FCC Releases Report on Amount of Violence on Television

Common Sense Media CEO says report is a 'bold step on behalf of kids and families'

Common Sense Media
Thursday, April 26, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday released a long awaited report commenting on the amount of violence on television. In the report, the Commissioners acknowledge that television violence can have a negative impact on kids, and further suggested that Congress could theoretically regulate television violence the same way it regulate sexual content and profanity.

"The report on TV violence shows that the FCC Commissioners agree with the parents we hear from all the time at Common Sense: the level of violence on television is a big concern when it comes to kids," said Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer. "Clearly this report is a bold step on the part of the FCC, but it's one they felt they had to make to speak out on behalf of America's kids and families. There are obviously no simple solutions here, but to have this report before Congress is a major step in the right direction."

In the report, the Commissioners state that previous efforts to limit kids' exposure to age-inappropriate content had not been effective.

"One of the things the report makes clear is that the V-Chip has not been successful in keeping kids from TV violence," Steyer said. "Parents need better, easy-to-use tools based on detailed, independent information to help them make the choice about what content is right for their kids."

The recommendations from the report are expected to be taken up by Congress shortly. Steyer said it will be interesting to see how the legislators deal with the recommendations.

"At Common Sense, we believe in sanity, not censorship – and that is going to be the challenge for Congress and the FCC moving forward," Steyer said. "No one wants kids to be exposed to material that is inappropriate, but how do we accomplish that while protecting the First Amendment? It is going to be up to all of the interested parties to make it happen: parents, political leaders and the media industry."