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|TV chiefs don't live in the real world...|
|11/25/00 at 19:30:13|
|One lunch time, i ended up standing next to Jon Snow in a restaurant. The chap is REAL tall!|
TV chiefs don't live in the real world, says Jon Snow
By David Lister, Media and Culture Editor
24 November 2000
The people who run television are accused today of being "relatively socially dysfunctional" by one of the industry's best-known faces – Jon Snow, the presenter of Channel 4 News. He says that they tend to have little or no contact with children. Because of that, they don't seem to care how the programmes they make might affect children.
Snow also reveals that television executives don't think of the 9pm watershed (before which programmes must be child-friendly) as a safeguard for young viewers, but as a constraint that they should try to get round if they can.
Giving the Young Minds annual lecture at the Institute of Child Health in London, Snow said: "The people who are involved in constructing what goes into the box really never think about children, other than those who make children's programmes ... There is no discussion about children. When you sit round the commissioning table the effect on children is not part of the discussion.
"The watershed is a moment that everyone is trying to break. It is never referred to as a safeguard but as a moment that places constraints on the programme makers ... The discussion is always 'can we get away with it?' This is a most extraordinary thing."
Looking at the lives of programme makers, Snow said : "Because their hours are so anti-social, very few people are connected to the community. They are relatively socially dysfunctional. The most so are highest up the pyramid. They have only got there by dedicating more hours than the next man (and they are mostly men). Most live a singular life or a partnered one that has no contact with children, and that makes for very little sympathy with or for in how the product may affect the child."
Snow said that children were watching television on a massive scale – 28 hours a week minimum – and he wondered what they made of "the exploitation of nakedness".
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