November 1st 2003

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: France and Italy address fertility crisis

EDITORIAL: Bushfires: why the nightmare will be repeated

CANBERRA OBSERVED : Reforming the Senate?

MEDIA: Packer's media-gambling alliance

HEALTH: Abortion-Breast Cancer cover-up continues

FAMILY: Preserving marriage in Australia

AGRICULTURE: Mandate ethanol or sugar industry faces collapse

LETTERS: Time for farmers to wake up (letter)

LETTERS: New TV code of practice (letter)

LETTERS: Special needs, special treasures (letter)

LETTERS: New use for sugar cane trash (letter)

LETTERS: Nuclear menace (letter)

HEALTH WATCH: The 'morning after' pill: coming soon to a school near you?

WATER: Federals distance themselves from 'The Living Murray'

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Jim Cairns remembered

COMMENT: SBS programming questioned by Vietnamese community

ASIA: Siberia - China's 'great game' to reshape Asian region

COMMENT: Don't forget the threat from North Korea

Hong Kong: next elections a test for Beijing

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New TV code of practice (letter)

by Robert Smith

News Weekly, November 1, 2003

Richard Egan's story "New TV Code's drastic cuts to 'G' program time" touched a chord with me (News Weekly October 4).

This may seem completely mad to some, but we turned the TV off fourteen years ago. Previously I lived in front of it, quite literally.

I have, for many years now, questioned how I found the time.

The most remarkable part of the exercise, however, is how perceptions change.

After many years, I was at a friend's home, and they had the box on. It was this moment when I first understood clearly, as an outsider, the degree to which people's intelligence is insulted and indeed manipulated.

These days, if we visit friends with our children and the box is on, we ask for a video that we agree to, or the box off. Sounds rude you say?

Is it any less rude to invite friends over and then constantly distract yourself, half listening to your guest? Or indeed insulting their intelligence as only the TV can.

Parents, if you love your children you will be greatly and diligently protective of what goes into their most impressionable minds.

And if you think you can't live without the box, you will find many that wonder how you live with it.

As for the codes, the blind have been leading the blind for years now, they have simply turned another corner, and many are the fools who will turn with them.

The real difference it makes to many, is dealing on a day to day basis with those desensitised to the beauty of life.

One would have to be blind not to see the damage the box has left in its wake. I thank God our children have been spared.

Robert Smith,
Picton, NSW

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