Channel One: When Private Interests and the Public Interest Collide

July 24, 2010

You can read this abstract or pay a fee to download the entire article, but the important point is the same one made by educational researchers since the creation of Channel One News: a school that has a contract with Channel One crosses a line that should not be crossed.


If the notion of public and private spheres seems somehow quaint or old-fashioned, the distinction between public and private corporations will be that much more obscure. Yet Channel One broadcasts in a public school classroom are indisputably the result of a contract between a private corporation (Alloy Media + Marketing) and a public corporation (a local school board). Public school administrators operate within a social and institutional context in which there often appears to be no line between private interests and public interests. The author argues that there is such a line and that public school administrators unwittingly cross it when they make Channel One–type deals. This article examines how the regulatory history of private corporations has shaped the social and institutional context in which public school administrators operate.