Networks endorse ‘violence monitor,’ apparently dodging federal regulation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Post reported in late January that the four broadcast networks and major cable networks have endorsed plans for outside independent monitoring of media violence.
An aide to Sen. Paul Simon (D.-Ill.), the congressman who has spearheaded the drive to reduce violence, said the agreement for independent monitoring is what Simon has sought and that the senator would not endorse and will oppose additional legislation to regulate violence on television once the monitoring system is in place.
Congress exempted the television industry from antitrust violations until Jan. 1, 1994, to allow industry officials to reach agreement on ways to curb televised violence industrywide, but the deadline passed with no agreement in place.
The National Cable Television Association in late January first agreed to a plan involving independent monitoring, ratings and a block-out plan, called a “V-chip” that would allow parents to block programs that receive a highly violent rating.
The four broadcast networks did not agree either to the ratings or to the blocking but did agree in principle to independent monitoring of violence by an outside evaluator and to yearly reports assessing their depiction of gratuitous violence.
Congress has before it 10 separate bills to regulate violence on television.