The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking feedback and responses to the subject of the affect of electronic media on children and whether or not the Commission should have more power to wield authority.
Released on October 23, Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape presents some of the influence (both pro and con) emerging media has on youngsters, before asking for additional data on these subjects. Specifically the FCC is seeking “information on the extent to which children are using electronic media today, the benefits and risks these technologies bring for children, and the ways in which parents, teachers, and children can help reap the benefits while minimizing the risks.”
The FCC also is asking commenters to “to discuss whether the Commission has the statutory authority to take any proposed actions and whether those actions would be consistent with the First Amendment.”
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski included a statement with the NOI in which he noted that “twenty years ago, parents worried about one or two TV sets in the house,” while today, media choices are far more widespread for children, including videogames, which “have become a prevalent entertainment source in millions of homes and a daily reality for millions of kids.”
This Notice of Inquiry recognizes the importance of undertaking a comprehensive approach to assessing how children can best be served in the digital media landscape. The vital role of government in this media environment is therefore to empower parents and protect children, while honoring and abiding by the First Amendment.