Throughout the study group deliberations, there were issues that cross-cut all discussions and suggestions. While the focus of the conference was on television, it is not possible to talk about television without including advertising, cable, and independent stations as well as the networks. In addition, television cannot be discussed in isolation from movies, for with VCRs and television reruns, movies are an integral part of the television scene. A second theme that transcended most discussion was a reluctance to call upon external regulatory mechanisms to control what many see as the excesses of television. There was sensitivity and concern for striking a balance between safeguarding basic freedoms, on one hand, and assuring the health and well being of the nation on the other. In terms of specific recommendations, there were some key general agreements: 1. 1. Need for Interdisciplinary Dialog. Repeatedly, concern was voiced on how little understanding there is among and between those who are primarily concerned with the health and development of young people and those who develop programs viewed by that population. To address this situation, a number of alternatives were proposed: 1.1. a. targeted small "executive breakfasts" that will bring together key individuals in the various aspects of the television industry, with health and development professionals; clearly, there is need for a greater understanding of the health problems of youth; 1.2. b. the establishment of a center that would have as its mission the development and nurturance of "collaborate partnerships" between industry and key professionals with the goal of improving the health-enhancing messages of television while preserving television's fundamental role of entertainment; 1.3. c. a resource and information center where the ever-expanding materials relating to youth and the media could be housed and made easily accessible to those concerned with youth issues. 2. 2. Critical Viewing Skills. All study groups addressed the need to provide the adolescent (and the family) with the skills to analyze and critique what is being viewed on television. Their need is going to become increasingly pressing as television increases the options available to young people. 3. 3. Parental Responsibility. In the final analysis, parents must assume greater responsibility for guiding and overseeing their children's television viewing. Without such involvement, any reforms or changes are unlikely to succeed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health