Published Online:

Bush Allows Children's-TV Bill To Become Law

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Washington--Legislation limitL$ing the amount of commercials dur0 ing children's television programL$ing and prodding stations to L$provide more educational fare beL0 came law last week after President 0 Bush decided not to veto it.$

Although he expressed concerns 0 about whether certain of the bill's 0 provisions infringed on broadcastL0 ers' First Amendment rights, the L0 President allowed the measure to L0 become law without his signature.$ "In an effort to improve children's 0 television, this legislation imposes 0 content-based restrictions on proL$gramming," the President said in a 0 written statement. "The First L$Amendment, however, does not con0 template that government will dic0 tate the quality or quantity of what 0 Americans should hear--rather, it 0 leaves this to be decided by free me0 dia responding to the free choices of 0 individual consumers."0

Some political analysts here spec4ulated that Mr. Bush did not want to

The President had 10 days after its 0 final passage to take action on the bill 0 or else it would become law. Thus, the 0 bill went into effect Oct. 18.

'Status-Quo Cap'

((

The measure limits the amount of 0 advertising during children's proL$gramming to 10.5 minutes per hour 0 on weekends and 12 minutes per L0 hour on weekdays.

Some stations have been found to 0 broadcast up to 14 minutes of com0 mercials during children's proL$grams. But Peggy Charren, presi0 dent of the advocacy group Action 0 for Children's Television, said most 0 stations already fall within the lim

"It is is really a status-quo cap," 0 she said. "There are only a few L0 greedy stations going beyond the L0 limits in the bill."$

9

Even so, Ms. Charren, who has 0 lobbied many years for passage of a 0 children's-television bill, was ecstat0 ic that Mr. Bush allowed the current 0 measure to become law. President 0 Reagan pocket-vetoed a similar bill 0 in 1988.$5

Ms. Charren said the act's most promising provision is the one that directs the Federal Communications Commission to consider a station's efforts to serve the educational and informational needs of children as a condition of license renewal.$8

Ms. Charren said she hopes that through public scrutiny of stations' stated educational efforts, broadL$ casters will feel pressure to provide more and better educational proL gramming.--mw0

Web Only

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login |  Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Commented