New Rules for UK TV Shows Featuring Children

July 26, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. feature (v.) 
[fee-cher] – to include;  to  contain
Example: The movie features a new actor who plays the hero of the story.

2. obsolete (adj.) [ob-suh-leetob-suh-leet] –not efficient, practical or useful anymore
Example: Emperor Meiji formed a new army that made samurai warriors obsolete.

3. reality (n.) [ree-al-i-tee] – a situation that is real or factual
Example: Movies about fantasy are far from reality.

4. exploit (v.) [ek-sploit, ik-sploit– to use someone or something in order to selfishly gain profit or benefit
Example: Many people believe zoos and circuses exploit animals for entertainment.

5.  producer (n.) [pruh-doo-ser, -dyoo-] –  someone who provides money and oversees the making of a movie, play, music album, or other such projects
ExampleProducers of the new TV show spent millions in making the project.

Read the text below.

After 40 years of no changes, the guidelines for TV shows featuring children are undergoing major changes in the UK.

Ministers have complained that the rules made back in 1968 are now obsolete and too complicated. The officials said the rules were made at a time when the UK had only three TV channels and reality TV shows did not exist.

The old rules required producers of TV shows to get licenses if their show featured children less than 14 years of age doing activities such as dancing, singing, or acting. However, the rules are not clear when it comes to reality TV.

Under the new proposed guidelines, licenses will also be required for reality TV programs in which children are shown in real life situations for entertainment or informational purposes.

In addition, TV producers will be required to show they follow strict policies to protect the safety and well-being of the children. Parents will also be held responsible for their children’s activities.

Ed Balls, the former schools secretary, had previously called attention to the need for   changes in the regulations regarding children appearing on reality TV. Mr. Balls feared that the rules no longer apply and that children were being exploited on reality TV shows.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What positive and negative experiences can children get from performing on TV or in movies?
·         Do you think children are being exploited on television nowadays? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What is your favorite TV program? Kindly describe it. Why do you like this show?
·         Do you like watching reality TV shows (e.g., talent shows with judges, cooking contests, dating shows)? Why or why not?


July 26, 2012