Middle School Teachers Are Urged To Turn Off Channel One

September 21, 2001
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The terrible tragedy in our country underlines one of the most serious problems
with Channel One.

Channel One officials have always considered sixth grade students the same
as high school seniors. In order to maximize their profits, Channel One delivers
the same "newscast" to middle schools as they do high schools. To
Channel One, the sensitivities of a 11-year-old watching their "news show" are
no different than an 18-year-old about to go off to college.

Because of pressure from Obligation, Channel One removed PG13 movie ads
from their middle school signal.  They presently broadcast their ads for
violent, sexually-charged and drug comedies to children 14 and older. (Obligation
continues its efforts to stop Channel One from advertising age-inappropriate
movies to children.  They have been unresponsive.)

Channel One has the ability to present a different newscast to younger children,
but that would be costly. It is a cost Channel One has avoided for ten years.

Obligation has not reviewed Channel One’s shows since our national tragedy.  We
expect the tapes very soon. The video feed of their daily news show hasn’t
worked since the first of the school year. Obligation has reviewed several
of the daily scripts posted on the teachworld.com web site.

A child who is forced to watch Channel One is getting a steady diet of awful
news. That is unavoidable if the entire show is devoted to the tragedy which
Channel One is doing. Many parents may not want their child to start their
day with Channel One’s TV show filled with images of destruction and death.

This is why Obligation urges all teachers, especially teachers in middle schools,
to turn off Channel One.  Let parents control what their children see,
not some marketing company that is playing at being a news-gathering organization.

Here is one example of how Channel One is needlessly frightening its captive
audience of children.

Here is the opening lines from Channel One’s script for September 13:

(GOTHAM ON CAM)

HI EVERYONE, I’M GOTHAM CHOPRA REPORTING FROM THE SITE OF AMERICA’S MOST
DEVASTING TERRORIST ATTACK. I’LL TELL YOU THE LATEST IN THIS TRAGIC STORY.

IT’S THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13TH AND YOU’RE WATCHING CHANNEL ONE NEWS.

[TALENT=GOTHAM]

(GOTHAM on cam)

ON THE DAY AFTER THE LARGEST TERRORIST ATTACK IN AMERICAN HISTORY, THE MOOD
HERE IN NEW YORK WAS ONE OF DESPERATION.

Notice Channel One’s choice of "desperation" to describe New York
City. Jim Metrock, Obligation’s president, and Pat Ellis, Obligation’s Education
Director, were in New York City for a summit on commercialism issues and to
award Channel One a "Have You Lost Your Marbles" award for their
misuse of a captive audience.  (We will have more on this award later.
The award presentations happened on Monday, September 10.)

Jim Metrock said, "Mrs. Ellis and I were stuck in New York when the airports
were closed.  We were in New York City on the day of the attack and the
next day. ‘Desperation’ was a reckless and totally wrong word. New Yorkers
were not ‘desperate’ at all. The day Channel One’s reporter was talking about
(September 12) was a day that had people walking around the streets and taxis
cruising the streets. I walked by a construction site that has ironworkers
working on a new building. I stopped by Macy’s to get some clothes and the
department store had people shopping like normal. The tragedy was horrific.  Both
Mrs. Ellis and I saw the second World Trade Tower fall. We were numb. There
was no need for Channel One to make a horrible situation worse for the impressionable
children forced to view their TV show. Mr. Chopra is not a journalist but he
must have known he was misleading children by his reckless choice of words."

Whether Channel One misleads or not, they must come to grips with the fact
that they can no longer broadcast one news program for an audience that is
so different.

No textbook can be age-appropriate for a child 11 and for a senior 17. No
TV show like Channel One can be appropriate for that same age range.

Metrock said, "Teachers would be prudent if they just turned Channel
One off for the next few weeks. They just might discover that a classroom is
better without a blaring TV. Especially one filled with terrible human suffering.  Their
students can get their news at home with parents that know them much better
than teachers."