Report Shows Persistence of TV Violence

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

"The PTC aims to provide parents with the tools they need to make informed television viewing decisions. We do this by monitoring primetime television shows on broadcast TV and reviewing many PG and G rated movies. We log all content that could be considered questionable by parents and we give them traffic light ratings according to the amount of sex, violence, and profanity incorporated into the series or film."

Parents Television Council

NEW YORK (AP) -- Violence has shown no signs of disappearing from prime-time television.

A study of nearly 400 prime-time scripted programs finds that even in the sensitive period directly following the Connecticut school shooting, there were plenty of shootings, stabbings and beat-downs on TV. Violence was seen in nearly half of the shows.

The portrayals of violence cited by the Parents Television Council also include the cartoonish -- such as Homer strangling Bart for mouthing off on "The Simpsons." Others examples cited by the council between Jan. 11 and Feb. 11 are much more gory.

The parents' group says it found not only an increase in gore from other studies it has conducted over 18 years, but a greater specificity and darkness to the violence.

Broadcast networks find themselves competing with cable networks that are able to be more explicit in what they show. Jim Dyke, executive director of TV Watch, says it's unfair for a group like the PTC to study broadcast violence and not include what's on cable. TV Watch is a Washington-based advocacy group that opposes government involvement in television programming.

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