Michael Maser here in Gibsons has developed a very important idea about the impact of broadcast news violence on kids. Here’s his site. Sign the petition.
Choose News is an advocacy project focusing on reducing the risk of harm to Canadian children < 7 years of age from TV and radio newscasts that focus on ‘bad’ news. Such news stories frequently emphasize and detail excessive violence, mayhem, disasters and chaos that translates into further ‘bad news’ for young children who are habitually or occasionally exposed to it. In fact, young children, who have neither the neurological development to appropriately discern the news content nor the technological means to control their exposure to it, are at some risk of developing heightened anxiety and trauma-related symptoms. Recent scientific research confirms that these health issues may impair children’s mental and emotional development for years, as you will learn on this site.
Choose News believes that Canadian children deserve better protection from this health risk under Canadian and International law – specifically the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Canada in 1991. Likewise we believe that Canadian broadcasters and the federal government agency regulating Canadian broadcasting – the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (the CRTC) – are compelled to act to reduce this risk to our children through strengthening existing regulations. At the very least the CRTC needs to update and enforce the Canadian broadcasters’ ‘Violence Code’ adopted in 1993!
Canadian society has recently moved to heighten protection to our children through
– strengthening regulations for noxious substances (e.g. reducing exposure to second-hand cigarette smoke),
– mandating protective headgear for recreational activities (e.g. organized hockey), and
– providing age-related viewing guidelines on entertainment products (e.g. computer games, DVDs)
Choose News advocates acting now to reduce the risk of harm to the mental and emotional health of Canadian children through their inadvertent exposure to conventional radio and TV newscasting. This has happened in other countries including the UK and the Netherlands. Let’s do this in Canada!