FCC Seeks Information on Children and Media

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The FCC is seeking feedback on how to handle children and media. The agency issued a Notice of Inquiry Friday on how kids can be “served and protected, and parents can be further empowered in the new digital media landscape.”

The NOI comes after the commission’s recently issued Child Safe Viewing Act Report, which examined parental control technologies for video and audio programming, primarily on TV. This notice encompasses TV, mobile devices, the Internet and other types of digital media. The commission notes the educational benefits of such media, but that it also puts kids at risk of “exploitative advertising, inappropriate content, and cyber-bullying, as well as potentially contributing to childhood obesity and other negative health impacts.”

“The NOI asks to what extent children are using electronic media today, the benefits and risks this presents, and the ways in which parents, teachers, and children can help reap the benefits while minimizing the risks of using these technologies,” the FCC said.

The NOI asks commenters to cite existing academic research and identify areas where more is needed. It “additionally seeks comment about the effectiveness of media literacy efforts in enabling children to enjoy the benefits of media while minimizing the potential harms.”

The deadline for filing comments on the NOI, FCC Docket No. 09-94, is 60 days after publication in the federal register; reply comments are due 90 days after publication.