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24/09/2002

Research reveals parents 'satisfied' with TV content

The BBC, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) and the ITC have published the results of research that analysed at how parents control their children's media consumption.
The UK-wide study included interviews with 36 parents, carers and children from homes with and without access to multi-channel television and the Internet, as well as a survey of over 500 parents of children aged 5-16.
The survey revealed that with the continuing rapid changes in home entertainment many parents are facing new challenges in exercising control over what their children see, seeking to strike a balance between an open relationship with their children while protecting them from harm. They are concerned over issues of sex, violence and bad language, but acknowledge that context and treatment have a bearing on these issues.
The research shows parents use various informal controls to regulate their viewing. This involves keeping an eye on their children's media consumption and the programmes and channels they watch, limiting the time children are allowed to watch television, random checks and discussions about programme content with children. The research reveals parents feel these methods ensure that TV content is generally 'safe'.
The watershed remains a highly valued mechanism in regulating children's television viewing, although there is concern about the pre-watershed content of some genres, particularly some of the themes contained in the storylines of soaps and police/crime dramas.
The study showed that television is generally considered to be well regulated by external bodies and the prospect of stronger regulation would be unwelcome.
(GB)
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