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Expert Quotations on TVs Cultural Impact

WIINDMILL PRESS PUBLISHING (Canadian publishers of media books and resources)

Welcome to the Quotations Center! Many experts in media literacy and those claiming to care about children and the impact of television on children have given us memorable quotations about the impact of television in our culture. Use quotations daily during TV units. Write a quote-of-the-day for students to think about. Instruct your students to write down quotations in a journal and respond to them. Usually a reflection on a quotation will take 5-7 minutes; the exercise serves as a great springboard for discussion of TV issues. Challenge students to come up with their own quotations about television and display them on a bulletin board. In a language arts class, key in on how the writers of these quotes often use a metaphor or image--like trash television--to make a point about TV.

"Television is teaching all the time. It does more educating than the schools and all the institutions of higher learning."--Marshal McLuhan

"Television, whether you like it or not, is the most powerful educational force known to man and we're quivering it away and I find that unacceptable. When are we going to scream?"--Fred Friendly, Former president of CBS News

"Entertainment is the most powerful educational force of any culture."--George Gerbner

"Television is basically teaching whether you want it or not."--Jim Henson, Muppets creator

"We cannot blame the schools alone for the dismal decline in SAT verbal scores. When our kids come home from school, do they pick up a book or do they sit glued to the tube, watching music videos? Parents, don't make the mistake of thinking your kid only learns between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m."--former president George Bush

"We are guilty of many errors and may faults, but the worst crime is abandoning the children."--Gabriela Mistral, Chilean poet

"Shall we just carelessly allow children to hear casual tales which may be devised by casual persons, and to receive into their minds ideas for the most part the very opposite of those which we should wish them to have when they are grown up?"--Plato

"If you came and found a strange man teaching your kids to punch each other, or trying to sell them all kinds of products, you'd kick him right out of your house, but here you are; you come in and the TV is on, and you don't think twice about it."--Jerome Singer

"Television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse and insulate us."--Edward R. Morrow

"To harness the power of television for the education of our nation's children, everyone must get involved--television programmers, government leaders, teachers, and above all, parents."--Edwin Newman

"We don't care really about children as a society and television reflects that indifference to children as human beings."--Bill Moyers

"What always puzzles me is why parents aren't more alarmed about the impact of television content, and why they don't make their concerns felt, but they don't."--Joan Cooney, Founder, Children's TV Workshop

"We're strip-mining our children's minds and we're doing it for commercial profit without any concern for the longer-term consequences for them and for our society."--Al Gore