Prosocial Content in a Local Childrens' Television Program: A Case Study, 1972-2002

Dr. Tatyana Dumova
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The purpose of this study was to identify and evaluate prosocial content of a local children’s television series News Six produced by WBGU-TV, Bowling Green, Ohio. A stratified random sample of 114 programs (228 news stories) broadcast between 1972-2002 was coded for story setting, theme, prosocial messages, and primary message attributes. Results of a nonfrequency content analysis indicate that portrayals of altruistic behaviors, such as helping, sharing, caring, and cooperation, composed the most prevalent group of story themes. During the entire period under study, the programs consistently employed the strategy of featuring prosocial content without any contrasting antisocial behavior. Overall, results demonstrate that the News Six series is rich with community, school and family-oriented content. Analysis suggests that the three-decade success of News Six is based on a creative partnership between students, parents, teachers, community representatives, and television professionals.

Keywords: Children, Prosocial, Television, Local, Content, Analysis
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Prosocial Content in a Local Childrens' Television Program

Dr. Tatyana Dumova

Assistant Professor of Communication Technologies, School of Communication, University of North Dakota

Tatyana Dumova is an Assistant Professor of Communication Technology in the School of Communication at the University of North Dakota. Her current research is focused on the socialization/value transmission function of communication and the social implications of new and emerging communication technologies. With a practical background in local children’s television production, she is developing a research program concerned with theoretical and practical issues surrounding the use of television at the community level.

Ref: T06P0105