V-chip information Web site launched

3/23/01

Ottawa, - The Action Group On Violence on Television (AGVOT) today launched www.vchipcanada.ca, its consumer information Website. The site is specifically designed to provide Canadian families with practical information on the Canadian television program ratings system, V-chip technology and media literacy tools. The launch coincides with Canadian broadcasters beginning this month to encode their television programming with the Canadian program ratings for use with V-chip technology.

"The Canadian broadcasting and cable industries are leading the way together in equipping Canadians to determine what programming is right for their families," said Canadian Association of Broadcasters president and CEO, Michael McCabe. "The web site is a clearinghouse of information on V-chip technology and the Canadian program ratings systems in order to help parents and caregivers to determine the programming their children watch."

"Television possesses a tremendous capacity to educate, enlighten and entertain our children," said Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA) president and CEO Janet Yale. "We want to help ensure that children enjoy a safe and enriching television experience by providing families with practical tools, and by encouraging parents to become involved in their children's television viewing."

AGVOT, a coalition of broadcasters, cable companies, program producers and advertisers, was formed in 1993, following a conference on television violence and its effects on children. Under the leadership of Laurier LaPierre, current chair of Telefilm Canada and Trina McQueen, now president and COO of CTV Inc., the coalition developed program classification systems and conducted the world's most extensive field trial of the viewer control (V-chip) technology.

"Our goal is simple," said Al MacKay, current AGVOT chair. "Our focus is on self-regulation through the development of industry codes, and on providing consumers with information and technology to make their own decisions about what is appropriate for their families. This has included creating program classification systems, supporting the development of V-chip technology and providing relevant programming information to help ensure that younger viewers are protected from programming intended for adults, while at the same time, maintaining artistic freedom."



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