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By ROGER SIMON DDTCCO: ROGER SIMON | June 2, 1991
BOSTON -- By 1988, the average television viewer in America had the set on for six hours and 59 minutes each day.That's quite a lot considering we use part of each day for non-essential things like eating and sleeping and brushing our teeth.In a single week, the average viewer sees about 1,000 TV commercials. And this, I always figured, is how television sells us things.But I was only partially correct. As I learned from listening recently to George Gerbner, dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, television sells us things much more profound than products and in a much more powerful and subtle way than through commercials.
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NEWS
By Joe Burris and Joe Burris,SUN REPORTER | December 2, 2007
Teddy P. Brains doesn't wear baggy jeans that droop below his waistline. Nor does he sass his elders, make trouble for his teachers or speak in slang-laced broken English. However, the 6-year-old African-American animated cartoon character does talk of being a marine biologist when he grows up. He's the valedictorian of his elementary school, where his favorite subject is math, and he enjoys traveling to exotic lands. Your child could learn much from him. Or at least that's the hope of Philadelphia-area video producers Eugene Haynes and Joseph L. Lewis III, creators of the DVD The Adventures of Teddy P. Brains, which was released in April.
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NEWS
By Anna Quindlen | October 16, 1990
LIKE the chorus at a revival meeting, four children are sitting in the back seat of the car, swinging and swaying and singing along with Tom Chapin, longtime folkie and inveterate environmentalist: "Someone's gonna use it after you. Someone needs that water when you're through."These are the adults of the 21st century, and they know all the shalt nots by heart. Here are the AnnaQuindlenbad things: Pollution. Litter. Smoking. Drugs. Drinking. Homelessness. Wasting water. Killing trees.They save whales and rain forests with their allowance.
FEATURES
By Lynn Smith and Lynn Smith,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 15, 2005
In December, PBS President Pat Mitchell predicted in a routine speech that 2005 would be a transformational year for public broadcasting. She couldn't have known that an animated rabbit would become an agent of change. Yet Postcards From Buster, a gentle children's program that was to have shown a real-life Vermont family with lesbian mothers in one episode, has in some quarters emerged as a powerful symbol of what's wrong with PBS these days. And for once, it's not the attacks from the right that rankle.
NEWS
March 24, 1994
Go ahead and snigger at Barney, the big, purple dinosaur. Mock the Muppets. Blanch at Big Bird. If you're reading this editorial, chances are you're an adult -- and you just don't get it. Children's programming on public television is to pre-schoolers what canine whistles are to dogs: You might not be able to detect the message, but the kids can. And if recent trends in broadcasting are any indication, they're eating this stuff up.Public television nationally...
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | October 13, 1991
Instead of Hammerman and the Ninja Turtles, many viewers found anchormen Peter Jennings, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw when they turned on their televisions yesterday morning.TV viewing habits were disrupted yesterday in millions of homes when broadcasters pre-empted Saturday morning children's programming to resume full-court-press coverage of the confirmation hearings of Judge Clarence Thomas. But things returned to a more normal state of video affairs by mid-afternoon when ABC, NBC and CBS abandoned coverage of Judge Thomas' testimony for college football and professional baseball.
NEWS
August 31, 1994
It took years of tireless activism to pass the Children's Television Act of 1990 into law. Getting the broadcasting industry to take it seriously could take even longer. Old habits die hard, and some critics charge that the law's provisions are excessively vague. But no one doubts that television has become a pervasive influence in the lives of American children, an influence that ought to get more scrutiny.Maryland is paving the way for better scrutiny of children's TV -- and doing so in a way that ought to please all sides of the ideological spectrum, from critics of heavier federal regulation to those who want the government to be even more aggressive in setting standards for children's programming.
NEWS
By CLARENCE PAGE | December 1, 1992
Washington.--No wonder Vice President Quayle wears the scorn of the cultural elite like a badge of honor. Yes, now that he also has felt the scorn of America's voters, let us give young Danforth his due.Sure, Mr. Quayle sometimes sounded pretty silly, but his remarks always resonated with at least a kernel of truth. In fact, he flattered the poobahs of American television by calling the culture they put on an ''elite.''This elite is trying to put a high-brow gloss on some pretty low-brow stuff, judging from a recently released survey by a coalition of consumer groups looking at what 58 stations filed with the FCC as ''educational and informational'' programming for children.
FEATURES
By Lynn Smith and Lynn Smith,LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 15, 2005
In December, PBS President Pat Mitchell predicted in a routine speech that 2005 would be a transformational year for public broadcasting. She couldn't have known that an animated rabbit would become an agent of change. Yet Postcards From Buster, a gentle children's program that was to have shown a real-life Vermont family with lesbian mothers in one episode, has in some quarters emerged as a powerful symbol of what's wrong with PBS these days. And for once, it's not the attacks from the right that rankle.
NEWS
August 3, 1996
RUN YOUR FINGER down the daily television listings and it's hard to say that the offerings geared toward adults are any more enlightening or educational than the baleful fare aimed at children. But at least there is plenty of it, and it's available all day long.Except for the oasis of public television, children's programming is short on both quantity and quality. As a result, too many young Americans spend time watching shows full of sex and violence grossly inappropriate for their age. The few good shows designed for children are often relegated to off-hours less in demand by advertisers or pre-dawn time slots when few children are watching.
