On the news that Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D- W. Va.) planned
next week to mark up his Violent Content Research Act of 2013 -- it was
referred to committee July 24 and is scheduled for a July 30 markup-- National Association of Broadcasters president
Gordon Smith, himself a former senator, said his members support the inquiry.
"Given the conflicting scientific data, NAB supports chairman
Rockefeller's bill requiring more research to determine whether a link exists
between violent content and real-life violence. Broadcasters support community
decency standards attendant to our broadcast licenses," Smith said in a
statement. "In response to horrific acts of violence, NAB has worked with
the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services and a bipartisan
group of lawmakers to produce public service announcements focused on youth
mental health issues. We have done so in hopes that greater civility can be
restored to society and that incidences of societal violence can be
NABfrom the outset has said broadcasters were willing to be part of a nationalconversation about the impact of gun violence on society and its possible
causes, and would help with a Rockefeller-proposed study, though suggesting it
was a tall order. The issue of mental health has been both a public and private
conversation, and mission, for Smith, whose son suffered from mental illness.
Rockefellerreintroduced the bill back in January. It would require the National
Academy of Sciences to direct the Federal Trade Commission, Federal
Communications Commission and Department of Health and Human Service to study
the impact of violent video games and violent video programming on children and
figure out if there is a causal connection between either and real-world
After the shootings, Rockefeller said he would
push for the bill. The Senator has been one of the most consistent voices in
Congress sounding an alarm about the impact of media, particularly violence, on
children. He had originally signaled the effort in the aftermath of the Sandy
Hook School shootings.
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