Quotations on the Media and Children

Children will watch anything, and when a broadcaster uses crime and violence and other shoddy devices to monopolize a child’s attention, it’s worse than taking candy from a baby. It is taking precious time from the process of growing up.

Newton N Minow, Federal Communications Commission: To Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, NY Post 19 Jun 61

 

Children are inclined to learn from television [because] it is never too busy to talk to them, and it never has to brush them aside while it does household chores.

National Commission on Causes and Prevention of Violence on the influence of violent television

 

Advertising causes conflicts at exactly the most vulnerable age for children to be in conflict with parents.

John Condry, Department of Human Development, Cornell University

 

The technique is wonderful. I didn’t even dream it would be so good. But I would never let my children come close to the thing.

Vladimir Zworykin: Comments of developer of television, interviewed on his 92nd birthday, news summaries 31 Dec 81

 

The car trip can draw the family together, as it was in the days before television when parents and children actually talked to each other.

Andrew H Malcolm

 

In this century, the mass media have come to rival parents, school, and religion as the most influential institution in children's lives.

Media and Values Magazine

 

It's just hard not to listen to TV: it's spent so much more time raising us than you have.

Bart Simpson

 

Television has changed the American child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.

Laurence J. Peter

 

By the age of 18, the average child has witnessed 200,000 acts of violence, including 18,000 simulated murders, on television. It is not always easy to provide clear, consistent structure for children, but providing it often helps keep children safe and helps them grow to be responsible adults.

Jean Ilsley Clarke

 

By the time we decide a television program is something the children should not see, we are too interested to turn it off.

Anonymous


After nearly fifty years of television, our population now contains more people who have listened to laugh tracks all their lives than people who haven't. It has trained them to laugh when somebody says something funny whether it's funny or not, and to expect every bon mot of their own to be greeted by gales of mirth whether it's bon or not.

Florence King

 

By the same token, our children have grown up watching sit-coms loaded with wise-cracks and one-liners. So we shouldn't be surprised to find so many unappealing young people making unpleasant wise-cracks.

April in the musical "Bye Bye Birdie"

 

And as parents and the home lose some of their hold on the imagination, senses and emotions, children naturally turn elsewhere for spiritual and psychic sustenance. The find it in the media and its indomitable infantry, the peer group.

Kay S Hymowitz, Ready or Not

 

We need desperately, I feel, a noncommercial alternative to what commercialism is trying to do to us. I'm not for censorship, but I'm certainly for self-censorship when it comes to producing or purveying products to America's children. I think that for people who make anything for children, their first thought should be: Would I want my child to see, hear or touch this? And if the answer is no, just don't make it.

("Mister") Fred Rogers

 

Television: A medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done.

Ernie Kovacs

 

Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other.


Ann Landers

 

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