minister attacks TV for tots
June 20, 2008
Government warns of danger to babies
Gallic culture and communications minister Christine
Albanel has called for greater awareness among
broadcasters and parents of the potential dangers of TV
aimed at very young children, such as U.S.-based
channels Baby TV and BabyFirst.
In response to a report by France's Directorate General
of Health warning against "channels for children under
three years of age, irrespective of the type of
programming," Albanel said Friday, "I want to tell
parents not to use these channels. They bombard children
with images and sounds. We do not know what effects this
may have on such young people."
Both Albanel and France's broadcasting authority Conseil
Superieur de l'Audiovisuel have expressed their concerns
about the potential dangers represented by baby and
toddler-oriented channels including Baby TV and
BabyFirst, which are available in France and other
European countries via cable and satellite.
As both channels are broadcast into France from the
U.K., however, CSA restrictions on youth programming
cannot be enforced.
On Tuesday, a CSA plenary session confirmed the
regulator's intention to make its British counterpart,
Ofcom, more aware of its concerns.
Agnes Vincent Deray, chairman of the CSA's working group
on child protection, called on French satellite and
cable providers "to inform their subscribers about the
harmfulness of TV for children under three. They should
also be obliged not to promote programs aimed at
toddlers. After that, it's up to the parents to decide."
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