Survey Finds Smut-Reg Support

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A majority of Americans said the media has too much freedom. According to a new study, 49% of Americans said the media were too free, compared with 39% who said there was too much government censorship.

That was one of the conclusions of a new study on the First Amendment by think tank, The Freedom Forum.

There was less support for government censorship when it came to access to information on the war on terrorism. Fifty percent said there was too little access to that information, while only 15% said there was too much and 31% said the right amount.

On the issue of regulation of media content, a majority favor government regulation of media content, cable and broadcast, for everything except nighttime cable. Although a a vast majority said parents should do the media screening, they still wanted some help from government.

Currently, the FCC can only regulate indecent broadcast programming in daytime hours, and has no similar control over cable content at any time of day, though it, and many in Congress, have expressed an interest in regulating further.

The largest majority (65%) was for continuing to regulate broadcast TV during the daytime hours, followed by radio during the daytime (63%), followed by regulating cable during the day (55%), radio at night (50%), TV at night (49%), and cable at night (45%).

Still, despite all that acquiescence to government content control, 81% said that parents should be the ones "primarily" responsible for keeping inappropriate material away from children, with only 14% expecting broadcasters to do the heavy lifting, and only 5% saying it was up to government.

The study was a telephone survey of 1,002 respondents between May 6 and June 6, 2004. All positive answers were a combination of ("strongly agree" and "mildly agree").

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