A group of groups have banded together to form the Smart Television Alliance (STA), an organization dedicated to helping parents find suitable television programming for their children. The latest addition to its membership is the National Association of Mothers’ Centers. “Television is one of the most powerful mediums in the world. It can educate, inspire, and entertain us. At the same time, the alarming increase in violence, indecency, and sexual content on TV undermines the already difficult role mothers and caregivers have in monitoring what their children are exposed to,” said NAMC’s Linda Lisi Juergens. “NAMC recognizes the challenges, realities and value of mothering. We joined the STA to help mothers and families find and utilize information from trusted sources to identify shows that inform and educate children and to utilize technology to control what is on their television and when it is watched."
The lead organizations in the coalition are the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the National Education Association, and the National PTA. Several organizations with a frequently expressed interest in broadcast matters are also involved, including United Church of Christ, RainbowPUSH, Parent’s Television Council, and three other organizations described as media experts (as is PTC) including Parents’ Choice Foundation, Common Sense Media, and KIDSFIRST!. The roster also includes several more health, educational and childhood advocacies.
RBR/TVBR observation: When we were kids, we owned television on Saturday morning and directly after school on weekdays. There may have been a couple of shows in in the morning. If we were home sick from school, PBS was running shows that were part of our weekly curriculum, so that was no oasis, either. Most programming outside those relatively brief windows was aimed mostly at adults or mixed audiences. Sunday was the worst, with almost all channels showing what our own children have come to know generically as “Boring old people in suits just talking.” Nowadays, the sun never sets on children’s programming of both the educational and entertainment varieties. The difference, of course, is that there is more available, particularly on cable, that parents may want to keep their kids away from. One great way to do this is to pick the shows you want your children to see, record them and show them on your own schedule. Scant wonder then that STA list TiVo as its primary corporate benefactor.