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08/24/2008 01:11 PM ID: 72927 Permalink   

France Bans Children's TV Programming

 

France's High Audiovisual Council has decreed French stations shall not broadcast programs designed for toddlers and babies, and any foreign stations must display a warning message that shows for young children hinders their development.

24-hour baby channels have been declared a 'danger' by France's minister for culture and communication, who stated that TV makes kids passive, over-excited, and blocks language development.

This ban specifically affects Baby TV (owned by Rupert Murdoch) and BabyFirstTV (produced by a FOX partner). The stations claim that the shows are designed for parents and kids to watch together, not as a babysitter.

 
  Source: www.msnbc.msn.com  
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  36 Comments
  
  @  
 
Why don't they just ban anything owned by Rupert Murdoc all together?
And ban anything that sounds, looks, or smells like Rupert Murdoc.

Me <3 france.
 
  by: silentrage   08/24/2008 01:28 PM     
  Of 2 minds about this.  
 
First, I haven't read the literature on this but if it backs up what they are saying then I am OK with it. If they are instead just hyping the problem out of fear with no real basis in science then I disagree.
Second, I would say that it is not the TV networks fault if parents don't do what they are supposed to be doing by watching with their kids instead of using it as a babysitter. That would be like blaming PlayboyTV if some parent put that on for their kids to watch as a babysitter.
 
  by: qwerty017   08/24/2008 02:25 PM     
  @qwerty  
 
I think there was a story here on SN about a study saying children's programming is actually bad for development.
So the logic would be if it's bad for anyone to watch it, then why have them?

Of course the simple answer is, because there's money to be made.
But thank Whoever that the french government don't seem like a bunch of greedy assholes?
 
  by: silentrage   08/24/2008 03:06 PM     
  silentrage  
 
"But thank Whoever that the french government don't seem like a bunch of greedy assholes?"

can't say i agree with my gouvernement.. but they did some good things lately, for instance, next year there won't be anymore ads on TV, and now they are removing all those stupid children shows.

don't get me wrong, that must be the only things i find good in the current governement.
 
  by: ProTesTa     08/24/2008 03:19 PM     
  @silentrage  
 
Ok. Like I said didn't know about that. I thought it was probably like the whole Video games make people violent scare. If there is actual science to support this claim then ok. This does bring up a different point though. Will they not allow any childrens videos to be sold in France? Or is it just the fact that it can be seen on TV that makes it bad.
 
  by: qwerty017   08/24/2008 03:27 PM     
  @qwerty  
 
Well I used the ? because I'm not sure of it myself.
And since I can't find the link for that study that I think I saw, take it with a grain of salt.

You raise a good point though, there's gotta be a million other things that are bad for children *cough*mcdicks*cough*, who decides which ones to ban?

All I know is when I have kids they're staying away from McDonalds.
 
  by: silentrage   08/24/2008 03:34 PM     
  @silentrage  
 
Ok. Didn't mean anything. I was just typing fast. :)
 
  by: qwerty017   08/24/2008 03:36 PM     
  What about freedom of speech?  
 
I can't understand how a modern country such as france can start controlling what channels operate.

Surely if there's an audience for it then it's wrong of the government to take away this service.

There are obviously people who want the service.
 
  by: Dook   08/24/2008 05:34 PM     
  @dook  
 
I like freedom of speech too.

That's why I wanna watch hardcore 2 black on 1 asian pr0n on primetime cable.
Who's with me! ;3
 
  by: silentrage   08/24/2008 06:17 PM     
  @silentrage  
 
I'm with you...

but it's obviously a different issue.
 
  by: Dook   08/24/2008 06:21 PM     
  @Dook  
 
How so? If, as you are saying, freedom of speech is an absolute, then there is no difference.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/24/2008 06:26 PM     
  @StarShadow  
 
I didn't say it was an absolute. I spoke of it in my comment and i stated that i personally think it's a violation of freedom of speech.

What is it you're trying to say exactly?
 
  by: Dook   08/24/2008 06:30 PM     
  @dook  
 
I think he's saying

Some people like baby programming, some people don't as they think it's harmful and should be kept out of sight. This is an issue of opinions.

