British version of the Federal Communications Commission, will launch a study seeking to gain a sense of popular opinion about violence on TV in the U.K. The group has commissioned the independent
research with results scheduled to be made public next year.
Britain has rules affecting the type of violence that can be shown before the 9 p.m. “watershed” hour, including no
content “unsuitable” for children. Also, depictions of violence and its “after-effects” — whether “verbal or physical” — must be “appropriately
limited” and “justified by context.”
The research aims to provide a sense of “viewers’ attitudes” and “areas of particular concern” regarding
particular types of violence. Ofcom noted there has been a “lack of recent detailed studies” on the matter.
Word of the research came as Ofcom ruled the Channel 4 soap
“Hollyoaks,” launched in 1995 and targeting teens and young adults, violated regulations regarding violence on TV.
Ofcom received a complaint about a scene where a speeding
train killed a character. The viewer considered it overly violent as it ran close to 7 p.m. when many children might have been watching.
“Hollyoaks,” which airs each weeknight,
often deals with matters such as “sexual abuse, domestic violence and drugs.”