Centacare says parents should monitor children's TV viewing

Parents need to be more alert to what their children are watching so they can stop them from viewing "degrading reality television shows" like Big Brother, according to the manager of Sydney Centacare's school counselling program.

The Catholic Weekly reports that the manager, Virginia Banks, says she is concerned that primary school children are being allowed to watch the 9.30 pm Big Brother Uncut on Channel 10 which contains nudity, coarse language and lewd discussions about sex.

Irate parents have jammed talkback radio station switchboards demanding that the show be axed. Government MPs have also received complaints about the graphic content of the show, with Communications Minister Helen Coonan stating she would be writing to the Australian Broadcasting Authority to clarify issues relating to complaints about the program.

Ms Banks says parents need to censor what their children are watching.

"The feedback we're getting from kids is that they love to watch Big Brother because it's rude and they are talking about the show at school," she said.

"That's a real concern and parents need to start to heed the warnings.

"Primary school children should be in bed at 9.30 pm, so what on earth are they doing staying up to watch such a degrading program like Big Brother?

She added: "We are trying to instill values into children and a show like Big Brother does nothing but highlight inappropriate behaviour.

Meanwhile Bishop Julian Porteous told the Catholic Weekly that Big Brother is "demeaning to human relationships and sexuality".

"The show lacks any redeeming quality and people have every right to express their strong objection for this kind of material being shown on television," he said.

"Big Brother makes no positive contribution not even at the entertainment level.

"It's just voyeurism and sends out the wrong message about respect, love and dignity between the sexes."

'Parents must monitor children's TV viewing' (Catholic Weekly 3/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Big Brother
Archdiocese of Sydney: Bishop Julian Porteous

World Youth Day rejects Big Brother's offer (CathNews 17/6/05)
British know Big Brother winner but not church leader (CathNews 9/9/03)
Vatican newspaper says Big Brother is 'useless and parasitical' (CathNews 31/5/03)
Church spokeswoman warns on TV's 'Big Brother' (CathNews 28/4/02)

'Binge drinking' rife among teenagers (Catholic Weekly 3/7/05)
Child support moves welcomed, but ... (Catholic Weekly 3/7/05)

30 Jun 2005