The Media Council for Children and Young People

 

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The present situation in Danish Film Censorship
The main tasks of the Media Council today
The Media Councilís most important messages
The composition of the Media Council for Children and Young People
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The present situation in Danish Film Censorship

In May 1997 the National Board of Film Censorship was abolished in favour of the Media Council for Children and Young People. The reason why this change was implemented was due to a change of attitude towards film and censorship. Thus moving from being an old "prohibition institution" to a new modern institution with a broader composition, and with more expansive commitments to protect children through user empowerment.

The change meant implementing new age limits, new parental guidance rules and a Media Council, where experts on children, scientists, professionals from the film industry and users together state the criteria for film classification, guide and inform the public and develop childrenís media competence.

The new attitude towards the protection of children is updated to meet the challenges and conditions of network society. It is based on the observation that children appear to cope with the new conditions and challenges of network society far better that adults do. Moreover, recent media research reveals that the media are an important resource for childrenís acquisition of knowledge of the world about them. Finally, a number of studies show that children who develop the largest number of media skills in the broadest sense manage the new conditions best in terms of their own social, cultural and psychological development.

 

The main tasks of the Media Council today are:

  • To lay down criteria for classification of films

  • To provide guidance and information regarding films

  • To take initiatives concerning the suitability of films

  • To assist the Minister of Culture in issues concerning regulations related to electronic games, children and the new media in general

  • To establish contact and dialog with TV stations etc.

  • To participate in Nordic co-operations

  • To monitor international development
 

The Media Councilís most important messages are:

  • Young children should be protected against vast amounts of raw violence

  • Children should learn to reflect on the content of what they spend time on

  • Parents, teachers and others should actively participate in developing childrenís media competence, and provide them with the relevant information to participate safely in our multimediated society
  • Media competence is developed not through prohibition but through knowledge and education

  • Users should have the opportunity to choose films and games based on a labelling system of guidelines rather that prohibitions

It is the Media Councilís understanding that watching films is an experience that children can use as a source of knowledge to develop and form their imagination, narrative skills and insight.

 

 
The composition of the Media Council for Children and Young People

The Media Council for Children and Young People consists of a chairperson and 6 members all appointed by the Minister of Culture.

Three members are experts on children, two have a thorough knowledge of the film industry, one represents the areas of culture, media and research. At least two members must have a pedagogical or psychological education or through their work have acquired special knowledge concerning problems related to children and young people. The chairperson and the experts on children form the Media Councilís Classification Board along with a number of substitutes with the equivalent thorough knowledge of children and young people.

The members are appointed for a period of three years with the possibility of one reappointment.