Now replace "baby programming" with "hardcore porn", "homosexual reality show", "fox news", "Jackass" or anything else, it's still a matter of free speech.

I'm guessing some people must've voiced their opinion on the matter for the government to take tthis measure, which seems pretty drastic.
 
  by: silentrage   08/24/2008 06:45 PM     
  @Dook  
 
Your comment implied that freedom of speech is an absolute, you're saying that because there is a willing audience the gov't is wrong for removing this class of programming. Silent's comment points out that there is a willing audience for 'pr0n' as well, but you never (or rarely) see that during prime-time, even though there is a willing audience. Therefore, not allowing people to watch 'pr0n' on prime-time TV must also be a violation of freedom of speech (and/or expression).
 
  by: StarShadow     08/24/2008 06:47 PM     
  Also..  
 
This is all ignoring the fact that while the US has freedom of speech as part of its constitution, not all countries do.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/24/2008 06:50 PM     
  i think it's a brilliant idea  
 
we're just about seeing the burgeoning tellytubby generation infecting society. The downs syndrome generation seems more fitting.

Freedom of speech should not equal mediocrity
 
  by: bobloblaw   08/24/2008 06:55 PM     
  placing the issue of free speech aside  
 
i think it's great that a country doesn't want it's next generations to be passive agressive dumbclucks and is trying to do something constructive about it. besides, if parents really want the programming for their kids they can purchase the DVD/VHS or try and find it streaming online. i feel it's a safe assumption that most parents are less likely to leave their child alone watching something on the computer than if it were on TV. or if they really REALLY want the programs back on television i'm sure there are steps they can take to alert the government.
 
  by: calilac     08/24/2008 07:34 PM     
  =======  
 
"Baby TV (owned by Rupert Murdoch) and BabyFirstTV (produced by a FOX partner"

That sounds like nothing but ultra right-wing brainwashing to me. Maybe it should be banned.
 
  by: JonSmith     08/24/2008 07:41 PM     
  @all  
 
but what nobody's taking into account is that the parents of the toddlers are controlling whether or not the toddlers are watching it. Anyone older than a toddler is probably not going to take interest in it so it doesn't really matter whether or not it's on the tv because nobodys parents are realistically going to see it as harmful.

It's parents trying to control other parents behaviour here which makes it completely different from porn.

If porns on the TV then kids as old as 10, who may have television privileges or whatnot would run the risk of going onto porn, which most parents do not want their children to see.

Am i really talking no sense here? Come on for christs sake you people just love to argue when there's an obvious thing going on.
 
  by: Dook   08/24/2008 10:27 PM     
  @Dook  
 
The obvious thing is that if the parents want it, they will fight for it. Either way, it's up to them. Also, not to be argumentative, but if it was as obvious as you think it is, don't you think more people would be agreeing with you? If it were me, I think I'd be inclined to re-examine my position, rather than think everyone else is wrong, or just being contrary.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/24/2008 11:21 PM     
  I don't think everybody else is wrong...  
 
I think you're wrong.

Nobody has been arguing with me and if i'm so wrong then why is it just the french government imposing this and not the rest of the world?!
 
  by: Dook   08/24/2008 11:25 PM     
  @StarShadow  
 
Also,

What's your position on this? Do you think it should be banned?
 
  by: Dook   08/24/2008 11:28 PM     
  Interesting..  
 
Please, tell me why you think I'm wrong, and what you think I'm wrong about.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/24/2008 11:34 PM     
  @SS  
 
" think I'd be inclined to re-examine my position, rather than think everyone else is wrong,"

I don't think everyone else is wrong, i think you are wrong when you state that putting porn on daytime TV is the same as putting childrens tv on at the same time.

At the end of the day they're two completely different things and is it going to cause outrage putting a childs TV show on the TV, whereas what would the reaction be to porn?

You don't need to be so angry! We're friends you know ;)
 
  by: Dook   08/24/2008 11:38 PM     
  Once You Condone Any Censorship  
 
You cannot yell freedom of speech.

If you sell yourself for a dollar or a million dollars you are still a whore.

The only difference is the price.
 
  by: ichi     08/24/2008 11:50 PM     
  Huh?  
 
What makes you think I'm angry? I can assure you that I'm not.

As for the porn vs children's program, either free speech applies to both, or neither, you can't argue free speech for one and not the other. Also, don't get too tied up with the content, instead of porn it could just as easily be a controversial cartoon or even a religious program.

@ichi

In that case I guess everyone is a 'whore' since there is no government on this planet that doesn't put restrictions on free speech.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/24/2008 11:59 PM     
  @ss`  
 
there are porn networks in france, but there are no longer childrens tv networks...
 
  by: Dook   08/25/2008 01:08 AM     
  @Dook  
 
What is your point? As I already said, don't get wrapped up in one example being porn, it could just as easily be some other kind of programming.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/25/2008 01:14 PM     
  @SS  
 
my point is they've completely stripped this option away from anyone. nobody can now watch it.

porn is readily available for people to watch.

my other point is that porn is clearly widely considered to be much worse for children to watch than childrens tv shows.

The main thing i'm trying to stress is that i believe it is wrong for a country to just take away TV channels because they feel it might be detrimental to childrens education. It's something i'd expect from a country under muslim law, not a modern country such as france. And because they've completely stripped it i believe it is an example of the taking away of ones freedom of speech / choice.
 
  by: Dook   08/25/2008 02:00 PM     
  Once..  
 
Again I'll say, don't get hung up on the porn example, it could just as easily be a controversial cartoon, or even a religious program (like maybe an Islamic religious service, complete with reading from the Koran).

In any case, the government is well within their rights to disallow the programming, and to be honest I don't see where 'free speech' even comes into it. First off, they are banning an entire class of programming, not specific shows. Secondly, they are banning that class of programming, because they have research that shows it's harmful to child development, not because they simply disagree with it. They have a duty to protect their citizens as best they can, and that's what they are doing. Free speech doesn't even come into the equation.
As far as 'freedom of choice' goes, the parents still have choice. If they disagree with the government's position they can fight it, in addition they can still buy or download children's programming.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/25/2008 02:30 PM     
  but they don't  
 
have the choice anymore do they, because they have had that taken away from them. If parents believe that it is bad for their children to watch it, they can very easily not watch it, but it is enforcing it upon other parents which is what i consider to be bad.

Also, porn, religeous programs, "evil" cartoons, etc. they're all offensive.

What we're dealing with here isn't on the issue of offence, which is why i don't think its right to compare it to them.

Nobody will be offended by the childrens programming.
 
  by: Dook   08/25/2008 02:38 PM     
  I see..  
 
So freedom of speech only apples to things that are not 'offensive' (to you), in which case you do not believe in freedom of speech.

Yes, they do still have choice, as I outlined in my previous post. At this point, if all you're going to do is re-iterate what you've said previously, I think we're done.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/25/2008 02:45 PM     
  @  
 
no because i'm not offended by porn, religious programming or childrens programming. it's completely different.

What i'm saying is this is completely different from an issue of offense, because people aren't finding it offensive.
 
  by: Dook   08/25/2008 04:38 PM     
  Ok..  
 
You're going to have to be clear when you make comments then.

So were you speaking for yourself, or presuming to speak for everyone else when you said:

"Also, porn, religeous programs, "evil" cartoons, etc. they're all offensive."

Since you subsequently said:

"no because i'm not offended by porn, religious programming or childrens programming. it's completely different."

So which is it, are you speaking for yourself, or are you speaking for everyone else?
 
  by: StarShadow     08/25/2008 11:01 PM     
  @Ss  
 
lol this is getting long winded.

I'm not personally offended by them, but if you were to name things the nation is offended by, you'd guess those...
 
  by: Dook   08/26/2008 12:01 AM     
  And..  
 
On that note, this is now a pointless discussion, good day.
 
  by: StarShadow     08/26/2008 12:08 AM     
 
 
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