Children’s Television and The 3 Hour Rule by Lauren F. and Jennifer J.

Congress saw that TV could help society through education because they believed that it could greatly inform children. The Children’s Television Act of 1990 is an act that makes sure that children are being taught important mental and social information. This “information” includes material such as skills, values, and different behaviors, while simultaneously entertaining them and making sure that all the while they’re learning about the world around them. To ensure free use of public airwaves, “broadcasters are required to air 3 hours of educational children’s television per week.” The criteria for what’s deemed appropriately educational is: “shows must (a) have education as a significant purpose; (b) have a specified learning goal and target audience; (c) be aired on a regular schedule between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.; and (d) be labeled as “E/I” to identify the program to the public as educational/informational for children.”

For example, while growing up I have been watching television shows that were entertaining yet still very educating. The TV shows that I remember watching are Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Barney, Sesame St. and even the Teletubbies. These shows were perfectly targeted to children, and is a great visual of Children and the 3 Hour rule. This act is very important because more than half the kids in America have access to a Televison, so regulating the things on TV is really effective. “Data also show that children from ages 2 to 17 watch on average more than 3 hours of television each day.”

Not only do children love and learn from these programs, but parents and teachers appreciate the learning aspect as well. This public airwaves rule also is beneficial for those of all economic status. In 1988 Ronald Reagan vetoed a bill that was in favor of supporting this act. Though this came as a shock to the FCC, eventually the bill was passed. Now we all see the outcome of this act, and can all benefit from it as well. Not only do we get entertainment through watching television, but we will also gain skills that are needed for a healthy development.


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