On the eve of a
scheduled meeting between major media trade group heads and Vice President
Joe Biden, Common Sense Media and the Center for American Progress released a
study in which 77% of parents said kids' access to media violence -- TV shows,
movies, video games -- contributes to a culture of violence in the U.S. That is
even more than said their access to guns (75%) was a contributing factor.
study was conducted Jan. 4 and 5 among 1,050 parents of children under 18.
The margin of error is plus or minus 1.7%.
The study also found that 88% of parents don't want ads for
violent games, TV shows and movies to air during programs watched by large
numbers of children. Common Sense has been pushing the networks not to air such
ads in sports broadcasts, for example.
"Parents are clearly concerned about how violence in
media may be impacting their children," said Common Sense Media CEO James
Steyer. "Our culture of violence seems to have made it the new normal that
parents who take their kids to a movie theater or gather to watch a football
game are at risk of exposing them to inappropriate content that is marketing
video games or films rated for more mature audiences."
Among the many contributing factors to real world violence
identified by the parents polled were bullying (92%) and access to guns (75%).
Among the other findings were that a majority of the parents
said addressing violence will require action on both media violence and kids
access to weapons and that a majority say the media industry "has the power
to help change "the culture of violence" in the country.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.