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Protecting Children Vital, Say New Zealanders

23 May 2006


Protecting Children Vital, Say New Zealanders

New Zealanders are more concerned than ever to protect children from unsuitable broadcast content, says comprehensive new research published today by the Broadcasting Standards Authority. The survey shows respondents were more disapproving of sex and nudity depictions when children are likely to be watching than they were five years ago when the research was last conducted.

Ninety percent of respondents think caregivers should be primarily responsible for what their children watch on TV. “The 8.30pm watershed is seen as a critical tool to help caregivers monitor children’s viewing,” said BSA chair Joanne Morris. “But awareness of the classification system is still not as high as we would like.”

Attitudes to bad language may be softening. “Provided the language is in the Adults Only zone after 8.30pm, New Zealanders appear to be a little more accepting of various words, especially if there are warnings provided,” said Ms Morris. "But strongly abusive language continues to be considered highly offensive to many people.”

TV violence remains one of the strongest unprompted concerns. “The BSA receives very few complaints about TV violence,” said Ms Morris. “People still list screen violence as a key concern, so perhaps this means those who dislike violent programmes wisely avoid them.”

The BSA surveys several hundred New Zealanders nationwide every five years or so to monitor changes in community opinion about various broadcasting standards matters. The new research, Freedoms and Fetters, is being launched in Auckland this evening and can be purchased from the BSA. Review copies are available.


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