Russia slaps censorship to save kids from harmful content

July 21st, 2011 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, July 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Call it the concern of the elderly for the young or the vestige of Communist era censorship, President Dmitry Medvedev has signed into law measures to ban prime-time TV showing or describing of catastrophes, accidents or situations that cause fear or panic among children.

The bill aims at protecting children under the age of 18 from harmful information in the media, both video and audio, as also printed material, including school books, the Kremlin said Thursday.

The bill is aimed against pornography, foul language, justification of the use of drugs, alcohol and smoking, the denial of family values, as well as excuses or justification for the acceptance of violence or cruelty. It states passing on such information should be strictly limited.

TV channels, including news stations, will be banned from broadcasting videos showing or describing accidents, crashes, catastrophes, diseases, or deaths, which can cause fear, terror and panic among children during prime-time (from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.). Daytime TV programmes should also be preceded by an age limit warning.

It also bans advertising such information in school books, child education centres, spa and sports organisations, cultural institutions, children recreation and health establishments, as well as forbidding their use within 100 meters from their properties.

The bill stipulates fees and administrative sanctions for those who disseminate any information of that kind through internet and other media. Any audio, print or video media with damaging information to a child must contain a special restricting sign.

The proposal for the bill was severely criticized by Russian media last year. But the government said it sought to ban any method of information, including school books, that may damage a child’s health or development.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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