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New tool to rate media programmes

Tuesday 15 March 2016, by SIGNIS

Washington, March, 15th, 2016 (Wahington post). Last year, a study by Common Sense Media (CSM), found that teens spend nearly nine hours every day consuming media. Many panicked, wondering whether all that screen time is creating a glassy-eyed generation of digital natives with stunted social and emotional skills.

Common Sense Media, a web-based media ratings resource for parents, has creating a new tool that gives parents better resources to judge what’s on their kids’ screens.

As we can read on this Washington post article, the tool “will now rate media not only by looking at violence levels and language, but also by examining what positive character traits kids can pick up from what they watch — making it easier for parents to look at screen time as a tool for development rather than as a thing to be feared.”

Jim Steyer, executive director at CSM, said that TV shows and films can help shape kids’ lives. It’s a media-saturated world, he said, and it’s become vitally important for parents to be able to understand what their kids are watching and to be able to talk to them about it.

The article adds that, “when looking at what shows to rate, Common Sense Media was careful to take a realistic approach to what kids may actually want to watch, rather than simply sticking to educational programming or shows specifically designed to teach lessons”, talking about shows like "The Simpsons", "SpongeBob SquarePants" or "Black-ish".

Steyer added that the tool will also be useful for kids, who may want to explain to their parents why they’re choosing this specific media. He also hopes that this will encourage media makers in Hollywood and beyond to think about what character traits they’re highlighting in their storytelling.

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