If you don't like something on television, why don't you just change the channel?

Television is the most public and powerful means of mass communication. It drives changes in social customs, speech, and attitudes, especially among youth. Because of its pervasiveness and persuasiveness, opting out is an entirely inadequate response to the dramatic rise in the amount of televised graphic sex, obscene and profane language, and gratuitous violence found on television today. These depictions affect everyone, including our children's classmates and friends. Vulgar television means a more vulgar society; sex-saturated television means sexualized children stripped of their innocence; violent television results in desensitization to violence.

"You can put your TV in the garage, avoid movies altogether, and use earplugs to spare your hearing from the sounds of hip-hop or heavy metal, but these forms of entertainment will still change your life through their influence on everyone else in society. Though you may struggle to protect your own kids from music that encourages violence or drugs or irresponsible sex, you can't possibly protect them from all the other kids in your community who have received full exposure."

- Michael Medved taken from The Rock & Roll Rebellion by Mark Joseph.

In addition, when the networks, which traditionally have been the primary source for family entertainment, begin producing raunchy and violent shows, parents are left with few places to turn for family viewing. By remaining silent, PTC members would be giving their consent to these changes and ceding their television sets to lowest-common- denominator programming. As the envelope continues to be pushed even further, the chances of avoiding such material become increasingly limited.

Merely changing the channel is essentially to accept what is on that channel, and admit powerlessness to change what is on one's own television. To be forced to change the channel is to accept the loss of additional stations to unhealthy content and to expect similar material to one day appear on the next channel.

How can I contact the PTC for further information?

Parents Television Council
707 Wilshire Boulevard #2075
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 403-1300
Email: editor@parentstv.org