The V-Chip Debate: Content Filtering from Television to the Internet

By Monroe E. Price | Go to book overview

APPENDIX A
CANADA
I. Report to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
II. The Canadian Television Rating System -- A Comprehensive Classification System for Violence and Other Program Content
III. Report to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission from The Action Group on Violence on Television, April 30, 1997 (Excerpt)

A CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM FOR VIOLENT CONTENT

The Action Group on Violence on Television is a pan-industry organization, formed in February 1993 to co-ordinate broadcast and cable industry strategies and initiatives to deal with the issue of violence on television. In response to CRTC Public Notice 1996-36, the Action Group re-activated and expanded its Classification Committee in April 1996. A co-ordination secretariat was established and a budget struck. Financial support for the project was provided by all sectors of the industry.

As protection of children has been the underpinning of how Canada has addressed the issue of violence on television, the first key question for the Committee was to deal with content in children's programming. As the Classification System will function as a component of the industry's Voluntary Code on Violence in Television Programming, it was important to build the ratings for children's programming on the foundation of the Children's Section of the CRTC approved Code, where there are strict rules clearly established for the portrayal of violence in children's programming.

While the Commission itself defined children as all youngsters under the age of twelve, the Committee felt that a single children's category would be too broad an age spectrum, and needed to be divided into two levels. Committee members, many of whom are parents themselves, turned to research undertaken by Dr. Wendy Josephson of the University of Manitoba. In her study prepared for the Department of Canadian Heritage, she noted that age eight has been identified as a watershed period for the effects of television violence on children, particularly in terms of being able to distinguish reality from fantasy.

With these two categories in place, establishing the levels of the rating system for non-children's programming emerged over subsequent committee sessions. In the end,

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