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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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34

The Impact of Media Policy on Children's Media Exposure

Amy B. Jordan

ABSTRACT

Children's media policy is designed with two primary goals: first, to increase children's access to beneficial content; and second, to decrease their exposure to harmful content. This chapter explores the principles on which US children's media policy has been established. It then outlines current US media policies that address content deemed to be detrimental to children (including junk food advertising and violent content) and seek to improve access to media technology and educational content that is considered beneficial to children (such as E-Rate and the Children's Television Act). In addition to reviewing media policies, the chapter considers research on the implementation and impact of the policies, including the abject failure of the V-chip legislation and the ongoing discourse about privacy protection. The chapter concludes by arguing the need for a more deliberate use of effects research in the development and evaluation of children's media policy.

Foundations of Media Policy

In the United States, as in many countries, children's media policy is designed with two primary goals: first, to increase children's access to beneficial content; and second, to decrease their exposure to harmful content. At the same time, those who craft policy are mindful of the important protection that the First Amendment provides to those who create and distribute media, including commercial content. Policymakers ...

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