Douglas County, Georiga

August 12, 2003

Atlanta Constitution (July 31, 2003)

One channel
worth changing


Are Channel One’s features
and advertisements inappropriate for middle and high schoolers?

We live in a day where passwords
are required for televisions and computers to ensure that children
have a safe environment for
and Internet options. With technology rapidly growing, and lives
changing as a result, it is not surprising that school systems
have tapped into these vast resources for educational purposes.

The use of television and the Internet in schools for educational purposes
is not, however, risk-free: Is the school system using children to
benefit itself while placing a "For Sale" sign on their
minds for advertisers?

For example, Channel One is a telecast seen daily by middle and high
school students across America. Purporting to be a news show, it
is 12 minutes long — but its contents and advertisements are questionable.
Its commercials range from junk food ads to those for PG-13 movies
packed with sexual innuendo, profanity and violence. The show has
a teenage host, which makes it more likely that students will pay
attention to it.

Channel One also promotes its Web site during every show. Through the
site, students are asked their views about certain issues and can
take "pop quizzes" about the shows advertised at school.
The Web site also encourages students to listen to specific music
and watch specific movies to prepare for the quizzes.

Channel One also has special co-hosts, including punk-rock band members.
Among bands featured: B2K, whose songs contain sexual lyrics; Linkin’
Park, whose lyrics contain profanity; self-proclaimed Satan worshiper
Marilyn Manson; and Pond Monkeys — one of their songs ridicules
the Christian church.

The movies and TV programs advertised on Channel One are another form
of corruption to which students are subjected. Several PG-13 movies
promoted in the name of education include profanity, sexual innuendo
and violence.

The school system removed prayer from school, claiming it was offensive
to atheists who were forced to hear the recited prayers. Is it not
logical, then, that music filled with violence, sex and suggestive
language is equally offensive to those students who do not want to
hear it?

The real issue is money. Christian students who wanted to pray over the
school intercom did not provide TV systems and computer networks
in exchange for allowing it. Channel One, however, did provide such
systems and networks in exchange for a contract agreement that subjects
all students to their telecast in the classroom.

Channel One is more interested in the money from advertisers than in
the presentation of accurate and dependable news. A one-minute commercial
on Channel One is not only highly priced, it is also highly desirable
because of the audience. The fact that Channel One has a larger teen
audience than any other show on television makes their advertisement
slots "prime time" in price. Channel One is not informing
American students about current world affairs, but is instead purchasing
their minds and calling it education.

The public voice must be heard on this subject. The challenge to you
is to write your school board and demand the removal of Channel One
from classrooms. If you don’t get board members’ attention, then
go to the polls during the next election and vote them out.

We must change the direction of our educational system or nobody else

Josh Buice , a Web and graphic designer, lives in Douglas County