Some Basic Arguments Against Channel One
Channel One disproportionately takes advantage of low-income schools,
exacerbating unequal education in the United States.
Those schools that can afford to say no to the program, do. Channel One
is twice as likely to be found in low-income schools. And as the number
of African-American students in a school increases, so does the likelihood
that the school will have Channel One.
Taxpayers pay Channel One, while it is not accountable to them.
Channel One's "free" equipment is actually quite expensive to the public.
It costs the public six full days of learning time each year, one of which
is consumed by commercials alone. While taxpayers pay for Channel One,
parents are generally unable to review the program for age and content
appropriateness. A parent in Texas almost had to sue his school district
to secure a Channel One tape library for follow-up review of the program.
Furthermore, taxpayers are not allowed access to lists of schools which
use Channel One, as it's deemed "proprietary trade secret information."
Channel One exists to advertise, not to educate.
Channel One was conceived and designed to capture the youth market, not
to educate students about current events. The promotional literature Channel
One sends to advertisers, therefore, is quite unlike that which it sends
to the education community. One of the reasons Channel One works for advertisers
is that schools lend legitimacy to its ads. Students believe that if Channel
One wasn't good for them, it wouldn't be in their schools.
Channel One is not educationally effective.
Channel One often cites its effectiveness in teaching current events.
Academic research, however, including Channel One's own study, clearly
shows that Channel One only has educational value when teachers integrate
the program into their daily lesson plan. And this is not a widespread
practice. What does the research show that Channel One does teach?
Advertising. Students who watch remember the ads and think they are backed
by the school and/or their teachers.