TRAC Joins Smart Television Alliance: "Don't just Talk Back -- Take Charge of Your TV"

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The Telecommunications Research and Action Center (TRAC) is proud to announce its membership in the Smart Television Alliance (STA), an organization dedicated to promoting quality children's television. TRAC encourages the public to take control of their televisions.

The market place is exploding with technology and tools for better viewing management. A smart household can now create their own

The Telecommunications Research and Action Center (TRAC) -- the consumer group founded on the theme "How to Talk Back to Your Television Set" -- is proud to announce its membership in the Smart Television Alliance (STA), an organization dedicated to promoting quality children's television. "It isn't about 'talking back' any more -- today the public has tools to take control of their television and what is offered in their homes, especially for kids," said Samuel A. Simon, Chairman and former director of TRAC.

"We joined the STA to encourage families to use information from trusted sources to identify shows that inform and educate children and to utilize technology to control what is on television and when it is watched," Simon said.

This summer, the STA is calling on busy parents and caregivers to monitor what television children watch, to make smart viewing choices, and to promote a balanced media diet. This is just the first initiative of a national campaign to engage parents to control TV and the media consumed in their households.

"Television is one of the most powerful mediums in the world. It can educate, inspire, and entertain our families. At the same time, the content of some TV programs may have a negative effect on children," said John Breyault, Research Director of TRAC. "The market place is exploding with technology and tools for better viewing management. A smart household can now create their own "channel" using technology from TiVo's KidZone, for example. Soon, companies like AT&T will be offering television services over the Internet that will provide parental control options."

"We have four recommendations we want to share with parents: communicate, control, recommend, and share. Applying these four can make TV a learning opportunity, instead of a mindless, unhealthy media diet of too much TV, and negative programming," said Susan Scanlan, Co-Chair of the Smart Television Alliance and President of the Women's Research and Education Institute.

The Smart Television Alliance is led by the National Council of Women's Organizations, the National Education Association, and the National PTA. Other members include the Afterschool Alliance, Association for Jewish Family and Children's Agencies, Coalition for Quality Children's Media: KIDS FIRST!, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health, Office of Communications Inc. of the United Church of Christ, RainbowPUSH, United American Nurses, WE Inc. and YWCA USA. Participating children's media experts include Parents' Choice Foundation, Common Sense Media, Parent's Television Council, and KIDSFIRST!

About TRAC

The Telecommunications Research and Action Center (TRAC), founded in 1968 as the National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting to preserve the public's interest in the public airwaves, is a non-profit membership organization based in Washington, DC. Today, under its new name adopted in 1983, TRAC promotes the interests of residential telecommunications customers. TRAC staff researches telecommunications issues and publishes rate comparisons to help consumers make informed decisions regarding their long distance and local phone service options.

About Smart Television Alliance (STA)

The Smart Television Alliance is a new coalition of national nonprofit organizations united by a shared commitment to improving what our nation's children watch on television. Our mission is to help parents and caregivers use technology, online tools, and program recommendations from trusted children's media experts to make smart television viewing choices. By promoting the viewing of educational and informational programming, STA will build a market for more high quality children's TV shows.

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