RATING WARS

THE TV INDUSTRY DEVISES A LABELING SYSTEM TO PROTECT KIDS, BUT WILL IT DO THE JOB?

It all seemed so simple and congenial, like the cozy wrap-up to an episode of Home Improvement. Faced with a growing outcry against violence on television, some 30 top TV-industry executives convened at a White House summit last February and vowed to take action. They promised to devise a rating system for TV shows that would alert parents to programs containing high levels of violence, sex or rough language. With these ratings as a guide, parents could lock out objectionable shows by using the V chip, a device mandated in this year's Telecommunications Act and scheduled to be installed in new...

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