Education: Wooing A Captive Audience

A controversial plan to beam news -- and ads -- into classrooms

Christopher Whittle has a high-tech answer for the problem of cultural illiteracy among American students. Beginning next month, his Knoxville-based Whittle Communications firm will beam Channel One, a slick news program for teenagers, directly into schools for a seven-week test period. Whittle has provided each of the six pilot schools with $50,000 worth of television sets and satellite equipment to use as they wish. The only requirement: each day students will have to watch a twelve-minute Channel One broadcast -- including two minutes of ads.

Whittle's plan to introduce commercial television into the classroom has sparked considerable controversy. "I think it's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!