Channel One News now exploits elementary school students in Kansas.

May 2, 2014
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Seventeen schoolchildren performed on Channel One News this morning and NONE of them received any compensation for their time and talent.  Hey, Channel One, do you have on file the written permission slips parents and guardians signed allowing their child to be featured in your self-promotional video?  What! you didn’t ask permission to use their images on your nationwide TV show?

 

From Jim Metrock:  This is an email I wrote to Ms. Sadie Camac, a fifth grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in August, KS.

Ms. Camac,

As an elementary school teacher you probably are not too familiar with the controversial nature of Channel One News.  Historically the firm has aimed their program and advertising to secondary school students.

No educational organization that I know of endorses the use of Channel One News in your classroom or any classroom. I have been researching and reporting on Channel One since 1996.

The largest Protestant denomination in the US (Southern Baptist) has a standing resolution urging all public schools and parents to remove Channel One News from their classrooms. English teachers and Social Studies teachers have had stinging resolutions against Channel One passed by their respective associations. The Focus on the Family, the American Family Assn. and others oppose Channel One’s presence in public school classrooms.

Channel One News is a youth marketing firm that uses news and feature stories to get their advertisers and their Channel One brand in front of schoolchildren. The presidents of Channel One News have never been journalists or educators. They have always been marketing and advertising executives.

Can you tell me if all teachers at Lincoln Elementary are showing Channel One or is it just you? Does the program come through the web or satellite dish? Are you showing your students the regular Channel One News program with commercials or the Interactiv Jr. without commercials?

 

lincoln elem may 2 2014

 

This morning your class video was shown at the start of the regular, commercial Channel One News broadcast for secondary school students. After your students read their scripted “Channel One News starts right now!” anchor Shelby Holliday launched right into a disturbing story about violent attacks in Nigeria. This gives the appearance that your elementary school students are being shown the often age-inappropriate secondary school version of Channel One News. Can you shed some light on this?

Channel One News has lost almost half of its secondary school audience (from 8+ million to under 5 million) because teachers and principals don’t want to expose their teens and preteens to Channel One’ advertising assault and because the show wastes so much school time. This massive loss of students has caused the company to focus now on elementary schoolchildren.

Channel One is a vendor in your school. When you allowed your students to be part of the Channel One broadcast and basically do a promotional spot for Channel One, I believe you misused your students in a way that you may not have intended. Would you allow your students to film other promotion videos for other vendors suppling Lincoln Elementary? The food supplier? The copier repair company? McGraw-Hill or other textbook publishers? What is one of your students’ parents is the insurance agent for your school?

There are so many questions that arise when a teacher allows her students to be used in such a way as what happened this morning. I imagine you thought that your class was innocently sending in a “shout out” to Channel One, when it fact their video is a commercial for Channel One itself. The video helps Channel One by saying “Hey, schools out there, here’s a class that loves Channel One. Your school should stay with us and not drop our service. See how happy these Lincoln students are with our show?”

Did you or your principal contact all the parents and get written permission for their children’s images to be shown nationwide on a commercial TV show? If not, why not?

The performance of your students has an economic value. Were they paid for the time they appeared on nationwide TV? Even if you don’t consider this clip a commercial, the students should have had some school personnel negotiate a payment for each student’s performance

Now with all this said, there’s a possibility that you may not have known anything about this video or it being sent to Channel One News. If that is the case, my comments are being wrongly directed to you. It appears however that the video was made in the school building. Was this on school time or before or after school? Was taxpayer funded school time wasted during the making of this film for the sole benefit of a private enterprise? It would seem that some school employee had to have been responsible for the video. If it wasn’t you, please pass on to the appropriate person.

I look forward to hearing from you. You may indeed be as exploited as these kids were.

Jim Metrock
Obligation, Inc.

 

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