In the 1990s, Senator Paul Simon of Illinois initiated an anti-trust-waver allowing the four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX) to come together to address the growing concerns surrounding violence on television. This initiative commissioned The Center for the Digital Future to conduct research into the issues and deliver annual reports to the nation on the state of television violence.
Instead of simply counting the number of acts of violence on television, the Center created a new methodology that examined and reported on the context in which violence occurred. This type of research methodology helped to distinguish between worrisome television violence and the type of violence that may foster anti-violent attitudes. The study monitored 3,000 hours of television, video games and home movies each year.
These reports were produced in the late 1990s, and, of course, almost all of the programs explored in the studies are no longer on the air. But the methodology, analysis, and conclusions still yield valuable insights for the television industry, government agencies, journalists, and parents.
The Television Violence Reports: