Former FCC chairmen join digital kids task force

Common Sense Media launches a national campaign to help educate parents and teachers about the effect of digital media on kids.

Common Sense Media, a pro-families group, said Wednesday that it launched a national campaign to help educate parents and teachers about the effect of digital media on kids and teens. The campaign, called the Digital Kids Task Force, will develop education programs, technology to help kids learn online, and a research program to study the Web's impact on children.

The task force was unveiled in partnership with former Federal Communications Commission chairmen Michael Powell, Will Kennard, and Newton Minow, according to Common Sense. Other founding members of the group include Gary Knell, CEO of the Sesame Workshop; former California State Sen. Rebecca Morgan; and Richard Barton, CEO of

"We're launching the Digital Kids Initiative so that parents and educators can make sure that kids get the best, and avoid the worst, of this new media world," Common Sense founder James Steyer said in a statement.

The group will meet with Washington, D.C., lawmakers this week to discuss funding for the project. The talks will come as the FCC prepares to auction off newly available broadcast airwaves that will allow TV programmers to offer more wireless Web access to the public, including children. Members of the Digital Kids Task Force say that some of that spectrum should be dedicated to educational programming for kids.

"We are in a new age of communications, and in order to help parents keep their kids safe and smart, we must introduce them to 'digital hygiene' by teaching them the proper rules for communicating in the digital era," Powell said in a statement.

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