FSF in short

A brief introduction to the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen

The Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen (German Association for Voluntary Self-Regulation of Television – FSF e.V.) promotes youth media protection in the fields of television and the Internet. It awards age ratings and offers a forum for social and academic debate on issues of youth media protection, media ethics and the development of programming. The FSF has been an official state-approved self-regulation institution operating within the system of regulated self-regulation since 2003.

Media classification

One significant remit of the FSF is the appraisal of television programming in terms of youth protection, based on the German Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors in the Media (JMStV).

Expert independent examiners decide on the legality and age ratings of television programmes and comparable Internet content, with particular emphasis on the limits placed on the depiction of violence and sexuality.

Youth protection hotline

Audience complaints and enquiries about issues relevant to child protection are handled by the FSF Complaints Office. Potential offences are passed on to an examining board.

Media education

The FSF prepares material on media-related topics and conducts media education projects, acting as an advice and counselling centre for questions on how children and adolescents use the media.

Events

Within the framework of its two conference series, medien impuls (media impulse) and Sommerforum Medienkompetenz (Summer forum on media skills), the FSF offers a discussion forum covering both academic topics and problems in dealing with media, primarily when it comes to children and adolescents.

The annual summer forum also includes the presentation of the medius, a prize for academic theses on media-related topics.

Training

Our practically oriented training activities for TV and telemedia providers offer information about current developments and solutions in youth media protection. They raise awareness of youth protection issues, which can then be taken into account at the production or programme purchasing stages.

Publications

The FSF publishes tv diskurs, a journal dedicated to the media and youth media protection. It is also involved in the publication of books and the preparation of educational DVDs designed to encourage discussion of media science and related topics.

There is also a comprehensive media archive, where virtually every FSF publication is available to download alongside lectures and films of FSF events.