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05.12.2005
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Content providers must do a better job of self policing, says producer

Jonathan Prince, creator and executive producer of “American Dreams” told his audience at the All Industry Television Lunch April 18 during NAB2005 that broadcasters are doing a much better job of “walking the fine line” between the First Amendment and FCC regulations than he and his television writer peers are.

Prince said that although content providers rail against the government's desire to control content on broadcast television, writers do very little to self-police. Prince’s comments were made against the backdrop of last year’s record-setting pace of complaints from the public filed with the FCC over matters related to indecent programming.

The executive producer used his speech to paint a picture of the human temptations that shape the decisions that go into determining content for programming that ultimately airs on broadcast television.

Reviewing the impact of each of the Seven Deadly Sins that were released when Pandora opened her box, Prince contended that these influences too often shape what is ultimately broadcast – to the peril of the content creators and the broadcasters transmitting the show.

For example, he described how “Envy,” the second deadly sin, leads television producers to jealously covet the freedom and independence from content restrictions that non-broadcast, cable and game producers enjoy.

After each of the Seven Deadly Sins escaped, Prince told his audience, one quality was left – hope.

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