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Thu 23 Oct 2008 08:16 AM

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Satellite TV 'damaging Gulf children' - claim

Qatar to host regional symposium to debate effects TV content have on kids.

Satellite TV channels are playing a major role in damaging the minds of children in Qatar, it has been claimed.

The comments of Maryam Al Khater, deputy director-general, Doha Centre For Media Freedom came prior to Qatar's hosting of a regional symposium to probe the "destructive effects" of content broadcast by some satellite channels and other modern communication modes that target youths.

Educational, legal and social experts will discuss ideas to control the influence of satellite channels at the two-day symposium to be held in Doha next month, Qatar daily The Peninsula reported on Thursday.

She said the assembly is likely to recommend measures to counter the dangerous effects of certain TV channels that are corrupting the minds of impressionable young people.

"A plethora of satellite television channels are targeting impressionable youth purely for commercial gain," she told the paper.

"We are abusing our children by exposing them to satellite content that is damaging their minds. The younger generation should review its spending behaviour. Instead of spending money on intellectual pursuits and knowledge they are watching bad content and programmes."

Al Khater added: "We have to discuss, debate and take action on the dangers of bad content while balancing the rights of the media and its freedom. This is our greatest challenge now."

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The Consultant 11 years ago

I find it hilarious that an organisation called the "Centre for Media Freedom" is trying to find ways of controlling satellite TV. It's like the old "Ministry of Information" in Eastern Bloc countries that used to specialise in giving out no information whatsoever. Any symposium that is already starting from the position that satellite TV is destructive can hardly be described as objective or open-minded so I would be surprised if any inspirational ideas result from the meeting. Here are a couple of better ideas, instead of imposing authoritarian controls: 1) Encourage parents to actually control what their children watch on TV. 2) Encourage regional programmers to produce more stuff (in Arabic) that young people will actually want to watch.

marijke 11 years ago

It will be a very good idea if parents don't let their children spend all their free time behind tv and computer. Let them play and learn how to communicate and share with other children! It seems parents just leave their kids in front of the tv because it will keep the occupied for a few hours. When it comes to content of shows, maybe it will be a good idea if channels put an age advice to certain shows. And parents should at all times monitor what their children watch, it is their responsibility, not that of tv channels! Parents need to spend time and raise their children.