Broadcasters have increasingly been making adjustments to their programming during horrific events when topics or references might be seen as upsetting to children. AWN polled a number of TV outlets catering to kids to see if any had decided to reschedule any episodes that seem questionable or inappropriate when many children are alarmed by the bombings and combat waging on in Iraq. Kid's WB! is not making any changes. Others responded:
"As we do when there is any major event such as death of a public figure or war conflict, we are monitoring our output and anything of a sensitive nature is being pulled from the schedules and will be re-scheduled at a letter date on CBBC."
Theresa Plummer-Andrews, head of acquisitions & co-productions, CBBC
"As yet there have been no changes to our children's schedule, although we are, naturally, keeping a close eye on events."
Hannah Thomas, head of press, S4C
"We have checked and will continue to check the content of our programming, with the view to amending our transmission plans should we detect potentially inappropriate material. To date we have not needed to change our plans, as we actively avoid commissioning or acquiring violent or aggressive programming for kids."
Trish Magee, head of development CiTV, ITV Network Ltd.
"Generally the Super RTL program is appropriate to the needs and requirements of our target group - children! So normally we don't have to care that we air programs, which contains too much violence or brutality, elements that are not particularly suitable in these days of war. But in addition, we proof and check carefully our complete program in order to find improper elements. Actually we changed a few episodes because they contain scenes that seem inappropriate. Delicate situations may be for example a plane crash, even if nobody gets injured or situations around weapons or explosions."
Thomas Babiel, editor of children's programming, Super RTL
"We will be operating business as usual - being the safe haven for kids. We recently aired a NNSE [Nick News Special Edition], THE IRAQ QUESTION: AMERICAN KIDS TALK ABOUT WAR. Linda Ellerbee and Lucky Duck are ready to do another if the situation warrants it."
Marjorie Cohn, SVP, Nickelodeon Productions
"We learned first-hand during the trauma of Sept. 11 that viewers, particularly parents, were extremely thankful to Cartoon Network for maintaining its programming schedule of light-hearted, escapist entertainment. Our programmers do, however, review all material before it is aired to be certain there are no images that might reflect real-world situations. Otherwise, we believe our mission should be to provide a safe place where kids (and adults, too) can turn to put aside their worries and concerns for a period of time."
Laurie Goldberg, SVP of public relations, Cartoon Network