In Brief

At a June 9 National Press Club briefing, "Digital television: sharpening the focus on children," co-sponsored by APA, Children Now and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), psychologists and legislators spoke on the effects of digital media on children.

APA members Sandra Calvert, PhD, of Georgetown University, and Dale Kunkel, PhD, of the University of Arizona, participated in panels that addressed public interest responsibilities of broadcasters, possible adverse effects of intrusive interactive programming and the educational and entertainment potential of digital media.

"We are looking at interactivity in relation to children's growing sense of identity," said panelist Calvert in her talk. "By knowing who children are and what they are searching for, we can understand how they interface with, and what they will choose to learn from, interactive media."

Other speakers at the event included U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein, Michael Copps and Kathleen Abernathy, who acknowledged that the FCC will need to work out rules and standards regarding children's digital television programming.

To keep such issues in the political fore, APA's Public Policy Office continues to lead, with Children Now and the AAP, the Children's Media Policy Coalition, a group that informs Congress and federal agencies about media influences on children.

--J. MCINTYRE