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Parties Moving Towards Later Time For AO TV

1 September 2005

Support is growing among political parties to have the time moved back when TV channels can show adult programmes.

United Future’s broadcasting policy released yesterday by Marc Alexander supported the campaign by Viewers for Television Excellence Inc. (VoTE) to move the watershed time on television from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

Sue Kedgley MP from the Greens has long been a supporter of this and of efforts to reduce violence and pornography on television, especially during the times children are known to be watching. Destiny New Zealand wants the watershed put back to at least 9.30pm.

At VoTE’s annual meeting in June, the Minister of Broadcasting, the Hon Steve Maharey, said he was ‘sympathetic’ to our concerns about moving the watershed. VoTE seeks action in this area as all parties say they are concerned about violence in society.

More than 3,000 studies over 30 years of research demonstrate the connection between violence in the media and violence in society. The evidence is stronger than the connection between smoking and lung cancer.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority is on record as saying that parents cannot be held ‘solely responsible’ for what their children see on television: the broadcasters also have a responsibility. Unfortunately the broadcasters are not responsible during the so-called ‘family friendly’ times, when many children are watching. And after 8.30pm, it appears anything goes.

New Zealand has the most liberal regime for adult TV programmes of any country in the world. Our young children deserve protection from the worst of television. The Broadcasting Standards Authority’s research shows many, even very young, children are still watching television at 8.30pm (especially during the weekends), when unsuitable programmes are often shown.

Both TV and radio are reported to be facing morale problems and leaking audience share. This is no wonder, when the programmes they air turn people off. (Ref. ‘The Press’ August 27- 28).

ENDS

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