Little Kids, Big Business: Updating the Children's TV Act

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In 1990, Congress enacted the Children's Television Act to promote educational children's television programming and to limit marketing to children. The act addresses only broadcast television, not cable, internet, or games. Gary Knell, the President and CEO of Sesame Workshop (the force behind Sesame Street) has been pushing for an update to the bill. He joins The Takeaway before he heads to the Hill to testify on re-booting the Children's Television Act for the 21st century and beyond. Also joining the conversation is Dade Hayes, a father and author of Anytime Playdate: Inside the Preschool Entertainment Boom, or, How Television Became My Baby's Best Friend.

"We're certainly not going to change Elmo...This isn't really about how Sesame Street is going to change. This is really about shining a spotlight on the issues around children's education and children's health, because media plays just an enormous role in impacting children."
—Gary Knell, CEO of Sesame Workshop, on children's programming today

When the original Children's Television Act was being debated, there was one special witness: Mr. Rogers. Here's his testimony:

Guests:

Dade Hayes and Gary Knell

Hosted by:

Farai Chideya and Lynn Sherr

Produced by:

Abbie Fentress Swanson

Contributors:

Melissa Locker

Comments [1]

Ana

I have goosebumps just hearing Mr. Rogers's voice again! He's sorely missed...

Jul. 22 2009 09:30 AM

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