Let's Stop Channel One

For nearly 25 years, Channel One News has been the nation’s most pernicious in-school advertiser, usurping taxpayer-funded class time by showing student-targeted commercials to a captive audience of schoolchildren. But there are signs that Channel One’s days may be numbered. Many schools have dumped the network and its student audience has shrunk from 8.1 million in 2000 to 5.5 million today.  But that’s 5.5 million too many. And now, in a desperate attempt to make up for lost revenue, Channel One is escalating its daily commercial assault by advertising inappropriate and disreputable websites to students and  turning entire broadcasts into ads. That’s why CCFC is calling on state departments of education to conduct a thorough review of the costs and benefits of showing Channel One News in school and to encourage local districts to suspend its use until such a review is complete. 

Will you join us in urging your state’s department of education to investigate Channel One?

This week, CCFC sent a letter to state school superintendents detailing the reasons why Channel One should not be shown in schools, including:

  • It’s waste of students’ time and taxpayers’ money. In exchange for the loan of outdated video equipment, schools agree to show a 12-minute newscast – including 2 minutes of commercials – every day. Schools with Channel One lose more than a week of instructional time each year, including a full day just to the commercials!
  • Channel One violates its contract with schools by exceeding the agreed-upon limit on commercial content. In addition to regular commercials, Channel One integrates advertising into its actual newscast. For instance, on May 23, 2012, Channel One’s entire 12-minute broadcast was devoted to promoting four television shows on the ABC Family network.
  • Channel One promotes websites that are inappropriate for children and teens, including the highly sexualized gURL.com; Live Psychic Readings, which charges $7.49/minute; and the controversial website Spokeo.com, which was fined $800,000 by the Federal Trade Commission in June for the misuse and sale of personal data.

If state education departments investigate and publicize what Channel One is doing in classrooms and on its student-targeted website, it’s likely that educators will pull the plug. But they will only act if there is significant pressure to do so. Will you urge your state to investigate Channel One and help us put an end to the worst-of-the-worst in in-school advertising?

Please take action here and urge your friends and family to do the same.

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Comments

gURL.com

How is gURL.com inappropriate for teens? Children, ok, they shouldn't be thinking about sex. But adolescents are, and gURL promotes a much healthier message about teenage sexuality than a lot of websites, and encourages girls to find their own paths. I was a gURL.com user when I was a young teen; it helped me to come to terms with my non-heterosexuality at a time when my homophobic community was discouraging me from doing so, for starters. It also helped me to get a lot of the sex education I needed that my school's abstinence-only curriculum wasn't giving.

When it comes to teenagers, we can't just act like if we don't talk with them about sex at all, it won't be an issue. We should keep any kind of sexual messages away from children, but the failure of CCFC to understand that teenagers NEED healthy messages about sex - and the failure to distinguish between these and truly harmful, "sexualizing" messages - makes me really question my support of CCFC.

Channel One is awful and should be removed from our schools, but not for their support of gURL.com.

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