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CHANNEL ONE OUTRAGEOUSLY BIASED

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It is interesting to note that area educators are concerned that "Power Rangers," et al, are negatively affecting the behaviors of Utah's public school students and that "parents should pay more attention" to what TV shows their children watch.

There is a TV show that Utah parents generally never see, but many of their 10-year-old to 18-year-old children are basically forced to watch daily. This show manipulates student values via materialism and social engineering, yet few of Utah's teachers do more than require students to regurgitate unchallenged facts presented by this program.It's "Channel One," and if you aren't taking a few minutes in the evening to discuss that day's content with your child, you should definitely start.

Although both the NEA and PTA have recommended discontinuing Channel One, most teachers and administrators have gotten too accustomed to their free video equipment to consider such a radical suggestion (by contract, if the channel goes out, the TVs go, too.) They vehemently support this program as an answer to the lack of current-events curricula in the schools, but what they won't tell you is that Channel One is their baby sitter.

They can enjoy a free period with no preparation and no instruction - just turn on the tube and plug the kids in. And what are our kids plugged into? Not surprisingly, an increased awareness of what brands of products or movies are "in." Studies show that C-1 viewers are significantly more inclined to believe in and purchase the products and watch the PG-13 movies advertised on Channel One than are non-viewing students.

Channel One is also upping its ad time - increasingly taking up more than the originally allotted 2 minutes for advertising.

To address the researched fact that most teachers nationwide do little in terms of content discussion, Channel One has added a "You Decide" segment, ostensibly showing both sides of an issue. The problem with this type of balance is that those who depict the other side of whatever Channel One is debating are much less attractive to students, so their tendencies are to unconsciously associate with the "correct" side.

AIDS issues are covered, but personal accountability isn't mentioned (Channel One isn't the only guilty party here: in a Nov. 17 Deseret News article on the immune system by Joseph Bauman, he writes "a person unlucky enough to contract HIV" as though most people are randomly and uniformly at risk for developing AIDS.)

Political issues are covered, although with the "gloom and doom" attitude of the Channel One correspondents reporting the results of the national elections, it was easy to tell which side they felt should have won.

It generally isn't as easy for students to recognize that Channel One has a definite point of view, and that there are other, legitimate opinions (and facts supporting those opinions), but it could be easier if teachers would take back their mandate to teach their students to think, rather than pat themselves on the back for providing them with information without regard to the source.

So we'll leave "Power Rangers" on for now and keep talking about Channel One.

Patricia York

Morgan