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ERIC Number: ED445367
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Sep
Pages: 138
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Rating the TV Ratings: One Year Out. An Assessment of the Television Industry's Use of V-Chip Ratings. Report.
Kunkel, Dale; Farinola, Wendy Jo Maynard; Cope, Kirstie M.; Donnerstein, Edward; Biely, Erica; Zwarun, Lara
The V-chip is an electronic filtering device that parents can use to block the reception of sensitive or potentially harmful television programming they do not want their children to see. Given that the revised V-chip rating framework including content descriptors has been in effect for a full year, it becomes essential to examine how the array of rating options is being applied by the television industry. A study sought to evaluate the V-chip system's effectiveness at identifying violent, sexual, or language content that may pose a concern for parents or a risk for children, examining the television industry's program rating judgments since the advent of the V-chip rating system in 1997, with special emphasis on the use of the newer rating system introduced in October 1997. The PBS network is not included in the study. Based on an elaborate sample of programming that includes more than 2600 shows sampled over two years, the extent to which various rating categories have been used was explored. To assess the fit of each program's rating with its actual content, scientific content analysis procedures were performed on the shows sampled in 1998. These content-based findings were then employed to evaluate the precision of the rating system and the consistency of the rating system. Findings provide solid support for the conclusion that, in general, the age-based ratings are being applied in a way that reasonably reflects the content of these shows. Contains 45 references and extensive tables of data. Appendixes contain two composite week samples, two broadcast network prime time over-samples, and TV ratings guidelines. (NKA)
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2400 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025 (Free Publication #1434). Toll free (800) 656-4533, Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA.