NCAC is organizing a panel for participating organizations and others interested in the related topics of TV ratings and Internet filters. The lunchtime panel, to be held in New York City, is slated for March 10, 1998.

TV networks, with the exception of NBC, recently broadened their “voluntary” ratings system from age-based to content-based, in an effort to avoid government-mandated ratings, an ever-looming threat unless the industry’s efforts are found “acceptable” under the V-chip legislation passed last year. Now, much the same process is taking place in the debate over childrens’ access to the Internet, as industry develops filtering devices and rating systems with the active “encouragement” of the White House and in the shadow of proposed federal legislation.

NBC’s executive vice president and general counsel, Rick Cotton, and Judith Krug, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, will discuss the parallels between these issues, along with others who will describe new legislative proposals and new developments in rating and filtering technology. Further details of the panel event will be publicized early in 1998.