NEWS
By Daniel Lyons and Daniel Lyons,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 23, 2003
IT'S THAT TIME of year again. Unsatisfied with its $390 million annual grant from Congress, PBS has begun interrupting Sesame Street reruns and documentaries on Armenian culture to continue its relentless pursuit for private donations. This year's efforts have been particularly intense, given the cost of complying with the Federal Communications Commission's requirement that stations convert to a digital broadcasting format. Congress provided an additional $48.7 million to aid that transition, but public broadcasting officials have estimated the conversion's total price tag at nearly $1.7 billion.
NEWS
August 3, 1996
RUN YOUR FINGER down the daily television listings and it's hard to say that the offerings geared toward adults are any more enlightening or educational than the baleful fare aimed at children. But at least there is plenty of it, and it's available all day long.Except for the oasis of public television, children's programming is short on both quantity and quality. As a result, too many young Americans spend time watching shows full of sex and violence grossly inappropriate for their age. The few good shows designed for children are often relegated to off-hours less in demand by advertisers or pre-dawn time slots when few children are watching.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik | January 9, 1996
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting yesterday announced it will provide $4.2 million to help fund two new series for preschoolers and their parents.While the money is news in its own right, since it will be matched by another $4.2 million from the U.S. Department of Education, what's unique about the project is the effort by public television to help parents become more involved in their childrens' television viewing.In addition to the new series -- "Dragon Tales" (for children 2 to 5 years of age)
FEATURES
December 7, 1995
The Maryland Campaign for Kids' TV yesterday honored four stations with its first annual awards for quality children's programming. Winners were Baltimore's WBFF (Channel 45) and WMAR (Channel 2), Washington's WBDC (channel 50) and WHAG (Channel 25) in Hagerstown.WBFF won for Outstanding Locally Produced Special Children's Program, "Safety Patrol Sports Special," and Outstanding Locally Produced Public Service Announcement, "Fox 45 Safety Patrol PSAs." WMAR won for Outstanding Locally Produced Regularly Scheduled Program, "Fast Forward."
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | September 22, 1995
The article in yesterday's Sun on a media group's evaluation of educational children's TV in Maryland inaccurately reported the number of hours of such programming individual stations broadcast weekly. The correct numbers are: WFTY-Channel 50, 6 hours; WMAR-Channel 2, 3 hours; WBAL-Channel 11, 3.5 hours; WBFF-Channel 45, 3 hours; WJZ-Channel 13, 2 hours and WNUV-Channel 54, 4 hours.The Sun regrets the errors.Baltimore's TV stations are still underachievers when it comes to children's television, but they are making slow progress in their educational programming, a media watchdog group said yesterday.
NEWS
July 4, 1995
In the past few years, Maryland Public Television has evolved from an Ice Age for children's TV into a habitat where purple dinosaurs thrive.Barney, the tyrannosaur character that is an icon for the '90s pre-school set, helped MPT officials roll out their latest children's programming initiative this spring. Last month, MPT launched "Ready To Learn," a series of short segments between programs to impart lessons to children on topics such as conflict resolution. The feature, which has been used on other public TV stations, augments several other child-oriented initiatives MPT has added in recent years -- an increased line-up of shows for youngsters, training for day-care providers, interactive satellite link-ups between classrooms and its own productions for national distribution.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik | January 9, 1996
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting yesterday announced it will provide $4.2 million to help fund two new series for preschoolers and their parents.While the money is news in its own right, since it will be matched by another $4.2 million from the U.S. Department of Education, what's unique about the project is the effort by public television to help parents become more involved in their childrens' television viewing.In addition to the new series -- "Dragon Tales" (for children 2 to 5 years of age)
FEATURES
By Daniel Cerone and Daniel Cerone,Los Angeles Times | September 7, 1993
ABC, responding to concerns from stations across the country that the network's new Saturday morning cartoon, "Tales From the Cryptkeeper," might be too scary for young children, has decided to replace the rotting, cackling corpse puppet who was going to introduce the show with a milder, animated version in striped pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers.As an additional precautionary move, ABC is developing a "viewer guide package," with the help of a child psychologist, to detail what it says are the educational elements and morality tales in each episode.
NEWS
By CAL THOMAS | January 23, 1995
Washington. -- The Public Broadcasting System is battling to remain on taxpayer life support. It has flooded its own airwaves with self-promoting montages of its best programming that conclude with the rhetorical question, ''If PBS doesn't do it, who will?''None of these spots shows excerpts from any of PBS' most controversial programs, including some that have promoted left-wing and one-sided views on domestic and foreign policy issues. PBS is trying to sell a tragic image -- the immediate death of Barney and Big Bird if the tax-revenue plug is pulled.
NEWS
August 31, 1994
It took years of tireless activism to pass the Children's Television Act of 1990 into law. Getting the broadcasting industry to take it seriously could take even longer. Old habits die hard, and some critics charge that the law's provisions are excessively vague. But no one doubts that television has become a pervasive influence in the lives of American children, an influence that ought to get more scrutiny.Maryland is paving the way for better scrutiny of children's TV -- and doing so in a way that ought to please all sides of the ideological spectrum, from critics of heavier federal regulation to those who want the government to be even more aggressive in setting standards for children's programming.
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