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education | youth

Channel 1 "news" now playing at a school near you.

Ads have always been around, on TV, radio, ect.,but we have always been able to ignore them. Until now.
If theres an ad you dont want to see or hear, you can just turn down the radio or turn off the TV, right? Wrong. Now, at schools around the country, a company known as Channel 1 has somehow been given the right to play a 12 minuite "news" broadcast every day at my school. Each day, I go to my 4th period class known as "study time" or "sustained silent reading", sit down, take out a book, and read for 20 minuites. Then, when that 20 minuites is up, the TV in our class turn on automaticly, and begins an annoyingly loud "news" broadcast. Everyone but me and the others who care for their minds put their books away and stare blankly at the flashing box before us.I once asked one of the girls that watches it "How can you stand this?" and she said "Well its better than reading...". Some sustained silent reading! Anyway, after that goes on for 5 minuites, 1 minuite of ad comes on. These include ads for make-up, video games, and the U.S. Navy. Thats right, the Navy. Mind you, they dont just cone out and say "Join the Navy," they have a picture of some show that will be on tha night, with a box up in the corner "Presented by: US Navy," so as to create a subliminal message that the Navy (or sometimes the Army) is the right choise. I asked my teacher why the heck we had to watch this crap, and he told me the school gets these free TVs for every class if we watch their show every day. Outraged, we (my mom and I) went onto Channel 1's web site (www.channel1.com)that night to find ads for the Army and Navy. We also found Channel 1's specifications. It said that Channel 1 is a 12 minuite news broadcast with teenage anchors and has only 2 minuites of commercials. It also said that these commercials were designed to "bring buyers to sellers." Translation: Beam images of our crap to innocent kids heads who dont know better than to resist. My mom called the school and found out that if they were to cancel, Channle 1 would not only take back the TVs, but would tear out all the wiring as well. The vice princeipal knew this because she had worked at the high school when they had stopped this infernal broadcast. My mom told them if they do cancel, she would be glad to get it all on video. Even if the wiring gets torn out, I say good ridance. At least we will get back our study time.
Way to Go, Calvin! 14.Oct.2005 11:32

another concerned citizen

Stand up to this! It's good to hear that not all kids are just blankly absorbing this stuff. Channel one, owned by Primedia Inc., is a marketing gimmick clothed as a "public service," which wormed its way into our classrooms. According to Primedia, it's being broadcast in more than 350,000 classrooms! In addition, they promise their clients (their real clients are advertisers by the way, not students) that they will bring their products directly to the "target market." That's our kids! So our kids are being sold to corporate advertisers without our consent, and in many cases, without our knowledge. Ask your kid if Channel One is in their school. Chances are, it is. And the schools trade our kids and their own integrity for what? For free television sets! I know things are tight in the school systems, and so they are often forced to make compromises to get supplies, but why on earth do we need more tvs in the schools?

Amazing... 14.Oct.2005 12:10


As a teacher in Oregon, I am amazed at how districts, schools, and teachers will "sell out" for just a little pitance of an incentive.

Recently, my school finally did away with the Gatorade machine in our hallway. This is a K-6 school, and we were selling sugar water to our kids, while proposing healthy lifestyles and good dental hygene. It turns out we got $500 a year for the machine, plus a share of the profits. The monies went to teacher activities like staff birthday parties and food during parent conferences. What a waste! Now that we got rid of it, I guess we will have to sport the costs of food for our parties on our own, bravo!

Schools are institutions of learning, not commercialism. I would rather teach in a barn with minimal supplies and be commercial free, than teach in a pampered school with ads forced upon students all day. School is not a shopping mall--thanks for your stand on Channel 1!

Education Industrial Complex 14.Oct.2005 13:01


Publlic school was for me like a prison. A time wasting form of child care for an apathetic consumer society. Today, very little is actually taught in schools, they are more and more showing themselves to be social constructs, social preparation for a destructive society. My recommendation to you, my intelligent friend, is to get into a GED college jump-start program as soon as possible. The sooner you can move on, the better. Better yet, homeschool your requirements, read the classics and contemporary stuff they can't get yet. Do your own research into topics. You'll be in a college program in no time. The time you save will be better spent, right? Live your life today!

