Role of Children's Television in the Global Marketplace

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Abstract It was not long ago that there was wide agreement among broadcasters, scholars, educators and parents concerning the ultimate goal of children's television programming: to educate. Today, it would be difficult to find even two people to agree on such terms. Popular opinion would lead us to believe that broadcasters now seek to exploit the youngest members of their audience--turning them into life-long viewers (and consumers). Scholars and educators woefully condemn television for the "dumbing down" of America. Parents, no longer present during all television viewing hours, may not even be aware of what their children are watching. When we add an international perspective into the mix, we inevitably invite phrases such as "cultural imperialism" and "globalization" into the arguments, complicating the issues even more. What is the role of children's television in the global marketplace, and perhaps more importantly, what will its future role be? While there may not be a definitive answer, there are voices raised in support and opposition of the medium daily and new trends emerge almost as frequently, making it a controversy impossible to ignore. Top of Page Issue Paper An International Perspective on Children's Television Programming: Examining the Phenomenon of Three Modern Programs What's wrong with Big Bird? One of the best-known American children's television shows is "Sesame Street." Most adolescents and young adults in the United States can trace at least some memories to the fictional street where Muppets and people somehow magically converged. "Sesame Street" is, however, a living, breathing example of globalization. Seen by more than 120 million children in 130 countries t... ... middle of paper ... ... "The Tao of Po." Design Week. 22 October 1999: 14-15. 13. Bukingham, David, et al. Children's Television in Britain. London: British Film Institute, 1999. 40. 14. Bukingham. 25. 15. "Teletubbies say 'eh-oh' to the Internet on Their First Official Web Site." http://www,pbs.org/insidepbs/news/tubbyweb.html 16. "Diaper Movies." The Economist. 3 April 1999: 75. 17 Linn. 18. 18. "The Tao of Po." 14-15. 19. Linn. 18 20. Sprague, Jonathon, and Mutsuk, Murakami. "Pokemon Power!" Asiaweek. Dec. 31, 1999/Jan. 7, 2000: 72. 21. Sprague. 72. 22. Jones, Malcolm, et al. "Is Pokemon Evil?" Newsweek. 15 November 1999: 72. 23. Jones. 72. 24. Nikiforuk, Andrew. "A Cure for Madness." Canadian Business. 31 December 1999: 30. 25. Sprague. 72. 26. Sprague. 72. 27. Buckingham. 101. 28. Mohr, Ian. "International Showgoers Chat up Co-Productions." Variety. 18 January 1999: N9.

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