August 14, 2006

ARTICLES / BOOKS: Why TV is Good for Kids

Why TV is Good for Kids

August 12, 2006

Why TV is Good for Kids
By Catharine Lumby and Duncan Fine
Macmillan, 314pp, $32.95

MARK Twain is quoted as saying, "I've had a lot of catastrophes in my life and some of them actually happened." Indeed, amid public fears, partisan debates and misinformation, it is increasingly hard to sort out what are real and imagined threats to our social, psychological, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

We are regularly confronted by issues about which we are encouraged to be worried. Some would call them panics and many of them involve children. Included on the list are childhood obesity, crime and violence, drug and sexual abuse, and falling educational standards.

Television is often singled out as an influential medium through which these problems propagate themselves, so it is somewhat surprising to find a book entitled Why TV is Good for Kids. Written by Catharine Lumby and Duncan Fine, it is classified as nonfiction. Of course, those who work in the biomedical and social sciences know that much of what at one time passes for nonfiction is later seen as fiction. Perhaps literature needs a new classification called opinion.

Why TV is Good for Kids refers to many panics that grip the community but have a particular predilection for well-meaning but increasingly anxious parents. The book seeks to inform and reassure, and to some extent it does. Much of the cited research is interesting and challenges accepted beliefs that parents should be so worried about their children.

FULL ARTICLE AT,20867,20058971-5003900,00.html

Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
Youth Media Consulting GbR
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