FCC Issues NOI Regarding Violent TV Programs' Effects on Children
On July 28, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding violent programming on television and its impact on children. The FCC issued the NOI in response to a March 5, 2004 letter from 39 members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce expressing concern about violent programming on television and asking the FCC to initiate this NOI. The NOI asks questions and seeks comment on the following issues:
- What is the quantity and frequency of violence in TV programs?
- Is violent television programming increasing or decreasing?
- What is the effect of such programming on children?
- What is the quantum and extent of data showing a correlation and/or causation with respect to behavior?
- How should the FCC define "violent," "excessively violent" and/or "gratuitously violent" programming?
- What is the efficacy of parental guidelines/ratings and V-Chip or similar technologies?
- What are some possible "safe harbors" (i.e., limiting "violent" content to certain hours as with broadcast indecency)?
- What statutory and constitutional issues are relevant to the foregoing and to the prospect of regulatory intervention?
We look forward to discussing the NOI with you. Comments on the NOI are due Sept. 15, 2004, with reply comments due Oct. 15, 2004. Should you have further questions in connection with this matter, or if you would like to file comments in this proceeding, please let us know.