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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 00:06 GMT 01:06 UK
TV violence on the up
Coronation St
Soaps account for 5% of violence on television
Violence on television is increasing, especially in entertainment shows, a new study has found.

There were twice as many violent scenes in entertainment shows in 2001 as there were four years earlier, according to the Broadcasting Standards Commission.

Even arts shows saw a sharp increase in the amount of violence screened, as did soap operas.

Children watching TV
Some experts say TV violence rubs off on children
More violence is shown before the 2100 watershed than after for the first time since records began.

There was an average of 5.2 violent scenes per hour on UK TV in 2001, compared with 4.1 in 1998, the report said.

In light entertainment shows, the average was 3.7 per hour - up from 1.9 in 1998.

"The underlying year-on-year trends suggest that scenes of violence have been increasing across a variety of programme types," the report said.

News shows

The study was put together by the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Independent Television Commission and the BBC.

They monitored programmes on UK channels over two seven-day periods in 2001.

One of the periods was following 11 September, which contributed to news shows accounting for 24% of all violent scenes on screen.

Films accounted for 23% of all violence shown, drama for 15%, entertainment for 10% and soaps for 5%.

Effect on children

Soaps included an average of 3.4 violent scenes per hour in 2001 - compared with 2.2 in 1998.

Channel 5 was the most violent of all UK channels - but the report said this was mainly because it showed more films than its competitors.

Recent US research claimed children were more likely to become violent later in life if they had watched more than one hour of TV per day in their childhood.

But those findings were disputed by a UK expert, who said the study was "flawed".

The BBC's John Sudworth
"News programmes now account for a quarter of all violence scenes on TV"
Broadcasting Standard Commission director Paul Bolt
"It desensitizes people"
See also:

29 Mar 02 | Health
TV violence link disputed
29 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Teen TV viewing 'linked to violence'
30 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Viewers want children 'protected from TV'
23 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Violence is 'TV turn-off'
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