Television and America's Children

Television and America's Children : A Crisis of Neglect

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This book addresses what the author sees as the failure of children's television networks in America to provide adequate programming for their young viewers in the areas of education and information as well as entertainment. The author also criticizes the system for failing to provide sufficient funds for more and better programming, and for relying so heavily on repeats. After discussing the problems in some detail, the author offers the Children's Television Workship - which produced "Sesame Street", the undisputed model for children's television - as an example of the direction in which children's television should more

Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 142 x 208 x 26mm | 399.16g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195055403
  • 9780195055405

Review Text

A former vice president of the Children's Television Workshop deplores the paucity of children's TV programming in the US, explains how this sorry state came about, contrasts our situation with the many hours of educational, informational, and entertainment fare provided children in other industrial nations, and presents his proposal for improving the situation. As of now, the three major networks air no regularly scheduled weekday children's shows. The last - Captain Kangaroo - was cancelled in the wake of the 1983 rejection by the FCC of a proposal to require the networks to carry appropriate educational and informational children's shows. Palmer contends that the networks ignore children's programming (except for the Saturday morning cartoon "ghetto" and the pre-Christmas period) because advertisers are not interested in an audience with little or no buying power. Children and teachers must rely on one public TV network, and several paid cable channels that, says Palmer, reach a limited number of households and are too costly for low-income families. Contending that, dollar-for-dollar, TV "is the best educational investment around" (he cites a study showing its dramatic impact on reading and refers to other studies in footnotes), Palmer calls for the creation of three hours of age-oriented educational programming daily, to be aired on public TV. The $63.4 million annual cost (including $33.7 million in additional federal funding) comes to a mere $1.49 for each of the 42 million children in the 2-to-13 age group. An important subject, but given short-shrift by reiterated emphasis on the greed of the networks and the funding woes of public TV, which - it turns out - is wealthier than the BBC. Also, there is all too little here about the subject matter and formats of overseas educational programs, and nothing on their impact on learning. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

About Edward L. Palmer

About the Author Edward L. Palmer is an independent consultant for educational and health-related television programs. He is a former Vice President for Research at the Children's Television more