Prosocial Content in a Local Childrens' Television Program: A Case Study, 1972-2002
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
Dr. Tatyana Dumova
Assistant Professor of Communication Technologies, School of Communication, University of North Dakota