Students remember more advertising
than they do news stories shown on
Channel One, the daily public
affairs program shown in 12,000
U.S. schools, a study has found.
Students reported buying, or
having their parents buy,
teen-oriented products advertised
on the show, including fast food
and video games, researchers said.
The 12-minute daily broadcast has
10 minutes of news and two minutes
of either ads or public service
Schools that agree to show Channel
One on 90 percent of school days
receive free televisions and
satellite dishes, a deal critics
say turns students into a captive
audience for advertisers.
Nearly eight million students see
the program, according to Channel
One's parent company, Primedia.
"The benefits of having Channel
One in schools seem to have some
real costs that should create an
ethical dilemma for schools," said
study co-author Erica Austin of
Washington State University.
The study appears Monday in the
The principal of a Chicago
Catholic school said free TV
equipment is the reason her school
signed up for Channel One.
The equipment also is used for a
student-produced school news
"It's one of the tradeoffs," said
Maria High School Principal Sister
Nancy Gannon. "You have to have
the commercials in order to have
that equipment available."
Maria High student Angela Young,
16, said she doesn't pay much
attention to Channel One, which
airs every morning during
"When Channel One is on, I do my
homework or I talk with my
friends," she said.
Channel One CEO Judy Harris
questioned whether the students'
purchases were influenced
exclusively by Channel One ads or
by other advertising and the
preferences of their peers.
"These children weren't in an
isolation box," Harris said.
Advertising pays for Channel One's
news, health and fitness content,
Advertisers do not influence the
news content, and the company has
high standards that keep ads
appropriate for students, she
The show won a Peabody Award for
reporting on Sudan's civil war
Channel One produces some of its
own news programming, but it also
airs Associated Press Television
Associated Press news service
stories appear on Channel One's
Researchers surveyed 240 seventh-
and eighth-graders at a school in
The students reported that during
the previous three months they
bought an average of 2.5 products
advertised on Channel One.
The students remembered, on
average, 3.5 ads compared to 2.7
However, they didnít remember much
about either, retaining only 13
percent of the news stories and 11
percent of the ads shown during