Friday, October 23, 2009

Notice of Inquiry: Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape

Washington, D.C.: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) asking how children can be served and protected and parents can be further empowered in the new digital media landscape. The NOI comes almost 20 years after enactment of the Children's Television Act and follows the Commission's recently issued Child Safe Viewing Act Report, which examined parental control technologies for video and audio programming.

Children live in a dramatically different media environment from the one their parents and grandparents grew up in decades ago. From television to mobile devices to the Internet, electronic media today offer an array of opportunities to, among other things, access educational content, communicate with family and peers, and acquire the skills and technological literacy necessary to compete in a global economy. However, digital media can also pose risks of harm to children, including exposing them to exploitative advertising, inappropriate content, and cyberbullying, as well as potentially contributing to childhood obesity and other negative health impacts. The NOI asks to what extent children are using electronic media today, the benefits and risks this presents, and the ways in which parents, teachers, and children can help reap the benefits while minimizing the risks of using these technologies.

The NOI also recognizes that a wealth of academic research and studies exists on these issues and asks commenters to identify additional data and studies, and to indicate where further study is needed. The NOI additionally seeks comment about the effectiveness of media literacy efforts in enabling children to enjoy the benefits of media while minimizing the potential harms. The NOI recognizes that other federal agencies are addressing similar issues, at least with respect to online safety, and asks what the Commission can do to assist with these efforts. The deadline for filing comments is 60 days after publication in the federal register and the deadline for filing reply comments is 90 days after publication in the federal register.

Action by the Commission October 23, 2009, by Notice of Inquiry (FCC 09-94). Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn and Baker issuing separate statements. MB Docket No. 09-194.

10/23/09 Commission Seeks Input on Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape.
NOI: Word
News Release: Word

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