Watching Channel One
The Convergence of Students, Technology, and Private Business
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Channel One, an electronic curriculum that was developed primarily to sell products in the marketplace, is cablecast daily to approximately twelve-thousand public high schools in the United States. About one quarter of our public secondary schools have been wired by Whittle Communications, a private company, for the delivery of this required news program. This translates to a captive audience for advertisements of around eight- to nine-million teens.
The political, economic, social, and cognitive impact of Channel One will be vast. How did school board members and administrators arrive at the decision to include Channel One in their districts? What is the form and content of news and advertising on Channel One? Do students pay attention to the news? To the ads? Do students learn from Channel One? These questions, among others, are addressed in this book. By employing various forms of discourse analyses, critical theory, rhetorical analysis, structural and post-structural readings, descriptive case studies, and traditional-effects studies, the authors provide a thorough investigation into Channel One.
Ann DeVaney is Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Educational Technology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.