Here is the full transcript of Amy Franzini’s talk titled “Should You Watch TV With Your Child?” at TEDxWidenerUniversity conference.
In this TEDx talk, Amy Franzini, a communication studies professor and researcher specializing in children’s television, explores the evolving role of TV in the lives of children and parents. She discusses the massive increase in television content over the past 20 years and the ease of accessing diverse programs through modern streaming services.
Franzini addresses parents’ concerns about their children’s exposure to potentially harmful content, emphasizing the need to differentiate between the quantity and quality of TV viewing. She highlights the historical concerns parents have had regarding media influence, advocating for a balanced approach to television as a tool for learning and socialization.
Franzini introduces the concept of co-viewing or joint media engagement, where parents and children watch TV together, facilitating discussions and shared experiences. She shares personal anecdotes to illustrate the benefits of co-viewing in fostering connections and understanding media content. Ultimately, Franzini encourages parents to view television as a partner in parenting, using it to aid in their children’s development and cultural understanding.
Listen to the audio version here:
My name is Amy Franzini, and I get paid to watch television. “Wait, what? There’s a job for that? Sign me up, right?” Well, that’s not my full job. I’m a communication studies professor and researcher, and what I research is children’s television. In order to understand what television content can tell us about our culture, I need to watch a lot of TV.
Over the past 20 years that I’ve been doing this, the amount of television available to consume has increased exponentially and is more widely available than ever. When I first started doing this research, I would need to record programs on my VCR. These are now almost obsolete. Even 10 years ago, I would need to proactively program my DVR or purchase entire series on a DVD.
Today, I can find an entire plethora of programming on Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+, Max, Hulu, Prime, Apple TV. On all these streaming services, I can find programs that are available currently and programs that I watched when I was a child. And as easy as it is for me as a researcher to access these programs to analyze, it’s just as easy for today’s children, tweens, and teens.