Children’s Television and the 3 Hour Rule – Hilary Cochran and Cam Smith

The media impacts us all; however, the most vulnerable, without a doubt, is children. They are fascinated by TV, so it really captures their attention. A recent study shows that kids in the United States spend on average more than three hours a day being influenced by television. Children’s brains are constantly growing and developing during their early years. They are like vacuums picking up information. The material that they come in contact with shapes their behavior. Therefore, in 1990, Congress enacted the Children’s Television Act, or the CTA, which mandates that more informational programming be available on television for children. This also enforced commercial time restrictions: “The FCC’s rules limit the amount of commercial matter that can be aired in certain children’s television programming to 10.5 minutes per hour on weekends and 12 minutes per hour on weekdays.” Previous to this act, children could have been exposed to any sort of racy television. Now channels air shows specifically directed towards younger kids. Cartoons flood the time slots on TV. Also,Teen Kids News is an 1/2 hour weekly program that is informative, educational and entertaining for children. It airs on Saturday or Sunday mornings and acts as a substitute for the real news, which could be too much for children to handle. Another example is Sesame Street which teaching kids the alphabet and how to count secretly within the storyline of the show. In today’s world children have so much more accessibility to technology then they ever did before. With this act by Congress we’ve progressed so that’s an okay thing for children to have this much exposure without it being harmful.



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