CCFC Blog

Critics: FCC Not Policing Kids TV – Along with parent and child advocacy groups (including CCFC), lawmaker Rep. Ed Markey is pointing out that the FCC’s enforcement of laws regarding children’s programming and commercials is “weak.”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59487.html#ixzz1SjjUxHX8  Junk Food Industry Determined to Target Kids – CCFC Steering Committee member Michele Simon on the IWG’s proposed food marketing principles and extreme push back they’re meeting from the industry in Food Safety News.http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/07/junk-food-industry-determined-to-target-kids/ Toy Movies in 2011 - Has Hollywood Gone Too Far? The toy industry is concerned that movies based...
Summer TV's Top Target: Boys – Children’s TV programmers and marketers team up to aggressively push video games, toys, Nesquik, Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kellogg's Fruit Snacks and much more to boys this summer.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812104576441790597642646.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_lifestyle Industries Lobby Against Voluntary Nutrition Guidelines for Food Marketed to Kids –The media industry and food marketers align to lobby against the Interagency Working Group's new voluntary food marketing principles for ads aimed at kids.http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/industries-lobby-against-voluntary-nutrition-guidelines-for-food-marketed-to-kids/2011/07/08/gIQAZSZu5H_story.html...
As advocates for deep change know, big success is often preceded by small incremental changes that may go unnoticed by the general public. It seems the effort to stop fast food companies from hawking toys to kids is gaining ground. Last week I was watching Friday Night Lights (a great show if I don’t fret about the product placement) and blithely forwarding through the commercials when an ad for McDonald’s Happy Meals stopped me cold. There were no toys. Intrigued, I rewound and watched in real time: We see a multi-racial bunch of totally cute kids with Happy Meal boxes—but they’re empty. A child’s voice chirps, “There’s something inside a McDonald’s Happy Meal. It’s called hope…” The kids keep looking for hope in the boxes, but—it’s...
I’m troubled by an apparent split over children’s screen time between the guardians of children’s health and the guardians of their education. The public health community, from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, is intensifying efforts to set limits on the amount of time young children spend with screen technology—one to two hours per day for older children and no screen time for babies and toddlers. Meanwhile, the National Association for the Education of Young Children—the nation’s premier professional organization for early childhood educators—recently released a draft of its statement on children and technology which advocates incorporating screens into all early childhood programs...
Late Friday, Scholastic, one of the world’s largest educational publishers, announced that it would immediately stop distributing “The United States of Energy,” a controversial fourth grade curriculum paid for by the American Coal Foundation.  The announcement came just two days after CCFC and Rethinking Schools launched a campaign demanding that Scholastic stop pushing coal in elementary schools.  It is a significant victory for anyone who believes that schools should be free of industry PR and teach fully and honestly about coal and other forms of energy. Scholastic’s decision demonstrates the growing strength of our movement and is a testament to your activism.  CCFC members old and new were determined to stop the coal industry from...
We have an important opportunity to help protect children’s and teens’ privacy online. H.R. 1895, the Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011, will limit companies’ ability to track children on the web or through mobile devices and empower parents to protect their kids.  CCFC is proud to endorse this important legislation. Will you call your representative today and ask him or her to co-sponsor the Do Not Track Kids Act?  To Call Your Member of Congress: Dial the House Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your representative. (To look up your representative online, click here.) Phone Script: “I am calling to urge Rep. _______ to co-...
Life Notes: Too Much, Too Soon for Kids – Susan Linn and Diane Levin discuss commercialism, sexualization and bullying--and why it's important to fight for change--in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.http://www2.timesdispatch.com/lifestyles/2011/may/01/tdflair04-how-parents-can-combat-the-effects-of-me-ar-1000642/ Obama Ducks Food Fight Over Children’s Ads – CCFC's Josh Golin tells SmartMoney that we need a way to enforce the new FTC food marketing standards if we hope for success.http://blogs.smartmoney.com/paydirt/2011/05/02/obama-ducks-food-fight-over-children%E2%80%99s-ads/?mod=SMBlog Marketing Food to Children – In this letter to the editor in response to the New York Times...
I wasn't able to meet my ambitious goal of no Internet at all during the week. In fact, I didn't last very long thanks to a post at the Corporate Babysitter that I couldn't help reading . . . or responding to. I quickly realized that using the Internet was so ingrained in my work that forgoing entirely wasn't going to work. So I loosened up that rule and decided that I could read things and visit sites that were truly work-related. Making that delineation was easier than I anticipated, and I'm proud to say, I didn't stray into non-work related sites all week. The other part of my Screen-Free Week plan was to avoid all screens when not at work. This part was an unqualified success. The first couple of nights felt strange with the computer...
I broke my Screen-Free Week pledge within 60 minutes of waking up on the first day—by walking into the gym. After drifting into my usual exercise-induced trance, I startled awake to find myself reading a news crawl on one of the eight wall-mounted televisions, each tuned to a different station. That prepared me, however, for the coming week. I was going to have to be vigilant not just about the screens I chose to give up, but about screens over which I have no control. I did pretty well—and I’m proud of it. The truth is that my hopes about reading more, taking time to do nothing, and going to the circus didn’t materialize—a death in the family had me on a plane to Detroit and spending time with several generations of cousins. I found...
I not only survived, I thrived during Screen-Free Week. I can tell by my dreams. The last few nights of my screen freedom yielded some of the most spectacular dreams I’ve had in a long time. Friday night I was literally flying around town with an air-powered jet pack, sharing my environmentally-friendly transportation invention with interested onlookers. Saturday night I giddily watched a performance by a couple who erupted from an organized sit-down dinner into a colorful, acrobatic dance. My mind at rest could suddenly imagine the bizarre and the beautiful, flight and frolic. I attribute my dream renaissance to several days of living uninterrupted by screen media’s barrage. My waking experience of Screen-Free Week was not quite as...

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