Document Sample
_F_Television_Censorshipby_Ben_FlickAccess_is_thr_teacher_essay_test_studies_1071205282 Powered By Docstoc
					Click www.ondix.com to visit our student-to-student file sharing network.

" F*** Television Censorship"

by Ben Flick

Access is threatened today by the government by putting a brown paper bag around
"risqué" material on the Internet and television. Industry, responding both to government
pressure and consumer demand, has compounded the problem by creating easy tools for
censorship. Government is privatizing censorship, pushing it out. Recently there have
been efforts to make television and the Internet "family friendly," by giving parents tools
to create "kid-safe" environments. But the consequences may be far-reaching, as the tools
used in the home to shield children from certain ideas and images increasingly appear in
schools and libraries, where they limit the ability of the entire community to gain access
to valuable information. The promise of the electronic media - to create a more vibrant
and democratic "marketplace of ideas" than has ever before been possible - could be
undermined, if rating and filtering is widely embraced. By directing a bright light at these
censorship tools, we may persuade viewers and users to resort not to ratings and filters,
but to open and unfettered access to information and freedom of expression to demand
more speech, not enforced silence. The Telecommunications Act creates a statutory
scheme to regulate content of television programming. It mandates that new television
sets be equipped with a V-chip capable of blocking programs, and it requires to prescribe
guidelines to identify programming containing sexual, violent or other indecent material
to help parents limit children's viewing - unless the television/cable industry "voluntarily"
devises its own "acceptable" rules for labeling programs. The terms "violent" "sexual" or
"indecent" are not defined in the Act. In July 1997, the major networks, with the
exception of NBC, agreed to begin using TV Parental Guidelines, a television rating
system, to supplement the previously introduced movie-style age-based rating: TV-G
(general audiences), TV-PG (parental guidance suggested), TV-Y7 and TV-14 (programs
unsuitable for children under 7 and 14, respectively) and TV-MA (mature audiences
only). The TV Parental Guidelines ratings include S for sex, V for violence, L for foul
language, D for suggestive dialogue and FV for fantasy violence (children's
programming). News and sports programming are exempt from the rating system. The
FCC has invited public comment on TV Parental Guidelines to determine whether these
new ratings are "acceptable," as mandated by the Act. Lurking in the shadows is the
threat of government oversight, if the "voluntary" industry-administered system is not
"acceptable." Although refusing to rate content, NBC has begun to add advisories to
shows, such as "This program has some violent scenes" or "This episode has a level of
violence unusual for the series. Congressional efforts to restrict TV content are
responding to pressure from groups like The American Family Association, which called
on advertisers to boycott programs rated TV-14 or TV-MA. This year, the AFA is touting
a new product called TVGuardian that automatically detects and mutes profanity and
other "offensive" language from broadcast television and video movies.
The main goal of television censors since the beginning of television broadcasting has
been to avoid government censorship. Just like movie and radio censors before them,
they turned to self-censorship in their efforts to avoid censorship from outside their
industry. The famous Production Code, promulgated by Will Hays' Motion Picture
Producers and Distributors of America in 1922, governed television's depiction of family
life and male-female relationships well into the 1960s. It was because of this ridiculous
"moral" code that Lucy and Ricky, on I Love Lucy slept in separate twin beds and kept
one foot on the floor at all times when kissing.
No one knows if this TV ratings system can in fact work as intended. Some critics
suggest that ratings will encourage more graphic sex and violence, on the theory that
anyone who doesn't want to see such programming can block it out. Others claim that
ratings may draw young viewers to shows rated for sex and violence. Few observers have
addressed the fact that a half million hours of television programming a year is a lot to
rate, and the absence of criteria is likely to make the effort hopelessly subjective. Is one
punch enough to classify a show as "violent"? Is partial nudity acceptable for all
audiences, but full nudity only acceptable for children over 14? Which swear words will
earn an "L" label for a show? Inconsistencies and mistakes are inevitable. Some
proponents, such as Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), candidly acknowledge that
they hope ratings will affect content. Once a program is tagged with a rating such as "V"
or "PG-14" it may well be abandoned by advertisers. Producers will be more likely to
stay with "safe" programs with the biggest possible audience and the broadest financial
backing, resulting in a media that will become increasingly sanitized and homogenized.


television censorship flick access threatened today government putting brown paper
around risqu material internet television industry responding both government pressure
consumer demand compounded problem creating easy tools censorship government
privatizing censorship pushing recently there have been efforts make television internet
family friendly giving parents tools create safe environments consequences reaching tools
used home shield children from certain ideas images increasingly appear schools libraries
where they limit ability entire community gain access valuable information promise
electronic media create more vibrant democratic marketplace ideas than ever before been
possible could undermined rating filtering widely embraced directing bright light these
persuade viewers users resort ratings filters open unfettered access information freedom
expression demand more speech enforced silence telecommunications creates statutory
scheme regulate content programming mandates that sets equipped with chip capable
blocking programs requires prescribe guidelines identify programming containing sexual
violent other indecent material help parents limit children viewing unless cable industry
voluntarily devises acceptable rules labeling programs terms violent sexual indecent
defined july major networks with exception agreed begin using parental guidelines rating
system supplement previously introduced movie style based rating general audiences
parental guidance suggested programs unsuitable children under respectively mature
audiences only parental guidelines ratings include violence foul language suggestive
dialogue fantasy violence programming news sports exempt from system invited public
comment determine whether these ratings acceptable mandated lurking shadows threat
oversight voluntary industry administered system acceptable although refusing rate
content begun advisories shows such this program some violent scenes this episode level
violence unusual series congressional efforts restrict content responding pressure from
groups like american family association which called advertisers boycott rated this year
touting product called tvguardian that automatically detects mutes profanity other
offensive language broadcast video movies main goal censors since beginning
broadcasting been avoid just like movie radio censors before them they turned self their
efforts avoid outside their famous production code promulgated will hays motion picture
producers distributors america governed depiction family life male female relationships
well into because ridiculous moral code that lucy ricky love lucy slept separate twin beds
kept foot floor times when kissing knows fact work intended some critics suggest will
encourage more graphic theory anyone doesn want such block others claim draw young
viewers shows rated observers have addressed fact half million hours year rate absence
criteria likely make effort hopelessly subjective punch enough classify show partial
nudity audiences full nudity only over which swear words will earn label show
inconsistencies mistakes inevitable some proponents such senator joseph lieberman conn
candidly acknowledge they hope affect once program tagged with well abandoned
advertisers producers likely stay safe biggest possible audience broadest financial
backing resulting media become increasingly sanitized homogenized

Keywords General:

Essay, essays, termpaper, term paper, termpapers, term papers, book reports, study,
college, thesis, dessertation, test answers, free research, book research, study help,
download essay, download term papers

Shared By: