Washington -- Violence on television has jumped over the
past three years during primetime, glamorizing and sanitizing the consequences, according
to a study released last Thursday by the National Cable Television Association.
Two-thirds of programming on the broadcast networks and 64
percent of shows on basic cable contain violence in primetime, while the proportion of
violence overall has remained steady at 60 percent, according to the NCTA-funded study.
On premium-cable channels, 92 percent of programming
contained violence over the past three years -- the highest proportion of any sector
Researchers from four universities studied thousands of
hours of television programs on 23 channels.
Broadcast networks surged ahead of basic cable in the
amount of primetime violence shown over the past three years. While basic cable has seen a
10 percent increase, violence increased by 14 percent on the broadcast networks.
The researchers also found that the new ratings system
implemented by all of the networks except NBC provided little information on the amount of
violence that a show contained. But the research was done before content descriptors, such
as "V" for violence, were added to the ratings.
A "V-chip" that will soon be included in all new
television sets should help to decrease the amount of violence to which children are
exposed, the researchers said.
The chip should appear in cable boxes toward the end of
this year and in television sets sometime next year, an NCTA spokesman said.
Although the three-year, $3.5 million project has ended,
the NCTA might study the effects of the V-chip in the future, the spokesman said.
States News Service