PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – The holidays are a busy time for movie-goers. Finding an age-appropriate movie for your child to see can be difficult using what some call a “vague” ratings system.

Common Sense Media is a website that gives parents a more in-depth age rating for movies, along with TV shows, video games, and other forms of media.

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Betsy Bozdech, the Executive Editor at Common Sense Media joined “The KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about why they feel their ratings system is needed, how they come up with their ratings, and why their website is not censorship.

Bozdech says one of the reasons Common Sense Media exists is because they wanted a ratings system that was the same across all kinds of media.

“There is no other organization that gives you the same rating basis for movies, for TV shows, for games, (and) for books,” Bozdech said. “In our opinion, the MPAA (movie) Ratings, while they can be useful, they don’t’ offer enough information or detail for parents who want a lot of information. TV ratings are assigned by the producers of the show so they are pretty subjective.”

Some claim that Common Sense Media is a form of censorship, but Bozdech disagrees.

“Sanity, not censorship. We are offering parents information to make their own decisions for their family,” Bozdech said.

Bozdech adds that Common Sense Media is a non-partisan and non-profit website.

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“We are coming at it from a development perspective. All of our ratings are rooted in child development situations where we talk to experts and ask them what’s common for kids at different ages and based on all of that, we can make a recommendation based on the amount of violence, sex, or language that’s in something,” Bozdech said.

In addition to giving an age rating that is deemed appropriate, Common Sense Media also describes what inappropriate words or situations are used along with positive messages that may be expressed.

Bozdech gives the movie “Life of Pi” as an example. She says the movie is rated PG like “Toy Story” or “Frozen.” Their website recommends an age of 12 as opposed to an age of 6 for the other movies because the main character in “Life of Pi” is in danger of being eaten by an animal and he sees his family die in a shipwreck.

For more information visit www.commonsensemedia.org

Listen to “The KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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