In the move towards a multi-channel, commercially led, global media system, children have emerged as a significant new market: there is now more children's television available than there has ever been. At the same time, critics have argued that the boundaries between childhood and adulthood are becoming blurred. Children's television may be changing, but so are views of the audience for which it is designed. Many commentators have condemned the anti-educational influence of programmes such as "Teletubbies"; the dangerous sensuality of "Live and Kicking" and the violence and vulgarity of American cartoons. This publication challenges those views by taking a serious look at what they have to offer. Has children's television been "dumbed down"? Is contemporary programming really as trivial, vacuous and repetitive - or indeed as subversive and anarchic - as some critics suggest? How does children's television reflect broader changes both in broadcasting and in conceptions of childhood itself?
The authors of "Small Screens" offer detailed coverage of children's programming in Britain and the USA, considering the changing ways in which children have been defined, addressed and entertained by television. They explore the key genres, including cartoons, costume drama and advertising; discuss significant and controversial programmes including "South Park", "Teletubbies" and "Grange Hill" and look at the experience of dedicated children's channels and of TV-related websites. Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and the Media at the Institute of Education, University of London.
Table of Contents
Introduction: In the name of the child? - David Buckingham - Trouble in the nursery: the case of Teletubbies - David Buckingham and Peter Kelley - That's edu-tainment: Saturday morning magazines from Swapshop to Live and Kicking - Gunther Kress, Hannah Davies and Peter Kelley - Creating citizens: children's news and its alternatives - David Buckingham - 'Tell me about your id, when you was a kid, yah!': children's animation from The Flintstones to The Simpsons - Representing the child's world: Grange Hill and social realism - Hannah Davies and Ken Jones - From watching with mother to surfing with father: children's television and digital media - Julian Sefton-Green
David Buckingham is Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and the Media at the Institute of Education, University of London. He is the author or editor of 12 books.