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Brownback Applauds Passage of Media Research Bill

Measure authorizes research into effects of media on child development

Contact: Brian Hart, John Rankin, 202-224-6521

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /Standard Newswire/ -- U.S. Senator Sam Brownback applauded Senate passage of a bill that authorizes research into the effects of media on the mental and social development of children.

“We do not know enough about the effects of electronic media on the development of children,” said Brownback.  “Children today are exposed to more media than ever before. Given the saturation of television, video games, and the Internet in the lives of young children, we ought to have a better sense of how electronic media affects children as they grow and mature.”

The Children and Media Research Advancement Act would authorize the Centers for Disease Control to provide grants for research focusing on the impact of factors like the format, length of exposure, age of viewers, nature of parental involvement, and venue in which media is viewed.  The research would cover all forms of electronic media, including television, movies, video games, and the Internet.

The CDC would present the findings to Congress and make recommendations on how to improve the development and learning capabilities of children.

Brownback continued, “The early stages of a child’s life are a critical to his or her development but we know little about how media affects them in these early years.  We need a thorough and empirical understanding of the effects of media on child development so that we’re not in the dark about what’s happening to our children.”

Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) cosponsored the bill, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent.

The Senators first introduced the bill in May 2004 with the endorsement of a broad array of child advocacy organizations, including the Children’s Digital Media Center, the Center for Media and Child Health at Harvard University Medical School, Children Now, the American Psychological Association, and Common Sense Media.

Senator Brownback is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the Judiciary Committee.