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What You Can Do


What can you do about television? You can do plenty to change how it impacts your family. And you can do your part to try and change the direction the business has taken. Don't think that one person doesn't make a difference! Together, we can make a big difference.

Control Viewing  |  Join Changing the Channels!  |  Write Networks
Write Advertisers  |  Write Congress  |  Write the FCC

Control your Own Television Viewing


Don't be Passive! Talk back to your TV. Talk to your kids about what they see on TV. Use the V-Chip if your set has one, but don't put your full faith in it! Be aware of what your children are watching, watch with them.

Don't be passive about video games, either! Sit in on a game session with your child to see what the "action" is like. Don't buy your children games without scrutiny of ratings and some review of content.

Click on heading for more information

Join Changing the Channels!

You can make a difference by making a tax-deductible donation to Changing the Channels to support further maintenance and developmetn of this resource.

Write the Networks!

Write the networks if you consider a program (or the scheduling of content) particularly inappropriate. Be very specific, cite program, date, and time. Be clear about why you felt the content (or the scheduling of content) was inappropriate.

It's just as important to write the networks if you really like a program. Some fine programs hang by a thread and the axe falls early if there isn;'t viewer support. There are instances where viwer letters kept programs on the air even when their ratings weren't tops.

Write a letter, don't send an email. Letters are more trouble than phone calls or emails, so they are counted more heavily.

Unfortunately, writing the network is less effective that one would hope. Most of the networks have become less responsive to viewer mail, responding only to ratings and demographics that are defined by the advertising agencies.
Click here for addresses of major networks

Write the Advertisers!

It's more effective to write the advertisers! They are far more sensitive to consumer opinions than the networks are. Agaion, be very specific, cite program, date, and time. Be clear about why you felt the content (or the scheduling of content) was inappropriate. Don't be accusatory or nasty; in many cases companies buy blocks of time and may not be aware that their commercial ran during a specific program. If you feel very strongly about the issue, tell the company that you will no longer buy their product if they continue to sponsor the program you find inappropriate.

It's just as important to write the sponsor if you really like a program. Sponsors may pile more advertising dollars into a program that their target customers really like. Ratings alone aren't the only factor for some advertisers.

Write a letter, don't send an email. Letters are more trouble than phone calls or emails, so they are counted more heavily.
Click here for addresses of some major advertisers


Write Congress!
Let your senators and representatives know what you think about the state of television. Let them know what you think about enforcement of FCC and FTC regulations, and the effect that negative, exploitative TV programming has on children.
Find your Senator    |    Find your Representative


Write the FCC
Write the FCC to tell them what you think about the state of television. Let them know what you think about enforcement of FCC and FTC regulations, and the effect that negative, exploitative TV programming has on children.

Report to them negative effects of media consolidation, especially when you have observed these locally.

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

HOWEVER - be aware that the FCC does not regard a complaining letter as an official "complaint." An official complaint is more detailed and demanding of the consumer. Here are links that explain the complaint process:

Obscene and Indecent Broadcasts

Offensive Broadcast Advertising

False and Misleading Advertisments

Complaints About Broadcast Journalism

Children's Television Fact Sheet

Other FCC Fact Sheets

Please note that these links are on the FCC web site, and may change without notice. Click HERE to notify us of a dead link.

Email Addresses of FCC Commissioners