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Parents and children know how to manage challenging content

BSA, Wellington, 30 March 2015: The majority of New Zealanders take steps to manage their children’s media use, according to independent research released today.

The research into how our children engage with media today was conducted by Colmar Brunton for the Broadcasting Standards Authority and NZ On Air.

The Children’s Media Use Study shows parents and children use on-screen classifications and warnings, have family rules around viewing and internet use, and change the channel, turn off or move away when they come across challenging content. The use of these measures has either increased or remained consistent since 2007.

“It’s great to see parents are proactively helping their children navigate their way through the rapidly increasing options offered by TV and the internet,” said Broadcasting Standards Authority Chief Executive Karen Scott-Howman.

“Challenging content cannot always be avoided in an environment where there is so much choice. So it’s pleasing to see the majority of children know how to respond appropriately. This will be useful context for future decisions,” said Scott-Howman.

The BSA will use the research to inform decisions on complaints, and will also consider the findings as part of a comprehensive review of its Codes of Broadcasting Practice. This review is currently in progress and there will be an opportunity for public input next month (April).

The Broadcasting Standards Authority is an independent body that oversees the broadcasting standards regime in New Zealand. We do this by determining complaints that broadcasts have breached standards, by doing research, and also by providing information about broadcasting standards.

We are essentially an appeal body, which is why complaints generally go to the broadcaster first (with the exception of privacy issues and election advertisements).

The Authority Board has four members – Peter Radich (chair), Mary Anne Shanahan, Leigh Pearson and Te Rau Kupenga.

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