The National Association of Broadcasters has labeled the just-released government report on children's television as "incomplete" and "misleading," claiming the television industry has improved programming aimed at youngsters.
"During the 1970s, local television stations, networks and program syndicators have intensified their efforts to better serve children through innovative programming," said NAB Assistant General Counsel Brenda Fox.
The government report, by a special Federal Communications Commission task force, charged that the industry has failed to improve children's programming, as it promised it would do in commission proceedings in 1974.
The report called on the commission to initiate new regulations that would push the television industry to provide more children's programs.
The task force suggested forcing networks to air five hours of programming aimed at pre-school children during each week, and another 2.5 hours for grammar-school-aged youngsters.
"The report provides a distorted picture of broadcaster response to the call for children's programs," said NAB's Fox. She said that there have been "substantial improvements," in children's programming since 1970.
Fox also said that the FCC task force proposals raised serious First Amendment questions.
"The proposal to mandate program standards is totally unprecedented and rightfully so," she said. "The First Amendment mandates that government not impinge upon speech."
The NAB is a trade association with membership including 590 television stations, and the three television networks, besides the radio industry.