Study: Much kidvid fails to educate

WASHINGTON — A large percentage of kidvid sporting the “FCC friendly” label does not qualify as educational “by any reasonable benchmark,” according a study to be released today by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in Washington.

The study, which looked at 1,063 episodes from more than 300 separate children’s shows, found that 25% of the shows that declared themselves educational or informational were “innocuous” but lacked the informative content the FCC will be looking for this fall.

Although the study does not single out individual titles, its findings could have a direct impact on the kidvid marketplace, particularly if Annenberg eventually releases the names of the shows it claims are mislabeled. Educational kidvid is in vogue because every TV station in the country faces a new mandate this September to air at least three hours of educational programming each week.

The study also found that a majority of the 200 shows targeted at the 5-to-11-year-old age group are “violence-laden with no educational value.” The survey also found that fewer than half of all kids shows can be considered to be high-quality.

The study will be formally released today during a kidvid confab in Washington. The keynote speaker is FCC chairman Reed Hundt.

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