Television

Too much sex, violence and unrealism on American TV: kids

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MUMBAI: Americans are watching more television than ever - an average of eight hours a day per family. By the time most kids finish high school, they will have logged more hours in front of a television than in front of a teacher.

In Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Ten Things Wrong with Television, airing tonight in the US journalist Linda Ellerbee and Nick News take a critical look at the medium that plays such an important role in how kids see the world and themselves.

Ellerbee says, "To be media literate is to understand how and why TV is made, what it can and cannot do-and not be fooled by it. We wanted a better understanding of what kids know and think about television. After all, who watches more TV than kids?"

Ellerbee and Nick News surveyed kids across the US about what bothers them about television and posted their responses on www.NickNews.com. In their responses, kids said the following things bothered them

- TV stereotypes people.

- There is too much sex, violence and bad language.

- TV news is biased

- There are so many channels and nothing to watch.

- TV shows don't reflect real life

- TV makes me feel bad about myself

- TV news is too negative and scary; and there are too many commercials. The order of the kids' concerns will be revealed in the episode.

In addition, Ellerbee addresses the relevance of advertising to television and media literacy issues such as understanding television, how and why it is made and what it is to people and what it can do to people.

She adds, "Kids should remember that the viewer is, and always will be, smarter than

the television. Television should be a tool you use, not the other way around."

Nick News, which is in its 14th year-the longest-running kids' news show in television history-has built its reputation on the respectful and direct way it speaks to kids about the important issues of the day.

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