WASHINGTON, D.C. — First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “exhaustive and perhaps excessive” news reporting on violence could be harmful to children during a satellite presentation in early March at a conference on “Children and the News Media” in Palo Alto, Calif.
According to the New York Times, Mrs. Clinton questioned whether broad coverage of violence by the news media could be related to “increasing alienation and dysfunctional behavior on the part of our children and our youth.” She suggested that news coverage could foster “cynicism and distrust” among young people and cause them to lose faith in their institutions.
In many cases, Mrs. Clinton said, violence shows up more often in television and in newspapers than it does in daily life. “I am not suggesting that all news coverage of violence is bad or wrong,” she said, but advised “I think there must be balance. Good caution and prudence to not violate First Amendment rights,” the Times reported.
Broadcasting and Cable Magazine reported that Mrs. Clinton said excessive news coverage could actually glamorize violence and make it acceptable to children. It also reported that in answering questions from the audience, Mrs. Clinton said that she and the President “never watch the news.”
Mrs. Clinton and members of the Clinton administration including FCC Chairman Reed Hundt have previously endorsed efforts to curb violence on entertainment programming.
The conference was jointly sponsored by Stanford University. the advocacy group Children Now, and the University of California at Los Angeles Center for Communication Policy.
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