Radio, TV law aims to shield minors

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, March 19, 2021
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A pupil in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, learns via an online course at home. [Photo/Xinhua]

Organizations that broadcast radio and TV programs should set up radio frequencies, TV channels, program sections or time periods specially for minors, according to a draft law on radio and television released recently for public comment.

At the same time, specialists should be in place and a committee to appraise and assess programs for minors should be established to protect children, and to prevent programs from being too commercialized, adult or entertainment-oriented, the draft said.

"For radio and TV programs with content that may have adverse influences on the physical and mental health of children, broadcast organizations should remind the audience in a distinct way and arrange the broadcast time in a reasonable manner," it added.

Public opinion on the draft will be solicited up to April 16, the National Radio and Television Administration said in a notice posted on its website on Tuesday.

With the rapid development of the radio and TV industries, some "chaotic" phenomena have occurred, increasing the need for related laws and regulations, the administration said.

The existing administrative regulations on radio and television mainly focus on the establishment of radio and TV stations and do not meet the demands of a new era, it added.

The law on radio and television was drafted to improve the high-quality, innovative development of the industries, the administration said.

Some netizens have expressed support on social media for steps to protect minors from some radio and TV content and also called for a movie-rating system to be set up in China to better protect children.

However, others queried the necessity of such rules, saying that "the majority of children don't watch TV or listen to the radio any longer".

Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Communication Law Research Center at the China University of Political Science and Law, said minors should be protected from harmful content and information in an all-around way.

"There are already laws and regulations to keep them away from harmful information like pornographic or vulgar online content," he said. "Although as technologies improve, radio and TV are no longer the major channels for children to access information, it's still important for laws to be there to protect them."

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