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Abandoned in the Wasteland: Children, Television and the First Amendment

Overview

Winner of the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association

Two well-known experts-Newton N. Minow is a former chairperson of the FCC-suggest bold new ways to think about television and its influence on American life and, most urgently, on American children. The authors argue that to defend an unrestricted freedom to broadcast by invoking the First Ammendent is an improper use of constitutional principle. They remind us that broadcasters are required by law to serve the ...

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Overview

Winner of the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association

Two well-known experts-Newton N. Minow is a former chairperson of the FCC-suggest bold new ways to think about television and its influence on American life and, most urgently, on American children. The authors argue that to defend an unrestricted freedom to broadcast by invoking the First Ammendent is an improper use of constitutional principle. They remind us that broadcasters are required by law to serve the public interest, and that the Supreme Court and Congress have affirmed that service to children is a broadcaster's legal obligation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A skillful amalgam of law, the history of broadcasting, sociology, and impassioned argument."—David Greenberg, The Washington Post Book World
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Minow created news when, in 1961, as head of the Federal Communications Commission, he called television in the U.S. a ``vast wasteland.'' Here, writing with communications scholar LaMay, he presents a cogent argument for replacing violent, brutal TV fare with constructive programs that motivate children to learn while transmitting democratic values. The authors charge that broadcasters, who exploit children for profit, invoke First Amendment freedoms of expression as a way of shirking responsibilities defined under the Children's Television Act of 1990, which requires them to air some educational and informational programs for children. Among the authors' proposals are: forbid commercials on TV programs for preschoolers; make the V-chip a required component in all TV sets, so parents can block reception of unwanted shows; Congress should redefine the Federal Communications Act's vague stipulation that broadcasters must serve the public interest; make media literacy courses a basic part of the school curriculum. This broadside should trigger a national debate. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809015894
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/30/1996
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 1,431,116
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.57 (d)

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