Novak (novak) wrote,

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Personal/Random: Channel One News

drea called my attention to this AP news story about Channel One, the news-for-teens that was pumped into our classroom every morning. The study is, naturally, rather dismaying, although with the ethical question regarding the station's advertising that it notes is raised, I wonder what the comparison is to the amount of news stories remembered by students at schools who don't use the service. While I agreed--with every other teacher I knew--that the advertising content of the service was something we'd rather not expose the kids to, I couldn't also help but notice that Channel One had some of the ballsiest foreign reporting in American newscasting, often beating out CNN and the Big Three, to my mind, for what situations they were willing to throw their reporters into. I can clearly remember Channel One being the first Western news team in Algeria for year toward the end of the civil war there, and young reporters running with a Hezbollah group for in-depth reporting in Lebanon. So, I grew kind of impressed with that gutsy global vision of theirs.

I looked just now on Channel One's website to see if there was any hint of the conspiracy theory letters my newspaper staff wrote to one of their reporters arguing that another reporter was trying to have the first reporter killed by his frequent assignment to violent areas, particularly after the episode where Cool Young Reporter Guy was in the middle of a Palestinian/Israeli army firefight, and instead of wearing kevlar like the other reporters, was dressed in a hot orange shirt and sunglasses appearing for all the world as "a kid looking for his skateboard" as I think my students put it. I didn't find that, but they do still have drea's Free Speech vs. Journalistic Professionalism article regarding one of our own alum's nationally-noted sophomoric style of attack on Bush.

Students Remember More Ads Than News

By CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Mon Mar 6, 6:17 AM ET

CHICAGO - Students remember more of the advertising than they do the news stories shown on Channel One, the daily public affairs program shown in 12,000 U.S. schools, a study has found.

Students reported buying — or having their parents buy — teen-oriented products advertised on the show, including fast food and video games, researchers said.

Schools that agree to show Channel One on 90 percent of school days receive free televisions and satellite dishes, a deal critics say turns students into a captive audience for advertisers. Nearly 8 million students see the program, according to Channel One's parent company, Primedia.

"The benefits of having Channel One in schools seem to have some real costs that should create an ethical dilemma for schools," said study co-author Erica Austin of Washington State University. The study appears Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Channel One CEO Judy Harris questioned whether the students' purchases were influenced exclusively by Channel One ads or by other advertising and the preferences of their peers.

"These children weren't in an isolation box," Harris said.

Advertising pays for Channel One's news, health and fitness content, Harris said. Advertisers don't influence the news content, and the company has high standards that keep ads appropriate for students, she said.

The show won a Peabody Award for reporting on Sudan's civil war last year. The 12-minute daily broadcast has 10 minutes of news and two minutes of either ads or public service announcements.

Channel One produces some of its own news programming, but it also airs Associated Press Television News video. Associated Press news service stories appear on Channel One's Web site.

Researchers surveyed 240 seventh- and eighth-graders at a school in Washington state. The students reported that during the previous three months they bought an average of 2.5 products advertised on Channel One.

The students remembered, on average, 3.5 ads compared to 2.7 news stories. However, they didn't remember much about either, retaining only 13 percent of the news stories and 11 percent of the ads shown during one week.

The principal of a Chicago Catholic school said free TV equipment is the reason her school signed up for Channel One. The equipment also is used for a student-produced school news program.

"It's one of the tradeoffs," said Maria High School Principal Sister Nancy Gannon. "You have to have the commercials in order to have that equipment available."

Maria High student Angela Young, 16, said she doesn't pay much attention to Channel One, which airs every morning during homeroom.

"When Channel One is on, I do my homework or I talk with my friends," she said.
Tags: education, ethical, media, personal, random, students, teaching

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