School is still dominating the schedules of most US children, but in most jurisdictions, summer vacation is only weeks or even days away. Television content watchdog TV Watch is working to make sure parents have the tools they need to protect their children from undesirable program content.
It’s calling the program “Remote PATROL.” It keeps in mind the fact that the vast majority of Americans would prefer to oversee the television viewing of their children, rather than have the government impose programming guidelines, and educates parents on the many tools they have to do the overseeing.
“The ‘Remote PATROL’ campaign follows TV Watch’s commitment to keeping parents in control,” said TV Watch President Jim Dyke. “Whether it is as simple as limiting access to the TV during family meals or taking the time to learn the parental controls, the priority is for parents to maintain control within their own homes. The ‘Remote PATROL’ campaign educates parents and gives them the resources to manage what children watch and when they watch television.”
TV Watch provides tutorials on using tools such as the V-Chip and other content blocking tools, which polls say are found effective by 83% of parents.
It suggests other common sense actions – some as simple as observing what children are watching and how much time they are spending with television, and then setting limits.
The organization also notes that most of those polled think TV ratings are effective, and recommends that parents take some time to familiarize themselves with them.
It is also creating a community of parents to share ideas and experiences. The organization noted, “TV Watch is promoting the campaign through a new web video and has launched a Facebook Remote PATROL Q&A page where the public can ask questions about preparing and implementing safe viewing habits and get answers from PATROL members and others in the community. By following the campaign on TV Watch’s Twitter and Facebook pages, parents can get the latest answers and other valuable information that the Remote PATROL team has to offer.”
RBR-TVBR observation: The First Amendment makes it very difficult for any government body to legislate or regulate content, and that is as it should be. That doesn’t mean parents can’t step in and provide guidance. The approach TV Watch recommends is an entirely appropriate prescription for guiding children’s television viewing habits in a free society.
And in case anybody is interested, and no offense to TV programmers, but the kids that will be summering in this residence will find something else to do other than plant their little butts on the couch in front of the tube 12 hours a day.