FCC to Recommend Limits on Violent TV Programming

Will Ask Congress to Decide Which Content Is 'Excessively' Aggressive

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- A little more than a week after the Virginia Tech tragedy, the Federal Communications Commission is getting ready to release a report that links viewing violence on TV and aggression in children. It's expected to recommend that Congress limit "excessively violent" content much as it limits indecency, by curbing its airing between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
The FCC is expected to recommend that violent programming be limited the way indecent content on TV is.
The FCC is expected to recommend that violent programming be limited the way indecent content on TV is.

The report could be released as soon as Thursday. The report leaves it up to Congress to define "excessively violent" content.

Freedom-of-speech issues
Media associations and some civil-rights groups have questioned the possibility of restricting violent content, suggesting that defining "excessive violence" is difficult, if not impossible. They maintain that any attempt to curb content could raise significant freedom-of-speech questions, by eliminating media choices of adults.

The FCC's current indecency standards are already facing two court challenges.

Last night Dennis Wharton, an official of the National Association of Broadcasters, said that "broadcast television is far more tame than cable and satellite" and noted that broadcasters are part of a broad coalition that has been providing $300 million worth of public-service messages that explains how v-chip technology allows parents to cut off programming they regard as too violent for their kids.
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