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1,846 acts of violence

Fined for sexually explicit content

TV Guide commissioned a study of a typical 18-hour TV broadcast day to determine levels of violence

Guns, shootings, murders, hitting, punching,

Olivia N. had sued NBC for damages for injuries suffered after a group of minors “artificially raped” her with a bottle. Olivia N. alleged that her attackers had viewed and discussed the “artificial rape” scene in a network broadcast of the movie “Born Innocent,” and that the film caused them to commit their act.

slapping, screaming, kicking, stabbing, explosions, car chases, car smashes, disasters and death are shown daily throughout TV programming. Violence on television has been the subject of national debate for decades. In the last few years, public concern


Cartoons Promos for TV shows Movies Toy commercials Music videos Commercials for films TV dramas News Tabloid reality shows Sitcoms Soap operas

NBC Sued

Parents say ratings should be displayed more prominently


Warnings on programs

The FCC proposes a new record fine against CBS for an episode of “Without a Trace” that “graphically depict[ed] teenage boys and girls participating in a sexual orgy.” The FCC fines 111 CBS affiliate stations $32,000 each, a total of $3.55 million.

Parents say most TV shows are not rated accurately

Parents of young children (2-6 years old) know what the rating TV-Y7 means


Executives from the major television networks announce plans to include a warning on programs that broadcasters judge to be too violent for children: “DUE TO SOME VIOLENT CONTENT, PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED”

Think it means the opposite (directed to children under 7)

overwhelming scientific evidence that television

Children’s Protection

$7.9 million in fines

Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., introduces S. 161, the Children’s Protection from Violent Programming Act. The bill directs the FCC to review and assess the effectiveness of the rating and blocking measures in use. The bill also authorizes the FCC, if it finds the measures ineffective, to prohibit violent programming during the hours when children would make up a substantial part of the viewing audience.

The “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show. This incident leads to a $550,000 fine issued to Viacom, the owner of CBS, and a crackdown on indecency by the FCC. A record $7.9 million in fines are issued in 2004. CBS is challenging the fine.

violence has effect on certain audiences, notably on children and youth.

value systems and shaping behavior. Children watch an AVERAGE OF THREE TO FOUR HOURS OF TELEVISION DAILY. Violence in children’s cartoons has an affect on the way the viewers

Children’s behavior

Rating system

Detroit Sportsmen's Congress (D-R.I.), issues its report from its one-year study to state the present scientific knowledge about the effects of entertainment television on children’s behavior.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is signed into law. It mandates that the broadcasting industry develop a rating system to identify sexual, violent or other indecent programming. It also requires TV manufacturers to install the V-chip in all newly manufactured sets by Jan. 1, 2000


perceive violence in reality. Since children start



Parents who have used the V-Chip say they found it "very" useful

2 although there are constitutional barriers to regulating violent programming, the courts have said indecent programming can be regulated

3 current “fixes” - i.e., the V-chip in protecting children from violent programming

Regulate violence Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., introduces S. 616, the Indecent and Gratuitous and Excessively Violent Programming Control Act of 2005. The bill would allow the FCC to regulate, for the first time, cable and satellite television and also allow it to regulate violence on regular broadcast television.

4 Among those who have a V-Chip and know it, 42% have used it

1 exposure to violence in the media can increase aggressive behavior in children

and the rating system - are not effective

Parents have used the V-Chip, which was required to be included in all TV sets over 13 inches after January 2000


Television can be a powerful influence in developing

Matter of violent TV The FCC releases a report, “In the Matter of Violent Television and Its Impact on Children.” Among its conclusions:

Fine against CBS


over this issue has intensified in response to

The FCC levies the largest single fine for indecency in history, to Clear Channel Communication. The radio chain is fined $755,000 for sexually explicit content that aired between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. on the “Bubba the Love Sponge Show.”

Data taken from Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004 Report

watching television earlier than ever, they are


109.8 million Average time kids spend watching TV each day:

4 Hours 54%

Childrens (ages 10 to 16)have a TV in their bedroom


Childrens say they watch something different when they're alone than with their parents


Children surveyed say that their peers are influenced by TV shows


constantly hounded with images of violence.


