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Reports & Research

KIDS COUNT Data Book, 2013

California Report Card, 2011-12

Educationally/Insufficient? An Analysis of the Availability & Educational Quality of Children’s E/I Programming, 2008


The Effects of Interactive Media on Preschoolers’ Learning, 2007

See All Reports & Research



Related News

Children Now Asks FCC to Put Teeth in Tentative Kids Ad Conclusions (Broadcasting & Cable)

Special Report: Does Anyone Care About TV’s Content Ratings? (TV Guide)

FCC Explores Improved TV Ratings, V-Chip (National Journal)


Disney Looking Into Cradle for Customers (NY Times)

‘Dora’ Special Explores Influence on Children (NY Times)

See All News



Facts & Figures

Since 1996, television broadcasters have been required to air at least three hours of children’s educational programming per week. They are also required to label those programs with an educational/informational icon so parents can identify them.

A Children Now study found that only one in eight TV episodes labeled “educational/informational” is highly educational. In contrast, nearly twice as many were found to have only minimal educational value.

In 1990, Congress passed the Children’s Television Act to ensure broadcast TV stations provide programming specifically designed to serve the educational needs of children—in return for the free use of publicly-owned airwaves.


See All Facts & Figures



Policy Priorities

Respond quickly to public complaints about the adequacy of TV broadcasters’ compliance with the Children’s Television Act.

Actively monitor TV broadcasters’ compliance with the Children’s Television Act.

Strengthen the guidelines for what constitutes “educational/informational” TV.


Impact on
Children’s Programming

If left unchecked, the increased concentration of media ownership will have negative impacts on the availability and diversity of children’s programming.

In July 2006, the Federal Communcation Commission (FCC) announced plans to re-examine its media ownership rulemaking. In response to this announcement, Children Now conducted Big Media, Little Kids 2, a study of the impact of media consolidation on children’s programming.

Children Now Study Shows
Media Consolidation
Hurts Children

Figure: Average Weekly Children’s Program Hours per Station
(Click to enlarge image)

Children Now’s 2007 study, Big Media Little Kids 2, found that as media ownership consolidates, children’s programming suffers. Across all eight media markets surveyed, duopoly stations—defined as two or more stations in a market that are owned by the same company—decreased their children’s program offerings by five times more than did companies that owned a single station.

Read Big Media, Little Kids 2

Read the press release

Children Now’s initial study of media ownership consolidation’s impact on children’s programming, conducted in 2002, also showed that the creation of duopoly stations contributed to a serious decline in the availability and diversity of children’s television programming in Los Angeles.

Read Big Media, Little Kids

Giving Children A Voice

Children Now submitted, on behalf of the Children’s Media Policy Coalition and all children, comments to the FCC regarding its 2006 Review of the Media Ownership Rules.

Read the 2006 press release

Children Now has also testified at a number of FCC hearings on the issue of media ownership, sharing our findings regarding the effect media consolidation on children.

Read Children Now’s 2007 testimony at the public FCC hearing in Seattle

Read Children Now’s 2006 testimony at the public FCC hearing in Los Angeles