Less violence in picture for Britain’s TV viewers

Worried by growing violence in society, British television is vowing to screen less crime and brutality.

The British Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday announced revised guidelines for programmers.

The same day, the Independent Television Commission told commercial TV companies to cut the amount of violence they screen.

Companies who ignore the ITC guidelines can be reprimanded or in the worst cases fined.

The BBC included no enforcement provisions, but the private network could edit offending segments or censor entire programs.

U.S. programmers are grappling with similar issues. The four U.S. broadcast networks, hoping to block government interference, have agreed to air parental warnings before certain shows.

The ITC regulates Britain’s commercial ITV network. The BBC is funded by license fees paid by viewers.

The ITC guidelines say “violent images are becoming increasingly available to news editors,” and that TV news bulletins should take account of the time they will air.

The BBC guidelines say viewers should be given more information about what programs contain before screening. The BBC also called for sharper awareness of how sexual violence and violence against women are portrayed.

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