Bringing what programmers like to call a proactive approach to the issue of media violence, NBC News said it will embark on a major effort to examine the problem of violence in America, beginning early next year.All NBC News programs — including “NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw,””Today, “”Meet the Press” and the primetime news magazines — will be involved in the undertaking, and efforts will be made to incorporate NBC affiliates, as well. Programs will examine causes and manifestations of violence, as well as solutions and how other countries deal with the issue. NBC was sketchy regarding details of the endeavor, but network sources say the campaign may also be expanded to include other areas, such as the entertainment division. The network recently aired an episode of the sitcom “Blossom,” for example, that dealt with the issue of a teenager owning a handgun. Television executives, under siege in Washington regardingthe effects of media violence, have frequently asked critics to pay attention to the medium’s ability to put out positive messages and shed light on issues, as opposed to focusing on TV’s perceived role in desensitizing viewers by presenting violent images. There have also been calls for a wider angle on the subject of violence, a response that’s generally been met with skepticism on Capitol Hill, where officials feel the Hollywood community is simply trying to pass the buck as a means of blunting efforts to limit televised violence. ABC News has already taken similar steps, recently airing a children’s special dealing with their concerns regarding violence.
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