WASHINGTON, D.C. — The major networks have chosen the University of California at Los Angeles to conduct a study of television violence over the next two seasons and plan to look closely at prime-time and children’s programming, the networks announced in late June.
The Center for Communication Policy at the University of California at Los Angeles will analyze and report on violence in television programs and other video media — including home video movies and video games — during the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons. The networks are expected to pay about $500,000 each season for the study.
The study, sponsored jointly by ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox, is limited to entertainment television and does not include newscasts. Researchers also plan to evaluate cable, independent television stations and PBS programs as well as national advertisements and promotions on network and cable television.
Researchers will look at the nature and extent of violence, the context in which it is portrayed, its role in character and plot development, the time of day it is broadcast, the motivation and consequences of the violence, and whether there was any content advisory connected with the program.
“These factors will create an analytical structure that recognizes that violence can be treated appropriately and be an important part of the plot, and yet still identifies violence that is problematic in its depiction,” the networks said in a statement.
Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., the author of the Television Violence Act that permits networks to jointly regulate television violence, said that in light of the study he will oppose further congressional action on TV violence for this session to “give this a chance to work.”
The Reporters Committee regularly files friend-of-the-court briefs and its attorneys represent journalists and news organizations pro bono in court cases that involve First Amendment freedoms, the newsgathering rights of journalists and access to public information. Stay up-to-date on our work by signing up for our monthly newsletter and following us on Twitter or Instagram.