President Bush signed the Child Safe Viewing Act into law last December, and two key members of the Senate Commerce Committee are applauding the FCC’s resolve to get down to work on a Notice of Inquiry on the topic. “I’m pleased the FCC is taking a fresh look at how market-inspired technology can effectively control the sounds and images our young children are continuously exposed to through the media,” said co-sponsor Mark Pryor (D-AR). Committee Ranking Member and co-sponsor Kay Bailey Hutchison added, “As a mother of two young children I know how important it is to have options to monitor and protect children from inappropriate or harmful material, and I am committed to working with my colleagues and the FCC to spur new technologies.”
The heads of two organizations specifically chartered as watchdogs for the media and children also gave the program a thumbs up. “Parents want to keep their kids safe and smart in this 24/7 media world, and we should empower them with information that is clear, accessible, and works across all media platforms,” said Common Sense’s Jim Steyer.
Tim Winter of Parents Television Council observed, “Everybody agrees that parents deserve better resources to help protect their children from inappropriate content on television. PTC research has repeatedly demonstrated that the current V-chip technology relies on a faulty content rating system, and therefore it cannot provide adequate safeguards. This proceeding and this legislation are important first steps towards the implementation of more functional and reliable solutions for parents and families.”
RBR/TVBR observation: We thought it interesting that the FCC left open the possibility of providing control technologies for audio-only programming, including radio. Radio has rarely been mentioned among the media for which such techniques are even possible, and it’s been mentioned even less since Howard Stern and other have migrated to satellite (where there are such tools). But if parents can keep a radio receiver from stopping on one of the raunchier shock jock shows, so much the better for everybody, including most especially the shock jock.