Rhetoric & Composition 1
11 October 2010
Influence of Television Programs on Children
Before there was television, children had options of playing outside, playing board games, or doing simple activities like reading or drawing. Now that TV exists to a high extremity, it has become apparent that nowadays these children shows have surpassed physical and intellectual activities and have now become a way of life for children. We now see children wearing clothing, playing video games, playing with toys, and watching movies featuring famous characters that started off as mere creations that starred on half-hour to one hour long programs. Whether it is a positive or negative happening, children programming is becoming a global phenomenon affecting many kids around the world. The most relevant questions posed are how these shows affect children inside and outside of the US, and is this controversial issue affecting these children for the better or for the worse.
It is clear that children within the United States have become indulged with computers, video games, and, most evidently, television. Nickelodeon in particular has been coming out with shows made just for younger children over the last decade. An example of this would be “Dora the Explorer.” As Dora celebrates her 10th year on air, ratings and sales show that this Latina is here to stay. In an article from Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio, Sigal Ratner-Arias addresses this bilingual girl’s journey into the hearts of millions of children. Today, Dora is seen in 151 different markets and has been translated to 30 different languages. She appears in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Ireland and teaches Spanish. However, while this busy girl teaches Spanish to English-speaking countries, she also teaches English to Hispanic countries (Ratner-Arias n.pag). “According to Nickelodeon, ‘Dora’ has generated over $11 billion in worldwide sales since 2002 having sold 65 million units of Fisher Price Dora the Explorer toys, 50 million books and over 20 million DVDs worldwide,” writes Ratner-Arias (Ratner-Arias n.pag). For originally being created as a forest animal, “Dora the Explorer” has become a global idol to young children (Ratner-Arias n.pag). Another Nickelodeon star causing global waves is the sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea, “Spongebob Squarepants.” Martha Worboy, writer for The Gazette in Montreal, writes about the impact Spongebob Squarepants has had on children around the world. Since this show premiered in July of 1999, Spongebob has advanced himself to be seen in 171 markets and translated into 25 languages (Worboy n.pag). Along with many other shows, Spongebob has been seen in video games, movies, clothing, food, and seen in stores such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and Radio Shack (Worboy n.pag). Spongebob has sparked imagination amongst children around the world and continues to grow in popularity of all ages.
Two other shows that have shown significant rise around the world are “Sesame Street” and “Blue’s Clues.” According to an article from Melbourne, Australia’s newspaper, The Age, “Blue’s Clues” has been seen in 60 different countries and has been translated into 15 different languages (Dunn n.pag). Kids have the ability to interact with a guy named Joe and his cute, blue puppy, Blue. Along with Joe, children work to solve a mystery that Blue has laid out for them. With this show, children have the ability to be entertained through interaction with an animated puppy that also stimulates their brain. Though “Sesame Street” has been seen for many years and is highly known, this show still continues to branch out more and more. This Day, a newspaper out of Nigeria stated that later this year, “Sesame Street” will be introduced as “Sesame Square” in Nigeria; however, with it comes a unique twist to the characters (“This Day” n.pag). This show will...