Telecom headlines... (more!)

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Tue, 6 Jul 1999 14:16:41 -0700 (PDT)

MEDIA & SOCIETY

THEATERS TO REQUIRE PICTURE IDs FOR R-RATED PICTURES
Issue: Media & Society
The movie industry presented to the White House yesterday a plan to limit
adolescents' exposure to violence: Teenagers interested in seeing an R-rated
movie will now have to produce a photo ID first. They say this will limit
teenagers sneaking into theaters where they don't belong, but industry
analysts
questioned whether the new policy will be effective in reducing violence or
the
number of teenagers who watch violent movies. Nevertheless, the executives,
who
represent two-thirds of the nation's movie screens, decided it was
important to
redouble efforts to police the rating system [ie. PG-13, R-rated films] in an
environment that is growing increasingly hostile to the movie industry.
[SOURCE: Washington Post (A1), AUTHOR: Charles Babington]
(http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-06/09/124l-060999-idx.html)
See Also:
LOCAL TEENS SEE WAYS AROUND POLICY
[SOURCE: Washington Post (A11), AUTHOR: Susan Levine and Eric L. Wee]
(http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1999-06/09/102l-060999-idx.html)

'GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, WRITERS DO'
Issue: Media & Society
A report on sessions at the annual Writer's Guild Foundation's Words into
Pictures forum. Writers debated the effects their movies have on audiences.
Here are some excerpts: "When I first viewed my own movie with an audience,
and they cheered when a man was shot, I was shocked because I had expected a
completely different reaction. I had hoped for a stunned reaction -- a
realization that the character had just sealed her fate in a very powerful
way. When the audience burst into applause, I was terrified to realize that
I couldn't control how my work was received." Callie Khouri, "Thelma &
Louise" writer) "It's unquestionable that there's a cause and effect between
what goes up on the screen and behavior. I don't want to mess with the 1st
Amendment, and, for that reason, we have to look to ourselves and
acknowledge what effect we have on the world. My core belief as a
screenwriter is that cinema is the campfire which young people gather in the
global village, and I think that when something goes on the screen, it takes
greater importance." (William Mastrosimone, "The Burning Season" and
"Extremities") "I believe that movies have an impact, but, unlike so many of
my friends in Congress, I don't know how much, I don't know where, and I
don't know if there's a connecting link between seeing a movie and going out
to buy a Tech-9 to blow someone's head off. None of the research, and, God
knows, I've read it until my eyes are blurry, has ever made that connecting
link. But movies are powerful, so they must have some kind of impact." (Jack
Valenti, President of the Motion Picture Association of America)
[SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (Sec 5, p.1), AUTHOR: Gary Dretzka]
(http://chicagotribune.com/)

HOW DO YOU DEFINE OBSCENE VIOLENCE? CONGRESS MIGHT TRY
Issue: Legislation
Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL) introduced
legislation that would make it illegal to sell obscene violent movies, video
games and books to children. The question raises many issues of what defines
"obscene violence." Is "Saving Private Ryan" obscene violence or does it have
historical merit? Was "Donnie Brasco" obscene violence or a man's story about
his life in the mob? Hollywood executive and lobbyist, Jack Valenti, believes
the ratings system he implemented for movies is sufficient and promises an
immediate court challenge. He believes Congress is looking for a quick fix in
the wake of the recent school shootings. However, Rep Hyde said yesterday he
would forgo a vote in the Judiciary Committee and send it directly to the
House
floor.
[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal (A1), AUTHOR: Jeffery Taylor]
(http://wsj.com/)

TELEVISION

THE PUBLIC AND BROADCASTING
Issue: Broadcast Regulation
The Mass Media Bureau released the revised version of The Public and
Broadcasting on June 7, 1999. This manual provides a general overview of
broadcast regulation for the public. It has been revised to bring it
up-to-date and also to make it clear and understandable to the general
public. Since 1974, the Commission's rules have required that licensees keep
the manual in their local public files. The most recent version of this
manual, which will be updated periodically by the Bureau, is to be kept in
the local public inspection file of all commercial and noncommercial
broadcast stations "at all times." The full text of this document is
available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC
Reference Information Center, Room, CY-A257, 445 12th Street, SW,
Washington, DC, 20554. The Public and Broadcasting will also be available on
the World Wide Web at the Commission's Web site
(http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Mass_Media/Factsheets/pubbroad.pdf). For
additional information contact Victoria McCauley at (202)418-2120.
[SOURCE: FCC]
(http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Mass_Media/Public_Notices/da991099.html)

MEDIA & SOCIETY

CAPITAL DISPATCH: PROPOSAL TO LABEL VIOLENT MEDIA
Issue: Media & Society
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) plan to introduce a
bill this week that would create a uniform labeling system for violent content
in entertainment media. The Senators will propose to amend the Cigarette
Labeling and Advertising Act to include labeling requirements for violent
media. "Violence in our society is a complex problem. Parents are confused by
the myriad of different ratings. One way to help parents is to provide
consistent and clear information about what their children are purchasing,"
said Sen. McCain. The proposal would give the video game, film and music
industries six months to develop a universal standard for labeling violent
content.
[SOURCE: CyberTimes, AUTHOR: Jeri Clausing]
(http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/06/cyber/capital/08capital.html)

THE INFO CULTURE: INFINITY AND BEYOND
Issue: Media & Society
A new weekly column in the Trib will explore the information culture: "the
data stream ceaselessly slipping past us." Keller promises to cover the
varied ways to communicate -- from memos to books including TV, movies and
billboards. To elusive quarry of the column will be to find the invisible in
the obvious. The column will ask, How does what we know make us ho we are?
[SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (Sec 5, p.3), AUTHOR: Julia Keller]
(http://chicagotribune.com/)

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley 94720-6000
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

"Everything wants to become television" (James Ulmer -- Teletheory)