SAN FRANCISCO (CSM) - Even before their children are born, parents hear that TV is bad, bad, bad.

Still, TV is with us for better or for worse, and savvy parents can learn how to make the medium work for them and their children, whatever their age.

How do parents and grandparents navigate the world of broadcast, cable, satellite, video and DVD? How can they make sure that their voices and values are heard amid the din of media voices, good and bad?

The keys may lie in planning and vigilance.

American's children now spend more time with media - on average more than 45 hours a week - than they do either with their parents or in school. Parents and others have an urgent need for reliable, easy to use information about media content that comes from a perspective of sanity, not censorship.

Launched in May 2003, Common Sense Media has become than nation's leading organization of its kind, helping millions of parents, educators and young people themselves make better decisions about the media and entertainment in their lives. As a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, CSM exist to provide parents with trustworthy information to help manage their kids' media lives

Cmmon Sense Media exists because media and entertainment profoundly impact the social, emotional and physical development of our nation's children. Common Sense also provides parents and grandparents with tools as well as an independent forum so families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume.

Take the guesswork out of choosing media for your kids and grandkids. Common Sense gives viewers detailed reviews and resources on all the kinds of media kids are using today including: movies, TV, video games, music Web sites, books and magazines.

Common Sense Media publishes two booklets for parents - Keeping Kids Healthy in a 24/7 Media World: A Survival Guide for Parents and Keeping Your Kids Internet Safe and Smart. For more information, e-mail or call 415-863-0600.

For more information about Common Sense Media and online ratings, log on to