In a report issued last week, the Parent’s Television Council submits that there has been a significant increase in violent programming on television since 1998. The report contends that violent programming has increased, and become more graphic and more sensationalized. Will this report mark the beginning of a new attempt to regulate television programming?
The FCC, because of a requirement imposed by Congress several years ago, already asks television broadcasters to report in license renewal applications all complaints they have received about violent TV programming. Thus far, this question has not resulted in any action against any broadcaster.
The PTC has also been involved in the efforts to make the FCC take a more aggressive stance against indecency. In fact, on it’s website, it currently has a headline suggesting that readers file a complaint with the FCC about the appearance of the "F Word" on a spectator’s tee shirt in one of the NFL telecasts of this past weekend.
Thus, violence may well join the growing list of programming issues (including indecency, children’s educational programming, and advertising relating to unhealthy food) about which broadcasters may need to be concerned in the future.