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North Hollywood : Conference to Explore Television Violence

VALLEY FOCUS

February 20, 1996|KATE FOLMAR

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has received a $600,000 grant from Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts to present a daylong conference about violence in scripted, prime-time and children's television programming.

ATAS spokesman Murray Weissman said the date of the conference has not been set yet because invitations have been sent to President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Senate Majority Leader and GOP presidential hopeful Bob Dole, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Education Secretary William J. Bennett.

The conference, to be titled "Television's Impact on Society," will be held before the November election, Weissman said.

"From Dan Quayle's 'Murphy Brown' speech to President Clinton's State of the Union to Sen. Dole's recent remarks, American television has repeatedly held center stage in the national debate," said ATAS President Richard H. Frank. "But never before has a single forum been held to fully air this issue and all its ramifications. The academy is presenting such a forum."

The Pew grant also allows for follow-up meetings with broadcast and cable networks, writers and producers over the next two years. Two awards will be created under the grant to recognize the efforts of professionals in the industry to reduce TV violence.

According to the conference's mission statement, the goal is not to reach consensus but to provide a "neutral forum" for debate on the issue.

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