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PBS Kids Online - Smart Choices

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From: BJ Berquist (berquist_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Apr 19 2002 - 05:20:00 PDT


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KCTS/Seattle's "Don't Buy It" Web Site Coming to PBS Kids Online
Site Aims to Teach Youth How to Make Smart Consumer Choices

Launch date: April 15, 2002
pbskids.org/dontbuyit

April 15, 2002 -- In an age when kids are bombarded with literally
thousands of advertising messages each day, KCTS/Seattle Public
Television
and PBS Kids Online are stepping in to help them think critically about
media by launching the Don't Buy It Web site at pbskids.org/dontbuyit.
The
Don't Buy It site, produced by KCTS/Seattle and POP! Multimedia,
challenges
kids to question advertising, evaluate media and become smart consumers.
Using humor, games and clever advertising parodies, Don't Buy It "sells"
media literacy to youth ages 9-12.

Don't Buy It fills a critical need, particularly on the Web, where most
media literacy sites are geared toward parents and teachers. Don't Buy
It
offers parents' and teachers' guides for grades 3-6, but the site is for
kids -- a population spending more of its time online than ever.

The Don't Buy It site helps kids learn about the modern media
marketplace
by showing them how to use the very same advertising tactics used by
Madison Avenue. Using site features, kids will be able to put ads in
sneaky
places, design cereal boxes, craft their own ad captions and more.
Stories
and quizzes reveal startling truths about the marketing of junk food and
the pervasive commercial forces behind the selling of pop music and
television. Banner parody ads demonstrate how misleading Web advertising
and marketing tactics may be.

"Children have more influence on family spending, and are spending more
themselves, than previous generations, and marketers are increasing
efforts
to capture their attention," said Tim Olson, Interactive Director at
KCTS.
"Don't Buy It encourages kids to evaluate the motivations, techniques
and
underlying assumptions of these messages."

An estimated 7.6 million young people ages 9-12 use the Internet,
according
to a 2000 survey of online households by Grunwald Associates. That's
three
times as many kids as were online in 1997. In the same survey, 45
percent
of parents reported that their child's home Internet use had risen in
the
past year, and educational activities were cited as the reason for the
increase.

Don't Buy It is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as
part
of a $1.7 million effort to create educational Internet projects
targeted
at youth ages 9-12.

Cheryl Williams, CPB Vice President for Education, said public
broadcasting
is uniquely positioned to provide Web content that educates children,
rather than markets products to them. "Parents and educators can trust
these sites to be safe havens where children can learn, share ideas and
have fun," she said.

The Don't Buy It site is being produced by KCTS/Seattle with POP!
Multimedia, one of Seattle's leading interactive agencies, which
produces
extensive content for kids, including work for Nintendo and Microsoft.

Faith Rogow, Ph.D.
Insighters Educational Consulting
"Helping people learn from media and one another."

For the latest news about media literacy, sign up for the monthly
e-newsletter, AMLA Update, at www.AMLAinfo.org.
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Forwarded by:
BJ Berquist
Associate Educator, TAPPED IN
mailto:bjb@tappedin.org
http://www.tappedin.org/info/members/bj.html

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