“The deadline for submissions to the TV Code of Practice review is Good Friday – but if the commercial TV stations get their way, the result will be anything but good,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“Free TV Australia is calling for the abolition of all G time zones, and for moving the M zone (and M-rated advertising) forward to 7.30 pm when many children are watching. MA15+ programs would move forward to 8.30 pm. Extremely violent AV programs would be reclassified as MA15+, thus allowing them to be screened at 8.30 pm. The complaints process would be tougher and more drawn out,” she said.
That’s bad enough. But wait – there’s more!
Ros Phillips said the FamilyVoice research team has identified retrograde changes to wording in the TV guidelines that most people would not have noticed.
“Some changes may seem minor – but taken as a whole, they could result in misleading classification changes,” she said.
“In the guidelines for the M category, for example, suicide may now be shown in realistic detail – at 7.30 pm! At present, such a program would be rated MA15+.
“Illegal drug use in M programs cannot be shown in detail at present – but could be shown in detail under the Free TV proposal. Details of proposed guideline changes are available on request.
“Parents have come to expect certain standards from certain categories. They could be seriously misled if these changes are accepted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
“I hope more people will send a brief email to Free TV Australia, asking for the current guidelines and time zones to stay as they are. Australia’s children are worth it!” Ros Phillips said.
- Family and parenthood
- Government and society