This News Release: Text | Word97
Statements: Commissioner Tristani
V-Chip Fact Sheet

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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

July 1, 1999

Morgan Broman/Linda Paris at 202-418-0500

FCC Commissioner Tristani Demonstrates Easy-to-Use V-Chip On July 1st Deadline for TV Manufacturers; Urges Parents to Ask Newspapers to Publish TV Ratings

FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani marked the July 1st deadline for the arrival of the V-Chip in new TV sets by showing how parents can use it to block violent and sexually explicit TV programming. The Commissioner also challenged newspapers to publish complete and detailed TV ratings information to aid parents. Tristani urged parents to ask The Washington Post and local newspapers to publish ratings information as part of the TV program listings. She made these statements to parents today before she conducted a demonstration of the V-Chip at Circuit City in Rockville, Maryland.

"If the Post and all newspapers published complete and detailed ratings information in their television listings, parents would have the information necessary to protect their children from violent or sexually explicit programming," remarked Tristani. "Parents must call, write or email their local newspaper asking for parental ratings information. As a parent, I have written letters to newspapers with this request."

The Commissioner said, "the V-Chip is a modern parenting tool for a modern age." She showed parents how the computer micro chip will help them control children's exposure to inappropriate TV programming. The "V" in V-Chip stands for violence.

Last May FCC Chairman William Kennard asked Tristani to head the Commision's V- Chip Task Force. The Commissioner has outlined three goals for the Task Force: [1] to make sure that V-Chips are in TV sets by the dates set by the FCC rules; [2] to make sure that TV ratings were actually being transmitted so that the V-Chip will have something to read; and [3] to let parents know that the V-Chip is here and how they can use it.

Over a year ago, the FCC adopted rules requiring manufacturers to incorporate the V- Chip in new sets. By July 1, 1999, half of all new TV models with screens 13 inches or larger are required to include a V-Chip. By January 1, 2000, all new sets with screens 13 inches or larger must have the V-Chip inside them. By all accounts, manufacturers have met or beaten the first of these deadlines.

For more information about the V-Chip, parents should call 1-877-2-V-CHIP-TV.

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