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News and Achievements
in the Fight for Commercial-Free Schools
- A new research
study finds that Channel One costs taxpayers $1.8 billion annually in lost
instructional time, including $300 million in class time lost to commercials.
The study was conducted by Alex Molnar of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's
Center for the Analysis of Commercialism in Education, and Max Sawicky
of the Economic Policy Institute.
- The Berkeley,
CA, school board yields to community concerns and votes to ban advertising
and logos in classrooms, instructional material, on sports uniforms and
equipment, and on school facilities. The policy came in response to controversy
over a proposed exclusive contract with Pepsi, which would have allowed
Pepsi to place logos on sports scoreboards. Local and national media coverage
played a key role in this victory.
- Midway High School
in Hewitt, TX unplugs Channel One. The school's principal decided the program
was a waste of time.
- The Grants Pass,
OR, school district unplugs Channel One. Curriculum Director Steve Iverson
said the district wanted to free up time "for more relevant and traditional
- Citizens in Seattle,
WA, defeat in-school advertising proposal! A broad coalition of parents,
teachers, students and others persuaded the school board to abandon its
plans for in-school advertising. Their efforts won national media coverage
in the New York Times and on "Good Morning America" and the "McNeil-Lehrer
- The Center works
with concerned citizens in New Milford, CT, Guymon, OK, and Greencastle,
PA, to keep Channel One out of their schools. Citizens convinced their
school boards that educational concerns outweighed the promise of "free"
- New research confirms
that Channel One's primary purpose is advertising, not education. Professors
at Johns Hopkins University and Vassar College and staff at the Center
for Media Education conducted a content study and concluded that Channel
One is little more than an advertising vehicle targeted at a "captive
- After meeting
with representatives of the Center, Levi Strauss & Co. decides not
to advertise on Channel One this year. Additionally, we continue to work
with Social Ventures Network and Businesses for Social Responsibility in
order to promote ethical school-business partnerships.
- In Canton, OH,
high school students stage a sit-in to protest forced viewing of Channel
One and request an optional alternative to the commercial infotainment
- Seattle citizens
complete 30 Commercialism Walk-throughs to collect data for a comprehensive
assessment of commercial presence in the district's schools. The resulting
Report on Commercial Activities and Advertising in Seattle Public Schools
provides a snapshot of commercialism in a large urban district today.
- For a third consecutive
year, the Center successfully keeps Channel One out of New York State,
the program's largest untapped market.
- In Austin, TX,
parent and TV-Free America activist Brad Rockwell succeeds in obtaining
the Channel One tapes crucial to the analysis in the content study. Despite
a local statute that allows parental review of all teaching materials,
these tapes were only obtained through legal challenge.
in schools and the Center receive extensive local and national media coverage
in print, TV and radio throughout the past year. Stories appeared in the
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Business Week, Washington
Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco
Examiner, Houston Chronicle, and Philadelphia Inquirer. These included
major editorials against advertising in schools by USA Today and the S.F.
Chronicle. TV coverage included "Good Morning America" and the
"Today Show," as well as ABC "World News Tonight,"
CBS evening news with Dan Rather, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC.