Beyond Censorship: Policies and Technologies to Give Parents Control Over Children’s Media Consumption

Wednesday, June 7, 2006
11 a.m - 2 p.m. (lunch will be served)

Kaiser Family Foundation
Barbara Jordan Conference Center
1330 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20005


Opening Remarks by

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps
FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate

Opening Presentations

The Media Habits of Young Children (and their parents)
Vicky Rideout, Vice President, Kaiser Family Foundation

Why Media Content Matters: Impacts on Young Children
David Kleeman, Executive Director, Center for Children and Media

Facilitating Parental Control: Ways and Means
Elizabeth Perle, Editor-in-Chief, Common Sense Media

Topic 1: Regulatory Approaches

Brief Provocations:

* Tim Winter, Executive Director, Parents Television Council (PTC)

* David Moulton, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) (invited)

* Gloria Tristani, President, Benton Foundation

Topic 2: Marketplace/ Technology Approaches

Brief Provocations:

* Adam Thierer, Senior Fellow, Progress & Freedom Foundation

* Joe Miller, Senior Vice President, TiVo

* Michael McKeehan, Director, Internet & Technology Policy, Verizon Communications

Topic 3: Looking Ahead to the Wireless, Convergent Media World

Brief Provocations:

* Jerry Berman, President, Center for Democracy and Technology Internet Controls and Collaborative Communities

* Chuck Cosson, Policy Counsel, Microsoft Corp.

* Michele Stockwell, Director of Education, Social and Family Policy, Progressive Policy Institute

Event Moderator:

* Michael Calabrese, Vice President and Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation

Presentations will be followed by a roundtable discussion between these and other distinguished panelists. Questions & comments from the audience will be granted as time permits.

As the FCC dramatically increases fines for indecency over broadcast TV—and as Congress threatens to raise fine limits and extend decency standards to cable and satellite networks—the debate over how best to protect children from inappropriate media has reached a fever pitch.

The problem is real: A plethora of studies show that repeated exposure to violence, inappropriate sexual content and even repeated advertising for junk food can have a negative, long-term impact on young children. And while television is today’s primary battleground, it won’t be long before most children have access to a portable wireless device with 24/7 access to unlimited video content over the Internet.

The main issue becomes: who is responsible for protecting kids from inappropriate media—industry, the government, or parents armed with new technologies? Although the regulatory approaches—V-chips, fines, family hours—have emphasized the censorship of inappropriate content, less known are emerging technologies that promise to “guide” parents to educational programming and facilitate the filtering of good content from bad. For example, fines and ratings don’t do much to guide parents toward the best programming—such as PBS’s Sesame Street and Between the Lions—which can significantly enhance the cognitive development of pre-school-age children. New personal video recorder (PVR) and video on demand (VOD) technologies—such as Internet filtering software and TiVo’s KidZone—will be previewed as tools to facilitate parental choice.

Please join us for this timely discussion about the best approach to protecting kids from inappropriate media—and, ideally, how to best facilitate parents’ efforts to identify positive media programming—with a diverse roundtable of leading players from industry, government, academia and child and family advocacy groups. After presenters offer brief “provocations” that summarize key proposals on the table, participants will engage in an open discussion and debate concerning the pros and cons of the various approaches and will also address what should be done as mobile video over the Internet becomes ubiquitous.

To RSVP for this event, reply to this email: [email protected] with name, affiliation, and contact information. If you have questions, call or email Sarah Brennan at 202-986-4901, [email protected] or Naveen Lakshmipathy at 202-986-2700, [email protected].