[RFHF] In the News: TV for preschoolers is booming!

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Wed Jun 27 10:59:00 PDT 2012

Earlier this week I read this article, A new boomlet in TV for preschoolers<http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/a-new-boomlet-in-tv-for-preschoolers/2012/06/21/gJQA7ZB4uV_story.html%20> in The Washington Post. This article provides an excellent summary of what is happening in TV Land regarding programming for 2-5 year olds. If you don't have time to read this three-page article, here are a few quotes that I found particularly interesting:

What is happening?
While the TV industry frets about ratings drops and reports emerge on declines in traditional TV viewing, there’s one market that executives are zeroing in on... preschoolers

to keep up with this lucrative [preschool] market, networks are revamping and rearranging offerings to reel in viewers — and advertisers.

Even though little kids prefer television — or simply don’t yet have the motor skills to explore an iPad — executives are mindful that this new generation of watchers will never truly just regard a TV show as a passive experience.

‘Don’t design a TV show for us. Design a media property for preschooolers.’ ” ... “Show us how it can work on smartphones, interactive whiteboards, inside the classroom, outside the classroom, on the Web.'

Why is this happening?

TV-watching by preschoolers climbed to an average of 3.5 hours a day, the highest rate since the Sesame Workshop began systematically tracking the statistic eight years ago.

the driving force behind the networks’ move to beef up preschool programming is money.

“[preschoolers are at] a very formative age — [they] form a lot of habits that affect [them] later in life,” ... “That’s precisely the reason advertisers are starting to jump into this category.”

advertisers will continue to target the preschool age group because of “pester power” ... Essentially, when kids annoy their parents enough into making purchases based on what commercials they see for breakfast cereals, games and toys.

What are the concerns?

too much TV has been linked to problems with physical health and attention issues.

“If it’s taking the place of something that’s more educationally enriching, that’s a problem.”

Is there anything positive about this?

The way [TV shows now] craft a narrative [and] how complicated the character relationships can be [is] very, very specific to [preschoolers] and where their cognitive abilities are.

television can have some positives in terms of socialization,

What can families do?

what works for every family is different. Still, it’s important to balance screen time with other activities

“It absolutely depends on what kind of content, or on what activities [the TV] replacing, or who’s watching it with you, or who’s discussing it with you,” she said. [i.e. Practice the Three C's of media literacy<http://oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/rfhf.resource.kit.year.two.aspx#Media_Literacy__RFHF_Years_2___3_>!]


Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

If the hyperlinks don't work, try copying and pasting these URLs into your browser:

  *   The article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/a-new-boomlet-in-tv-for-preschoolers/2012/06/21/gJQA7ZB4uV_story.html
  *   The Three C's: http://oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/rfhf.resource.kit.year.two.aspx#Media_Literacy__RFHF_Years_2___3_

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