ITC to analyse violence on commercial television: TV watchdog's annual survey finds widespread public concern

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The Independent Online
THE Independent Television Commission is to make an immediate two-week-long analysis of the frequency and nature of violence on ITV, Channel 4 and BSkyB, writes Maggie Brown.

The commission, responsible for the standards of commercial television, says that it is witnessing public revulsion against violence in society.

The ITC's annual survey discovered that approximately 30 per cent of people found something offensive on ITV during 1992, compared with 28 per cent for Channel 4 and 26 per cent for BBC 1. Only 11 per cent of viewers cited violence as a source of offence on ITV and Channel 4.

Bad language and sex were more frequently cited as offensive. The ITC intervened on 14 occasions where it judged that violence was excessive or broke the rules. The commission is also concerned about the development in which real crimes become the basis for drama documentary reconstructions.

Viewers were becoming more sensitive about impartiality with 31 per cent who thought BBC 1 favoured one party (divided into 24 per cent who thought it was pro- Conservative, 7 per cent pro-Labour). This compares with 17 per cent who thought ITV favoured a particular party (8 per cent Conservative, 8 per cent Labour, 1 per cent Liberal Democrat).

The survey, Television: The Public's View, is based on 1,239 interviews and published at pounds 16 by John Libbey & Co Ltd.