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Broadcasters have promised to clean up their act. Critics say don't believe the hype.

Seeing the heads of all four networks gathered in the same room last week was extraordinary enough. Even more intriguing, however were the downcast eyes and somber expressions. No wonder: after 40 years of denial, despite more than 3,000 damning studies, the TV industry's moguls tacitly conceded that violence on television can indeed lead to violence in real life. But the remedy they so proudly unveiled ... generated almost as much heat as the malady it's supposed to help cure.

Beginning this fall, the networks will broadcast parental advisories before excessively violent programs and similar warnings to newspapers and magazines that carry TV listings. ... As a pre­emptive strike, the announcement accomplished its mission. Many in congress, roused by the soaring tide of prime-time gore, have been threatening federally-imposed reforms.

Some of these restrictions, however, would surely raise howls from First Amendment guardians, which may explain the almost palpable relief with which law-makers greeted the networks' voluntary action...

... In selling their own reform package, the networks provided another reminder of just how unstaunchable TV's blood flow remains. 'This problem will get worse because people will think something has been done about it,' says Dr Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist who heads the National Coalition on Television Violence. 'But all they're doing is applying a Band-Aid. It's just a sham.'

For openers, the networks will decide for themselves which shows require warning flags. The plan also assumes the presence of a parent to switch the channel. That ignores the millions of children of working parents who watch TV unsupervised, not to mention the nearly 50 per cent between 6 and 17 who own bedroom sets...

'The advisories are just a faster road map to the violent material,' says Terry Rakolta, founder of Americans for Responsible Television. Kids channel-surfing will stop immediately and say, 'Hey, this is it! We don't even have to look for it.'

2 If your eyes are downcast, in which direction are you looking?

3 If you deny something, you say that it isn't true. What do you do if you concede something?

4 An advisory is a form of w_ _ _1 n g

5 The pre-emptive strike by the TV moguls was carried out to preempt f _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _- i _ _ _ _ _ _ r _ _ _ _ _ _.

6 Restrictions would raise howls of p r о _ _ _ _ from defenders of free speech.

7 If something is palpable, it is obvious and visible. Relief is what you feel when you stop worrying about something. Why did the law-makers feel relieved?

8 If the flow of blood is unstaunchable, can it be stopped?

9 If you apply a Band-Aid to a problem, do you attack the real causes of the problem?

10 How many objections to the networks' plans are there in this paragraph?

11 Channel-surfing is another expression for z _ _ _ _ _ _.


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