what's on tv...

each time i prepare to teach a course, i find myself in the position of negotiating between "existing work in the field" and the real and shifting landscape that is being created from moment to moment. as some of you know, i am scheduled to teach a course titled "tv and (the development of) youth" - the parantheses are my addition... and the readings for the course draw on a variety of sources, including the suggestions made by some of you, including sefton-green, buckingham, etc... however, as i've been watching the tv somewhat obsessively over the past several days, the images of children and youth in the midst of the tragic disaster and displacement that has taken place in the southern united states seem to suggest - demand, really - that they, too, have a place in 'the course.'

reading television images, interpreting them, making sense of them, etc., all seem to be one arc in engaging this broad topic. but what of tv's role in making the identities of youth? what can/should we say and discuss about the use of the television as propaganda? as information? as inciter? as educator?

for what do we rely on the tv? has other media replaced it? or, as i suspect, is the average repertoire of everyday media simply expanding? an unrelated case-in-point: the degree to which episodes of 'dora the explorer' mimic the 'dora' video game environment. what does tv, the web, video games, and the oft-forgotten radio expect and assume about its potential audience?

i'll continue to wrestle with this balance of the exisiting and the now as the course and the semester unfolds, and hopefully will also gain some insight into "what's to come"...

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