Why Channel One Matters
Channel One matters because there is a shortage of news geared to teens
- Teens are part of a youth culture that places low emphasis on news. In recent years, five new celebrity newsweeklies launched in the United States alone, further crowding a saturated newsstand. By comparison, no newsweeklies aimed at bringing global news to teens were launched last year.
- National news networks aren’t speaking to teens:
- MSNBC: Median age 52*
- Fox News: Median age 58*
- CNN: Median age 59*
Channel One matters because teens don’t always take time to tune into news
Today’s teens are busier than ever. They face increasing distractions from cell phones to IM to video games. Keeping up on the day’s news becomes challenging and uninteresting. A look at teen consumption habits highlights this fact. Our teens need more education on world news and public affairs, and they need it delivered through a medium that is accessible, relevant and engaging:
- 53% of teens think TV is the most entertaining way to get the news; 4% think newspapers are the most entertaining**
- 53% of teens think the newspaper is “somewhat relevant” to their lives; 23% say it’s “not very relevant” and 6% report it’s “not relevant at all”**
- 52% of teens would like to see more news by and for teens in their local paper**
- 47% of teens say they read the newspaper between 1 and 3 days a week; 15% say they never do**
- 30% of those teens who never read a newspaper or who read one only occasionally say it’s because it’s boring; 12% say it’s because the news reported isn’t relevant to their lives**
**Source: “17th Annual Teen Survey Results: Teens & Newspapers” by USA WEEKEND Magazine (2003); 65,000 teens aged 13-18 responded
Channel One matters because a teen’s world extends far beyond the back yard
Our teens benefit from historical and global perspective, a viewpoint statistics demonstrate they aren’t getting elsewhere. An insular view of the world is one luxury youth cannot afford. Competition in academics, politics and the labor force does not begin and end with the student sitting at the next desk. If teens are to compete in a global economy, or work towards a shared goal, they need an informed understanding of what’s happening– not just in this country, but among their peers around the globe.
Channel One matters because textbooks can’t teach current affairs
Today, many schools recognize the importance of furthering a teen’s standing as an engaged member of society and have built current affairs into their curriculum. Educators are challenged by the fact that last year’s textbooks can’t teach today’s current affairs. Channel One offers news and public affairs content while the stories are happening, and supplements this content with lesson plans and interactive quizzes.
Channel One matters because awareness leads to action
Our commitment is to fight complacency and apathy by keeping our teens informed and interested in the events and issues that shape their community, their nation and the world around them. For instance, on the important topic of teens and the First Amendment:
- Three out of four high school students either don’t know or don’t care about the First Amendment, according to “The Future of the First Amendment” report, sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in February 2005.
Driven by this alarming statistic, Channel One and the Knight Foundation partnered in September 2005 to increase awareness for the Constitution and the First Amendment. Following America’s celebration of national Constitution Day, and supported by Channel One, teens showed increased knowledge of personal freedoms granted by the First Amendment:
- A Channel One poll showed a dramatic 38% increase in teens’ knowledge that the U.S. government does not have the right to censor the Internet. Prior to National Constitution Day 2005, nearly half of all teens polled incorrectly assumed that the U.S. government holds the legal right to censor content on the Web.
Students again proved that awareness spurs activism when, after viewing Hurricane Katrina coverage on Channel One, schools contacted us asking how they could help victims. Out of this, Operation: Adopt-A-School was born– a program that matched each donor school with a hurricane-damaged school to which it sent aid. In total, our schools raised more than $330,000.