3 Aug 2011

How TV is programming our children

There is a study by psychologists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) "to document historical change in the values communicated to 'tween' audiences, age 9-11, who are major media consumers and whose values are still being formed."

Researchers analyzed 16 values projected by the Two Most Popular TV Shows for 9 to 11-year-olds in the U.S. every decade for 50 years, from 1967 through 2007.

Their findings shocked even them. 'To be famous' is the No. 1 value emphasized by popular shows on TV (biggest change from No. 15 in 1967) and 'To make money' is value No. 5 (up from No. 12 in 1967). The distortion becomes even more obvious when we consider that 'being kind / helping others' is No. 12, down from No. 2 in 1967.

How did 'Fame' and 'money' become the most emphasised values on TV programmes for kids?

Well, else what can we expect with the countless 'Reality' shows on virtually every popular TV channel baiting teens (and greedy parents) with million-dollar prizes and instant fame?

Sadly, few bother to understand the warped intentions and cold commercial agenda behind the hyped-up publicity, cheering fans, glittering stages, celebrity judges, and blinding arc-lights...

In reality... Reality Shows - especially 'talent' shows - spawn an assembly line of superfical 'young icons' held on a tight contractual leash by the commercial 'entertainment' machine to be ruthlessly used and sold as advertisement tools. It has little to do with 'talent' - and everything to do with 'marketability'.

Everyone makes a quick buck hawking stuff to fawning 'fans' - before the icon is chewed up and spat out into the real world. While, the phony fans go crazy over the 'next big thing' on TV.

But what really hightens the reach and impact of the new breed of Reality Shows on TV on impressionable children is the spread from the idiot box onto the Internet - especially on social networks.

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