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January 1995, Week 4


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DOUG SIMPSON <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 24 Jan 1995 19:57:44 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Dan Hawthore writes >is television at all responsible for educating our
children and if so how can we trust profit-driven corporations to act
in our childrens best interest?
        Well, first I would like to address the education part.  TV,
as a social instrument, educates everyone, children included.  Whether
or not it does so directly or indirectly and what it teaches us and
our children is a different kettle of tube fish.  HOw it is used in
the home, at school, and in other areas depends I think on who turns
the TV set on, and what programming they choose to watch or have
younger viewers watch.  If TV is used as a passive instrument it can
be used the wrong way.  I think it is important to attach some
critical thinking to what is viewed, and children can learn (and have
learned) such skills, even at early ages.  This has been done in
media courses from elem. school up to and including grad. degree level.
        As far as trusting profit-driven corporations, well PBS was
an early leader in quality programming for and about children geared
to their age groups and intended to help them want to watch specific
messages and specific shows.  But they lost what edge they had on
that field starting at least ten years ago, and that programming arena
has shifted to channels like Nickelodeon, the Disney channel, etc.
Some may not agree that a profit-driven childrens TV channel like
Nickoledeon creates quality programming for children, but I think it
has done a remarkable job catering to what kids would like to watch
while maintaining quality.  I won't defend the other channels, since
I haven't studied their childrens programming schedules and their
viewpoints on trying to educate children in a positive way.
        Doug Simpson