Watching Channel One

The Convergence of Students, Technology, and Private Business

Edited by Ann De Vaney

Subjects: Social Context Of Education
Series: SUNY series, Education and Culture: Critical Factors in the Formation of Character and Community in American Life
Paperback : 9780791419489, 244 pages, July 1994
Hardcover : 9780791419472, 244 pages, July 1994

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Ann De Vaney

1. Investigating Channel One: A Case Study Report
Rhonda S. Robinson

2. The Effects of The Channel One Broadcast on Students' Knowledge of Current Events
Nancy Nelson Knupfer and Peter Hayes

3. Channel One: Reactions of Students, Teachers, and Parents
Nancy Nelson Knupfer

4. Is This the News?
John C. Belland

5. Advertising and Channel One: Controversial Partnership of Business and Education
Ann Marie Barry

6. Reading the Ads: The Bacchanalian Adolescence
Ann De Vaney

7. Form, Style, and Lesson: An Analysis of Commercially Produced School News Programs
Barbara Erdman

8. Whittling Away at Democracy: The Social Context of Channel One
Michael W. Apple

9. Drawing the Line: Questions of Ethics, Power, and Symbols in State Policy and the Whittle Concept
Robert Muffoletto

10. Two Rhetorics of Cynicism in Debates over Channel One: Two Riders in a Barren Landscape
Henry St. Maurice




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.