People Have Become More Media-Wise

By: Dan Wooding; ©2001
More people today are recognizing the importance of making quality family movies, television and entertainment. Dan Wooding points out steps Dr. Ted Baehr and his organization have taken to prod Hollywood, and inform people on the entertainment that is available.



More people today are recognizing the importance of making quality family movies, television and entertainment.

For 16 years, MOVIEGUIDE® has been on the frontlines of this crusade, encouraging decision makers in Hollywood to make more positive movies and programs for the 55 million children in America age 0 to 13-years old and for the 170 million Americans who go to church in a typical weekend.

“We have grown tremendously,” says Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE® and chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission which pub­lishes MOVIEGUIDE®. “We now have about 80 million television impressions a month for our weekly television program. That’s nearly 17 million viewers!”

Millions of Americans across the country also had the opportunity this past Easter Sunday, April 15, to watch the 9th Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Awards Gala honoring the best, most family-friendly movies of 2000.

Dr. Baehr also reports that MOVIEGUIDE® Radio programs are now broadcast on about 60 stations and radio networks throughout the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, and Guam. They are also available on the USA Radio Network’s satellite feed, which consists of about 1100 affiliates, and on the Internet at

MOVIEGUIDE® reviews and articles are regularly published in newspapers across the country and on the Internet, at, which now features an on-line sub­scription to some of its archives and a new shopping section for movies, videos, books, and CDs that MOVIEGUIDE® recommends.

“The reason for all this expansion,” Dr. Baehr said, “is because people in general and Christians in particular have become more media-wise. We are expanding only because people want access to good quality information on how they can make wise decisions.”

Dr. Baehr added, “It’s also nice to see that people in the Hollywood industry, like those who came to our recent Gala, and those who want to make good productions, want to get the word out through us.”

MOVIEGUIDE®’s approach to Hollywood is based on a positive Christian outlook, Dr. Baehr said.

“We need to be in the Good News communications business,” he explained. “We are trying to help the people who are making good movies to get the word out about their films. The audience out there also wants to hear about the good movies. They don’t just want to hear about the bad stuff all the time.”

Dr. Baehr is also the author of an important book for parents concerned about the mass media’s influence on their children, The Media-Wise Family (ChariotVictor Publishing). He has been interviewed by Fox News, CNN, Oprah Winfrey, Entertainment Tonight, the New York Times, and countless other media outlets. Dr. Baehr also hosts the popular radio and TV versions of MOVIEGUIDE®’s reviews.

Every two weeks, MOVIEGUIDE® publishes 10 or more current movie reviews. MOVIEGUIDE® gears the ratings in the reviews to parents with children, but also provides information for the discerning adult viewer. The magazine and Internet versions include news from the entertainment industry, articles on movies, TV cultural trends and beliefs, and interviews with filmmakers such as Robert Duvall, Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, and Steven Spielberg.

“Many people don’t realize that the family audience represents at least 60 percent of the American population,” Dr. Baehr said. “As such, it is one of the nation’s biggest demo­graphic and marketing secrets.”

Dr. Baehr also noted that polls show that more than 170 million people in America attend church or synagogue on a typical weekend.

Dr. Baehr pointed out that Spy Kids, a recent family movie, has been whipping the competition at the box office.

“Everybody in Hollywood is wondering why, but it is because it was a little family com­edy that had a nice church scene in it and advocated good moral values. Every time this happens, Hollywood seems to be surprised.

“People are becoming interested in what MOVIEGUIDE ® is doing because they are be­coming more aware of the importance to make wise decisions about what they and their chil­dren watch. As the media grows and the number of channels increases, people in churches and synagogues are starting to wake up to another phase of cultural responsibility.”

Dr. Baehr noted that there have always been four perspectives within the Christian Church about culture:

1) Retreat from culture; 2) Live within the culture; 3) Fight with the culture; or, 4) Re­deem the culture.

“Today, I am glad to say, people are moving more from retreating from the culture, which doesn’t work very well in this over-crowded world, to being more redemptive. This leads to less fighting and wise decisions. We are here to help people do that.”

Each year around Oscar time, MOVIEGUIDE® hosts an Awards Gala in Hollywood. This event rewards the best family movies and TV shows of the previous year. It also rewards the best family-friendly films for mature audiences. At the Gala, Dr. Baehr presents a statistical analysis based on the magazine’s reviews. His analysis consistently shows that family-friendly movies with moral, biblical, or even pro-Christian stories usually make far more money at the box office on average than movies with excessive violence, foul lan­guage, nudity, explicit sex, and other content that strongly violates the traditional moral values and traditional Christian teachings.

“That does not mean, of course, that all R-rated or even PG-13-rated movies lose money, or that non-Christian movies never make any money,” said Dr. Baehr. “It does mean, however, that the mass media needs to do much more to reach the traditional church-going family audience if it wants to increase its profits. The entertainment industry can do this by making more family-friendly movies with traditional biblical values and tradi­tional biblical creeds and learning how to market them better.”

Dr. Ted Baehr, along with MOVIEGUIDE®’s staff and supporters, want to help industry leaders do just that, not only by analyzing trends and handing out awards, but also by consulting with filmmakers, industry leaders and publicists on various projects.

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