The blurring of television advertising with Channel One programming by students grades 7 through 12
Sara Luise Aufdemberge, Kansas State University, United States
Kansas State University . Awarded
Channel One is a 12 minute television news program produced specifically for students grade 7-12. The program consists of news, special human interest stories, stories of specific interest to the audience, sometimes sports, a pop quiz and usually four commercials.
Educators who find a problem with the program usually are concerned with the ethics of using instructional time, possible increasing materialism of the viewers, and students blurring commercials and programming. Other educators have found that students enjoy Channel One and learn from the program. During the 1970s and 1980s child development research found that by age 12 students have had enough experience with buying advertised products to understand what advertising was and why advertising appeared on television as well as if advertisements told the truth.
This study was designed to ascertain if students blurred commercials and program. Three hundred twenty-nine students from grades 7-12 were given a survey which included questions about Channel One and the differences between commercials and program. In another section of the study, as students watched Channel One, trained observers laid individual cards with the names of types of programming in front of the students. The students picked up the cards to indicate what they thought they were watching. The third part studied Channel One and weekly network news programs in order to determine if they introduced and ended commercials in the same manner.
The study concluded that students knew what a commercial was, who paid for them, and why Channel One showed commercials. Students could predict when a commercial was about to be shown. Channel One always faded to black for 2-3 seconds before beginning the commercial. Network news programs did not follow any pattern before the commercial break.
Educators, who show Channel One or those who are considering it, should not be afraid of students watching commercials. Because students understand the reasons for commercials, they are not being persuaded to buy all the products they see advertised. Students do not blur the commercial and the program so that they are sure of what they are watching.
Aufdemberge, S.L. The blurring of television advertising with Channel One programming by students grades 7 through 12. Ph.D. thesis, Kansas State University.
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