Hip-hop hearing

Hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons made an unscheduled pitch for rap artists at a Senate hearing on kids' exposure to sex and violence via the media.

He appealed from the audience to Government Affairs Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman to testify on behalf of rappers, saying that raps with violent messages have brought attention to social ills, such as racial profiling.

Lawmakers questioned whether there is sufficient evidence that media violence contributes to violent behavior. "We need to make sure we're dealing with the most accurate science we have," said Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.).

FCC gets reprieve on 3G spectrum allocation

The FCC has received a reprieve from its July 31 deadline for ideas on reallocating spectrum for "third-generation" wireless technology and may ask Congress to relax the Sept. 2002 auction deadline for new 3G spectrum. FCC officials said last week the extra time is needed to better coordinate efforts of the various federal agencies participating in the reallocation effort.

Study on v-chip use

Lack of awareness may be stifling V-chip use, the Kaiser Family Foundation said last week. Among parents who know their sets contain the V-chip, 36% have programmed their sets to block shows they don't want their children to watch. But only about 17% of parents who own sets with V-chip technology are using it.

The study also found that a majority of parents consult ratings to decide on suitable programs.