The harsh reality is, our schools have withering budgets because we still buy into a state and federal system that is wholly corrupt by market interests. So long as this community resigns itself to passive contemplation of its needs and desires, and never acts in engaged community building, its only going to get harder to maintain any semblence of a rewarding, and healthy middle class lifestyle (which is tearing the world apart by the way). We don't need better schools, we need better lives!

Thank you Calvin! 14.Oct.2005 13:41


This kind of advertising to our students is TERRIBLE. I understand that schools need funding and are not getting enough in the "normal" ways, but selling our kids' minds like this is shocking. The girl who thought staring at propaganda was better than reading makes me sad. Each of us has a duty to see what is happening in their local schools. Get to work. We might not be able to change the entire world, but we can change a small part of it. Let's help our children learn how to think. Calvin certainly does!

way2go Calvin 14.Oct.2005 14:58


Don't let them sell your soul, or the souls of your classmates. Keep up the pressure, and do not give in. No telling what kind of subliminal crud they are serving up with the ten minute commercials, either. With HSA's budget, they will have you all lining up at the recruiter's office, if you let them rot your minds. just be certain to avoid paying any attention to it, at any cost.

Indoctrination for the nation 14.Oct.2005 17:08


Get 'em started early so they can live in fear, then become good little consumers as a result

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha 14.Oct.2005 17:30

should i laugh or vomit

I thought this was a manifestation of the media blitz of the '90s that had been killed off years ago.

That they would agree to this just shows what a joke public education is.

More info 14.Oct.2005 17:35


You make good points, and I applaud your efforts.

However, Channel 1 is not a new thing. I graduated from high school in 1997, and we had channel 1 in every classroom all four years. It was a private school, and they did it for the free tv's.

My homeroom teacher used to turn the volume all the way down and cover the tv with a blanket, because they can tell if you turn it off.

thanks jason 14.Oct.2005 18:01


Thank you jason for the update. I had no idea channel 1 has been going for so long, as I wish I could've done somthing against it earlier. Thanks everyone else, too, for the great comments. Last time I wrote somthing, no one belived I was a kid.

I did 14.Oct.2005 20:15


Perhaps, Calvin, it is because your intellect is superior to that of the Harvard graduate occupying the white house-no wait, bonzo's intellect is superior to that one, yours is very superior to most in your age group, and you will face accusations of impersonating a grown up many times, just as another student I once knew was accused of plagerism on at least one occasion. You go, lad!

thank you for bringing this to our attention 14.Oct.2005 23:31

red suspenders

I gradiated high school in 1990- and therefore witnessed the switch from 16mm films to video... The amount of effort that went in to making a 15 minute 16mm film is an order of magnitude more than a 1 hour video. Most of the films were much more thoughtful and educational than the videos- and call me a luddite but I feel like a television has no place in a classroom. I had a few teachers who would just plug in a video (more in college) to baby sit the class while they sat back and collected thier salary. Always felt like a teacher that lets a tv st do his or her job is ripping off us taxpayers. Now it seems like some "corporation" is doing the ripoff too. I have this preverted fantasy of taking before and after pictures of the ceiling tiles, etc when the scumbag cable company demos out "thier wire" and basically forcing them to pay to remodel the whole school...

The TV comes on automatically???!!! Is it "hard wired" or just plugged in?

OK- sorry for the rant. You are a really good kid for reading while the idiot box comes on. Seriously, I've run across a lot of young people who give me hope for the future...

there's nothing surprising 15.Oct.2005 02:40

about being young and smart

One dirty little secret of the "adult" world is that intelligence seems to peak in one's 20s just like athletic ability. The great accomplishments of older people generally come from aggregating the uncredited work of their younger employees. There are plenty of high-school kids who are much smarter than their teachers, who generally come from the stragglers and also-rans of the college world.

