Geez, it's getting tough to be a parent. With all those junk-food ads on telly and porn sites on the internet, it's harder and harder to delegate child-rearing to a trusted grey box in the corner (The Age, 25/04/05)!
Children are neither discerning nor worldly media consumers. Lobbyists believe the answer is a (futile) attempt to render media safe for unsupervised children. Why not just ask parents to supervise their kids' use of media (including judicious use of the mute or "Close Window" buttons)? Parents and kids will get to know each other better, while parental patience will provide a natural brake on screen time. Plus, it's the best way to inform developing young minds about how advertising and consumerism work. This will help contain that modern curse of "pester power". Older children, once successfully "inoculated" against the worst excesses of consumerism, can begin enjoying TV and the web unsupervised.
Our media has to serve the interests of all Australians, including grown-ups. Let's not allow a few vocal, lazy or ill-informed parents in search of a conscience-soothing quick-fix hijack the future of media.