The people that students are forced to watch.

May 3, 2011

These Channel One News "reporters" have an audience ONLY because schools, under force of Channel One's onerous contract, must show the program 90% of all school days.


Observations from Jim Metrock:

I have been watching Channel One News on-air personalities since 1996.  I offer my opinions about the current and hopefully last crew.

Shelby Holliday – Working at Channel One may be her peak achievement in the news world. Sometimes her delivery is painful to watch. She repeats all the words on the teleprompter, that’s true, but that’s about it.  Her unusual style may work with a captive audience of children, but…

Jessica Kumari – Why is this young woman still here? She is a natural in front of a camera. She is the only one that has the gravitas needed for more legitimate news work. She should go far.

Gary Hamilton – Doesn’t look comfortable on camera. The opposite of Kumari.

Adriana Diaz – On paper this is the smartest on-air personality that has ever been at Channel One News. She has an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a dual master’s degree from Columbia and the Paris Institute of Political Studies, and she is working at Channel One News?!  In reality, she may be the least smartest person in the room.

Justin Finch – Better than the average Channel One news anchor. Like Ms. Holliday comes off a bit robotic and forced, but I hope he has a future with a real news-gathering organization. He badly needs a manager.

Steven Lipsowski aka Steven Fabian – It was a smart move to change his name before signing on with this marketing company disguised as a news organization. If he ever leaves Channel One News, all he has to do is dump the name “Fabian” and remove all mention of Channel One from his resume and he just might land a more respectable job.


Keep in mind that all of these young people know full well the damage their company is doing to students, especially students in lower income communities where there is a higher, disproportionate percentage of schools under contract to Channel One.

Few things have changed since a 1994 study by Michael Morgan at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst entitled “Channel One in the Public Schools: Widening the Gap.”  Professor Morgan  found that Channel One reaches 38% of schools with over 25% of their students in poverty, but only 17% of schools with a poverty level below 5%. Six in 10 schools that spend less than $2,600 per student each year carry Channel One, Prof. Morgan said, while only one school in 10 that spends more than $6,000 per year carries the program.

[A study commission by the Alabama Department of Education in 1999 also showed Channel One was overwhelmingly found in lower income communities.]

From the summary of the Morgan study: “This paper examines what kinds of schools and what sorts of communities choose to receive Channel One, and where Channel One fits in the pool of educational resources. The study used the data archives of Market Data Retrieval, which involves 17,344 public schools and covers grades 7 through 12, revealing some of the following items: (1) Channel One is most often found in low income area schools, where it is often used instead of traditional educational materials when resources are scarcest; (2) schools that can afford to spend more on their students are much less likely to utilize Channel One; (3) Channel One is more often shown to the students who are least able to afford to buy all the products advertised, thus increasing a sense of alienation and frustration; and (4) increasing commercialization of the culture and the schools suggests a shutting out of other voices and interests of the educational system. The study suggests thatthe use of Channel One in low-income, socioeconomically deprived schools presents an illusion of providing more and better educational facilities which only contributes to widening the societal gap.”

This shouldn’t make you feel good about Holliday, Kumari, Hamilton, Diaz, Finch, and Fabian. These young people are making easy money working for a youth marketing company which exists only because students are compelled by a contract to watch Channel One and its commercials for the equivalent of one school week a year. Students lose precious school time so these wannabe reporters can get experience and get paid.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me angry.



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