Florida Man Arrested for Threatening to Kill Trump and JD Vance
There's *ANOTHER* Disturbing Update on the Trump Assassination Attempt
Convention Delirium: MSNBC’s Fake Presence, NPR Hit With Hulkamania, and a 'LOTR' Conspira...
Would Jefferson Have Told You What Kind of Horse You Could Buy?
Our Precarious, Flabby Military and a Generation of Unhardy Americans
God, Religion and You
Biden’s NPA-A Announcement Jeopardizes U.S. Energy Security
End Small Business Tax to Make Main Street Great Again
Duty Drawback Example of Corporate Welfare
Joe Biden, American Lemon
Poverty Is Caused by the Dad Gap
Never Forget That Political Rhetoric Lives in the Realm of Hyperbole
MSNBC Attempts to Trick Viewers Into Thinking They Were at the RNC
Here's Where Most Voters Stand With JD Vance
Another Democrat Senator Tell Biden to Pack His Bags
OPINION

Study: TV ratings system is 'a failure'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Parents relying on the television ratings system to block objectionable content from their children might want to reconsider its usefulness, according to a new study that finds TV programs often include explicit content without the proper warning and that TV-PG programming has explicit content every five and a half minutes.
Advertisement

The study by the Parents Television Council (PTC) examined all primetime programming for the four major broadcast networks during the first two weeks of the November 2011 sweeps period.

PTC found that:

-- 44 percent of the instances of explicit content on TV-PG programming did not include the needed descriptor -- "L" (language), "D" (suggestive dialogue), "S" (sexual situations) or "V" (violence).

-- primetime programming includes so much explicit content during TV-PG shows that a child would have been exposed to such content every five and a half minutes.

The study was the sixth by the PTC looking at the ratings system, which when accompanied by a V-Chip-equipped TV, can block certain programs. But this study, as well as the previous ones, showed the ratings system to be inadequate. TV programmers rate their own content.

The latest study examined only TV-PG content.

"The question we wanted to ask is this: If a diligent parent employs the V-Chip to ensure only TV-PG rated content can be consumed by their child, what type of content will that child be able to consume?" the study's authors asked in their report.

Tim Winter, president of the PTC, said the ratings system is broken and needs to be fixed.

"For years the broadcast industry and their agents have touted the V-Chip and the content ratings system as the public's remedy for harmful, offensive and explicit programming," Winter said in a statement. "The findings of report suggest that the industry 'remedy' is a failure. Even the most diligent parent who only allows TV-PG rated content into their home would be exposing their children unwittingly to a torrent of sex, violence and profanity on a nightly basis."

Advertisement

Winter added, "As we approach the 15-year anniversary of the ratings system, it is apparent that the system itself is in need of dramatic reform. Broadcast networks produce and rate their own content, leaving parents with a deeply flawed and largely inaccurate ratings system. An accurate and accountable system would steer informed families and many advertisers away from harsh content, costing the networks a material loss in revenue. This is a clear conflict of interest, and it further emphasizes that the V-chip is not a reasonable alternative to broadcast decency rules that were recently upheld by the Supreme Court."

The Parents Television Council, Winter said, is "calling on the Congress, the FCC and the television industry to address the failures" of the ratings system and replace it with one that is "accurate, consistent, transparent and accountable."

With the V-Chip providing only limited help for parents, some companies have tried to fill the void with their own products. One company, TVGuardian, sells a unit that mutes profanity on broadcast television. The TV Guardian console mutes the profanity by monitoring closed captioning. Another company, ClearPlay, sells a DVD player that mutes bad language and also skips objectionable scenes. While that doesn't help with broadcast TV, it does offer a solution for those willing to wait until their favorite programs are released on DVD.

Advertisement

Read the full PTC report at www.ParentsTV.org.

Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

Sponsored

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Recommended

Trending on Townhall Videos