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Greens seek to reduce TV violence


9 December 2002

Greens seek to reduce TV violence

Green MP Sue Kedgley today said she was delighted that a Green Party initiative to review and monitor levels of violence on television gets under way today.

During the 2002 Budget the Greens secured $300,000 for the establishment of a team of experts to oversee research, monitoring and a review of violence on TV. Implementation of Green Budget initiatives was confirmed in the Green / Government co-operation agreement.

The panel will meet with Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey, Sue Kedgley and the media for the first time at 2.30pm at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, level five, Radio New Zealand House.

The panel is headed by Rajan Prasad. The rest of the members are: Ian Fraser - TVNZ; Rick Friesen - TV3; Jane Wrightson; Jane Parker - Children's TV Foundation; John Terris - Viewers for TV excellence, Trisha Dunleavy - media studies at VUW; Max Abbott - psychiatrist; Judy McGregor - representative of Broadcasting Standards Authority.

"I am delighted with the extremely high calibre of the members of this panel and the Greens are pleased to have been able to work with the Government to get action in this area," said Ms Kedgley.

"If we are serious about trying to make New Zealand a more peaceful, less violent society, it is essential that we try to reduce the amount of violence on TV.

"There is a growing anxiety in the community about how violent our society is becoming, and it is essential that we look at the role TV is playing in helping to create and legitimise a violent culture in our society.

"With evidence growing that there are strong links between exposure to violence on TV and violent and aggressive behaviour in children, TV violence is a major issue that needs to be addressed," said Ms Kedgley.

The panel will look at public perceptions of violence, the impact of TV violence on young people and will oversee comprehensive monitoring of levels of TV violence on all channels to see whether it has increased or decreased since last monitored.

The panel will also consider whether the current mechanisms for controlling violence on TV are adequate.

Ms Kedgley said violence in society obviously has many causes, but the cumulative effect of a constant stream of violent images on TV could not be underestimated.

ENDS

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