?

Anyway, let me know what your thoughts are. I am feeling like I’m shouting into the wind.

Photo: ©Michael Bretherton


Loading comments...