Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quotes about Children and the Media

Geena Davis at the United Nations
for a special event on
gender equality.
I'm enjoying some time off with my kids this week for Spring Break, and it's hard to find time to write my usual kind of post. I decided to find some interesting, and insightful, quotes from other people on the topic of children and the media. These quotes reflect many of my views so well. * 
I have advocated for 30 years that, in order to preserve our democracy and protect ourselves against demagogues, we should have courses in schools on how to watch TV, how to read newspapers, how to analyze a speech – how to understand the limitations of each medium and make a judgment as to the accuracy or the motives involved.
- Walter Cronkite, retired news anchor for CBS television network
It is no longer enough to simply read and write. Students must also become literate in the understanding of visual images. Our children must learn how to spot a stereotype, isolate a social cliché and distinguish facts from propaganda, analysis from banter, important news from coverage.
- Ernest Boyer, past president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and former U.S. Commissioner of Education
Kids need to see entertainment where females are valued as much as males.
- Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
There’s one sure thing parents can do to help their kids learn, regardless of financial means: Forbid them from watching television on school nights.
– President Barack Obama
I believe knowledge is better than censorship. I'm not talking about letting your kid run wild on the computer. I'm talking about media literacy. What's important is that kids understand the technologies that surround them, especially as our telephone, our television and our computer race to become one entity. That way new technology can become useful tool of the child, instead of the child becoming a tool of the technology.
- Linda Ellerbee, journalist, television producer
The question parents need to ask is not, "Is this more educational than Mickey Mouse?" but "Is this more educational than other activities?" There are so many more important things preschoolers should be doing than playing video games.|
- Dr. Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Rich helped write the American Academy of Pediatrics' policy statement on media use for young children.
They all purport to be educational, but I have yet to see a video or computer game with educational software backed by any scientific research. They're backed by market research about what parents will buy. The claims they make concern me because parents believe them. I think parents want to believe them because they want to get their kid quiet in a corner.
- Dr. Michael Rich
* Sources: Media, Geena David Institute on Gender in Media, and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

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