While TV violence is not the only cause of aggres-


sive or violent behavior, it is clearly a significant factor. Parents can protect children from excessive TV violence by taking charge of the violence in their lives. Limit viewing, provide choices, and talk about



Instances per Hour

what is being shown.




A vast wasteland



Between 1998 and 2006. Violence increased in every time slot: Violence during the 8:00pm Family Hour has increased by 45% Violence during the 9:00pm hour has increased by 92% Violence during the 10:00pm hour has increased by 167%.

Several published reports specifically state or caution that television violence contributes to actual violence. Seven separate hearings are held throughout the decade concerning violence on TV.

Federal Communications Commission(FCC) Chairman Newton Minow makes a speech in which he characterizes television as “a vast wasteland.” This speech helped push the FCC and the issue of television violence back into the public eye.




First fine against a TV station The FCC issues its first fine against a TV station when it fines Telemundo of Puerto Rico station WKAQ-TV for broadcasting “indecent material in apparent willful and repeated violation of” federal law. The station argues that the scene merely contained sexual innuendo, but the FCC says the “sexual meaning was unmistakable.”

A review of research Hearings on Television and its effects

Family viewing

The 1954 hearings, chaired by Sen. Estes Kefauver, D-Tenn., are the first to raise a possible link between TV violence and juvenile crime in the US.

ABC, CBS and NBC, adopt the “family viewing” hour in an attempt to reduce the amount of violent and sexually oriented material on TV.

Rating system

The FTC says: “Most researchers and investigators agree that exposure to media violence alone does not cause a child to commit a violent act, and that it is not the sole, or even necessarily the most important, factor contributing to youth aggression, anti-social attitudes, and violence.”




Timeline Data taken from First Amendment Center Online

Notice of inquiry

NBC Sued

Thirty-nine members of the House of Representatives send a letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell asking the FCC to initiate a “notice of inquiry” on the issue of television violence and its impact on children.

The four major TV networks file a lawsuit against the FCC challenging its March indecency rulings. The networks are challenging the constitutionality of the rulings, saying the FCC standards for indecent language restrict free speech and are arbitrary, vague and have resulted in significant self-censorship. The case is Fox Television v. FCC

234 Complaints

Maximum fine

Accepting a Golden Globe award, Bono, lead singer of the rock group U2, utters the phrase “this is really, really f***ing brilliant.” The FCC receives 234 complaints but decides that “the utterance did not violate federal restriction … because the language in question did not describe or depict sexual or excretory activities or organs.” Later, at the urging of FCC Chairman Michael Powell, the FCC reverses its decision but levies no fine.

President Bush signs the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005 into law. The law ups the maximum fine the FCC can impose per indecency violation tenfold, from $32,500 to $325,000.

Identify appropriate programs - November 2008 Weekly Schedule ABC

Show may include gratuitous sex, explicit dialogue, violent content, or obscene language, and is unsuitable for children


Family-friendly show promoting responsible themes and traditional values




Not yet rated by the PTC


The show contains adult-oriented themes and dialogue that may be inappropriate for youngsters


Dancing with the Stars

Samantha Who?

Boston Legal



Dancing with the Stars Recap

Dancing with the Stars

Eli Stone

t Ugly Betty

42nd Annual CMA Awards



Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Wife Swap

Grey's Anatomy


Life on Mars



College Football

Desperate Housewives


The Big Bang Theory How I Met Your Mother Two and a Half Men Worst Week

Brothers and Sisters

CSI: Miami


w The New Adventures of Old Christine

t Survivor: Gabon

f Ghost Whisperer


s The Amazing Race




Gary Unmarried

w Knight Rider

Biggest Loser Families

The Mentalist

Criminal Minds



Without a Trace

Cold Case


Without a Trace


Eleventh Hour


48 Hours Mystery

The Unit

My Own Worst Enemy


Law & Order: SVU

Law & Order

t My Name is Earl Kath & Kim The Office 30 Rock




Deal or No Deal

Knight Rider


Law & Order

Lipstick Jungle

Law & Order: SVU


Sunday Night Football: Giants at Eagles

Facing TV Violence  

CREDITS: Content from "TV Violence and Children" by Ron Kaufman Timeline data from "Timeline: broadcast decency" Compiled by Bill Kenworth...

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