Keep on reading! 15.Oct.2005 10:36


Plug up your ears and keep on reading.

One great book to read is 'Four Arguments For the Elimination of Television' by Jerry Mander, ISBN #0688082742. Jerry was a top-notch advertising executive who quit and then wrote this book telling the truth about television and its dangers. I highly recommend this book.

When I was in 6th grade, a teacher tore up one of my book reports in front of my face, telling me, 'You can't have read this book and written this report; you're too young.' I learned then that part of being smart is how you use your smarts.

So, way to go kiddo. You might get rid of the televisons. You might not. I hope you're having some fun. And just keep reading and writing and thinking.

Turn the sound down... 15.Oct.2005 15:12


Calvin - next time the Channel 1 crap comes on, just go up to the TV and turn the sound all the way down - and if the teacher or anyone else complains, say "I have work to do! - And show them the work."

Something like a newscast is much more distracting than music - I can study or do work with music in the background, but not with a news program or anything with speech in it.

Good job, but you should proofread 15.Oct.2005 22:39


I remember hearing about this stuff back in the mid-to-late nineties, and Jello Biafra mentions it in some of his spoken word material from that era. I graduated from high school in 2000, and thankfully I never had to deal with this crap.
The ever-lovin' Wikipedia has some good info here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_One_News. I had heard that in some schools, Channel One was removed after lots of pressure, but the article doesn't mention it. Get a load of all the people who've disgraced themselves by appearing there as guests!
Nice job, Calvin, but you should probably proofread your stories a bit more. Keep up the good work.

umm scott... 16.Oct.2005 19:30


Have you been reading Indy for long? The thoughts, observations, and truths that are told here do not require spell check, and obviously most of the writers are aware of that fact.
Might interest you to know that the last couple of articles Calvin posted were faulted for being too well written to have been written by a kid. When the pRezident of the Untied States proofreeds his words (As IF!) maybe THEN you can ask that Calvin prufread.
Keep up the good writing Calvin, and pay little attention.

No offense, but "hey, proofread!" is classist. 17.Oct.2005 09:55

and well, just kind of rude.

I know you did not mean to be, Scott, but your suggestion that Calvin needs to proofread is just kind of rude. It's a classic way to avoid hearing what someone has to say because the way they said it did not fit your norms. Insisting on being distracted by things like spelling, dialect, or accent is also a way that elitists try to silence people.

The fact is, if you can understand what someone is saying, that's all you need. If you can't, then ask for clarification. But if you can understand it, and you then tell the person to "proofread," you're being rude.

If you've noticed, none of the articles that get featured from this open publishing website are ever "corrected" by editors. People's words are featured exactly as they wrote them, because it's better to hear people in their own words, in their own style, than to risk silencing them or changing the meaning of what they say by making elitist assumptions about what they "meant" to say.

And after saying all that, I must add that Calvin's article is EXCELLENT and in no need of proofreading. Thanks, Calvin!!!

Is Channel One in any Portland schools? 17.Oct.2005 13:53


Does anyone know if Channel One is in any Portland schools? I just moved here and my daughter's education is of primarly importance to me.

My school took channel 1 out!! 18.Oct.2005 11:09

Alice McCreery

My school took channel one out and i am so happy they did because it was all about the military I did watch it and i noticed all the commercials were about joining some part of the armed forces I thought that was wrong they should have included other things like colleges or alturnitives to the armed forces that is just my opinion though

in responce to Netphemera 23.Oct.2005 12:30


I dont know which schools in portland, but I am confident that channel 1 is there. According to ChannelOne.com, they broadcast in over 350,000 schools across the nation. With so many shcools in portland, im sure channel 1 is in at least one of them.

Keep Trying 04.Dec.2005 07:30


Just keep trying, start some backlash, protests, parent calls, etc. My High School in Utah, thankfully, managed to get out of their contract with Channel 1 because the administration, the teachers, and the students were sick of wasting valuable education time on commercials for snickers bars.