Apr 11 2010
In class we talked a bit about Channel One television which was discussed a great deal in the book. When I was a kid I always thought that Channel One was published by someone like PBS because it was informative. Commercials seem so commonplace everywhere that I hadn’t even considered the large amount of commercials aimed at kids before. But, it is such a marketing tool! I feel like my middle school years were a lie! The school district was selling our eyes for money!
But, it’s smart. What do schools need? Money. What do advertisers need? Eyes. Instantly a connection is made.
We also talked a bit about school lunches and I still find it amazing that some people have “real” food on their campuses from different companies. I put that word in quotes (I know it was grammatically incorrect) to emphasize the conundrum about whether having that food on campus is good or not. It’s all mass produced, and all have problems with how they are produced. Sure we watched that clip in class about a woman finding a chicken head in her McDonald’s chicken nuggets, but the people who provide food to McDonald’s probably do to schools, too.
The problem always comes back to money. Channel One exploits that need, and so do outside food producers. Schools are always strapped for cash because they always want to get their classrooms as good as they can be with new technology. Schools get more money if their students do well on test scores, which is often aided by technology. But poor schools usually get their budgets slashed as that money is taken elsewhere in the city or county budget to places like public safety. These businesses know that, so they will always be trying to brand every aspect of students’ lives, including schools.
As Schor points out in the book, as the line becomes more and more blurred between facts and advertising, children will fall deeper into the pitfalls that advertisers set.
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