Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hispanic children need quality programs on Spanish-language TV – Hispanosphere – Orlando Sentinel

Hispanic children need quality programs on Spanish-language TV – Hispanosphere – Orlando Sentinel

Television plays an important role in the cultural experience of the modern child. Whether we like it or not, TV is one of the first windows through which youth can explore the world.

This is why it is important to have Spanish-language television programming in Hispanic households, especially in those with small children, where parents can readily influence which channel their children watch.

The issue isn’t just about exposure to Spanish-language programming, but about exposure to quality children’s programming. For example, all of us know the value of a program like Sesame Street, which has kept children entertained for 30 years. Unfortunately, not all programs are like Sesame Street. The majority of channels available in Spanish meet only the legal limit, transmitting three hours a week of educational programming for children.

On average, the Hispanic household consumes more than 30 hours a week of television, that is to say, the equivalent of more than a day. Does this figure appear high to you? It is. Now, imagine that only three of these hours are educational Spanish programming. The problem is obvious.

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