Government vs. Parents
The regulation of children's television programming has been a hot topic over the last couple of years. There was a segment on the television show, "20/20", September 27, 1996 entitled "Addicted to the Tube" with John Stossel as the reporter. Mr. Stossel relayed a statistic
which stated that children watch on the average twenty hours of television a week, which is about three hours a day.
The program showed scenes of children sitting on a couch staring at the television set with blank stares completely mesmerized. The house had a television in each room. Each child had their own set and it was used as a baby-sitter, entertainer and educator.
Statistics also showed that by watching too much television and exposure to excessive violence, children and grownups alike develop "Mean World Syndrome" where people are afraid to go out. So they stay in the house and watch more television. Television has a very powerful effect - just look at the power of commercials.
While it is a positive step that the government is trying to regulate television programming, it is still the parents' job to monitor what children watch. With the wide range of programming available, if a child watches television without any supervision, it is very likely that he/she will view a program that is unsuitable for their age.
While television can be a negative force, it can also be very positive if used correctly. There are many programs on television today that are both educational and entertaining. There is quality programming on television already but many people choose not to explore it.
Since we live in such a diverse country, I do not feel the government should control what we do or do not watch. Government approval does not necessarily mean quality programming. In the long run, I feel parents know what is best for their children.
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