Mass Media and the Family

Adopted May 1974 – Revised October 2012 – Communications Commission

The California State PTA recognizes that the mass media exert a powerful influence on American life and make a major impact on the education of children and youth in our culture. Mass media includes materials or websites for reading, listening, viewing or entertainment.

PTA respects the rights of adults to choose their own entertainment and educational fare. However, since young minds are easily influenced, PTA believes that producers of mass media have a responsibility to consider how media messages, images and experiences affect children and youth. PTA encourages such responsibility among producers of mass media and advocates for technological tools and other options for parents to use to control their children’s exposure to material parents may find inappropriate for their children.

The California State PTA believes parents and the mass media each have a responsibility to provide positive experiences that enrich the lives of children and youth.

The California State PTA encourages parents to:

  • Guide their children in the choice of media products when selecting material for viewing, listening, reading, or entertainment;
  • Teach their children how to evaluate what they see and hear;
  • Be aware there are federal, state and local laws prohibiting the sale and distribution of obscene and/or pornographic materials to minors, and to inform the proper authorities when it appears these laws are being violated; and
  • Be knowledgeable about the availability of, and have the skills to use, tools to restrict access to media they find inappropriate for their children.

The California State PTA believes parents and the mass media each have a responsibility to provide positive experiences which enrich the lives of children and youth. PTA further believes that media literacy, including TV and video viewing skills, should be included in K-12 curriculum and in PTA parent education programs.

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