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Violence on terrestrial television rises

The ITC have released figures that show that in a two week monitoring period, levels of televsion violence in 1999 and 2001 were higher than in 1997 and 1998.
This was due largely to coverage in news and related programmes of violence in Bosnia and following the attacks on September 11.
USA programmes (primarily drama and film) continue to portray more scenes of violence than UK productions. The figures have been revealed in an analysis of television content in 2001 which was commissioned by the BBC, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) and the Independent Television Commission (ITC).
The report, The Depiction of Violence on Terrestrial Television, was carried out over a two week period in 2001 and offers a snapshot of television output during prime time programming over that fortnight.
The analysis revealed that the levels of violent scenes or acts of violence reported in news programming had doubled in the weeks concerned between 1998 - 2001. Much of this can be attributed to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on 11 September and their aftermath, which were captured within the fortnight sampled. Violent scenes in the news accounted for almost a quarter of all violence monitored in 2001.
Overall the depiction of realistic violence in fiction has increased by 4 per cent (from 66 per cent to 70 per cent), with fewer scenes lacking realism (a drop from 17 per cent to 13 per cent of programmes within the sample).
There was also slightly more violence in soap operas and light entertainment programming than in previous years. The number of violent scenes has risen since 1997 by 0.4 scenes per hour in soap operas and by 1.4 scenes per hour in light entertainment.
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