Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters
The Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters was a set of ethical standards adopted by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for television. The code was established on December 6, 1951. Compliance with the code was indicated by the "Seal of Good Practice", displayed during closing credits on most United States television programs from 1952 through the early 1980s.
The code prohibited the use of profanity, the negative portrayal of family life, irreverence for God and religion, illicit sex, drunkenness and addiction, presentation of cruelty, detailed techniques of crime, the use of horror for its own sake, and the negative portrayal of law enforcement officials, among others. The code regulated how performers should dress and move to be within the "bounds of decency". Further, news reporting was to be "factual, fair and without bias" and commentary and analysis should be "clearly defined as such". Broadcasters were to make time available for religious broadcasting and were discouraged from charging religious bodies for access. Most importantly, it limited the commercial minutes per hour.
A scholarly discussion titled "Self-Regulation and the Media" by Angela J. Campbell, (1999) examines media self-regulation and concludes that "Applying these five factors to digital television public interest responsibilities and privacy on the Internet, it concludes that self-regulation is not likely to be successful in these contexts." This is a well-documented report. 
- Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters Television History - The First 75 Years
- Associated Press. "BROADCASTERS DECIDE TO DISSOLVE THEIR RADIO-TV ADVERTISING CODES." Miami Herald, The (FL) 6 Jan. 1983, FINAL, FRONT: 19A. NewsBank. Web. 22 Feb. 2013.
- Collins, Bill. "CHANGES ARE FEW IN TV ADS." Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) 24 Feb. 1983, FINAL, FEATURES TELEVISION RADIO: C08. NewsBank. Web. 22 Feb. 2013.
- Text of the Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters
- The Television Code - Fifth Edition, March 1959 Complete with Interpretations and Amendments. Courtesy of J. Alan Wall's TV-signoffs.com