prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

RIP Peggy Charren

Posted by prof e on January 22, 2015

PEGGYCHARRENA powerful advocates for children’s television died today. Peggy Charren, founder of Action for Children’s Television (ACT), passed away after a long life of advocacy for quality TV programming for children. Dismayed by the rampant violence and commercialism that marred children’s programming in the ’60 and ’70s, Charren became a crusader and reformer. Her steadfast devotion to the cause led to the Children’s Television Act which was passed into law in 1990. The legislation limited the amount of commercial content in children’s TV programming and required stations to show evidence of the educational value of its programming.

According to an article in the Boston Globe, Charren’s group seized upon “one tiny clause in the 1934 Federal Communications Act that required broadcasters using the public airwaves to serve the public interest if they wanted to keep their licenses. Ms. Charren’s group, which grew to 20,000 members, insisted that federal authorities and network executives take that mandate seriously.”

Current FCC chairman Tom Wheeler was quoted as saying,

Parents across America owe a debt of gratitude to Peggy, who single-handedly turned the vast wasteland that was children’s television programming in the 1960s and 1970s into the plethora of educational, informational and entertaining programming families enjoy today.

Peggy Charren was recipient of a Peabody award, an Emmy award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

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