Letters to the Editor. Shielding children from TV violence

The article dealing with the effect of TV violence on children was very interesting [``Study suggests restraint -- not censorship -- for less TV violence,'' Sept. 25]. The problem lies not in how much violence is on TV, but in whether parents are monitoring what their children watch. Parents who don't set guidelines for their children's TV habits have no one but themselves to blame for the bad habits their children may learn from watching. Elizabeth MacLachlan Elsah, Ill. I have read your editorial ``Restraining violence on TV'' (Sept. 26) with interest. As a former broadcaster, let me say that the key to the problem lies -- and this directly quotes your article -- in the television industry's rationale relative to ``giving the public what it wants.''

Networks firmly believe that competition for high standing in commercial ratings depends on increasingly lurid programming. Also, promos for upcoming episodes are condensed to highlight the sex-and-violence tone of the program.

In light of this, the reform you refer to in your final paragraph presents quite a challenge, to say the least. Paul W. Entress South Windsor, Conn.

Your editorial prompts me to express dismay at the TV programming in the 8-to-9 p.m. time slot. After watching the evening news in which we often see much violence and destruction, why do networks think we want to follow that with another hour or two of violence and crime? Why not schedule lighthearted programs from 8 to 9 and more ``adult'' shows at a later hour?

The TV network which captures the ratings for the next year will most likely be the one that realizes that many of us are disgusted and tired of a steady diet of police-type shows from 8 to 9 p.m. Merle S. Dingman Roanoke, Va.

Regarding lockout boxes to seal off pornographic cable programs, parents are very much able to ``seal off'' programs with very little difficulty or effort, but they don't and will not. The restraints must come from regulation, because parents will not accept these moral responsibilities in our society. The industry isn't about to give up the profits, as much as it talks about unenforceable ``standards'' and fights any and all attempts at regulation, with amazing success. Irv Edelstein, Los Angeles Anti-Pornography Commission Los Angeles

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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