I would like to express not just my opinion but more importantly my experience as a parent of an Eagle Valley Middle School student who watches Channel One every day.
At first I was concerned, not so much about the commercial effects of the program but more that my son didn't use that time reading newspapers instead. As for the commercialism issue, let's face it. There are just as many advertisements, if not more, in the newspaper. So I decided to wait and see.
We recently moved to Carson City from San Francisco, and my son participated in a newspaper reading program at his schools for the past several years. Reading the newspaper and giving a report to class, each child was only able to focus on one article per week, but were able to hear about other issues from other students' reports. Often they would not hear about the continuing news or resolutions of a particular issue, so the children weren't fully informed.
Channel One is able to keep the children's attention and keep them updated daily on new developments. Since my son has been watching Channel One, he has engaged us (remarkable for a teenager!) in conversations of current issues in the news and he has really begun to form his own opinions. Most recently, we have discussed at length the teens who were expelled from school in Decatur, Ill.
It seems that the medium and format of Channel One are more engaging and appealing to Generation Y than newspapers. I believe it is more important for my son to be informed on the issues and to be able to intelligently discuss them than the manner in which he receives the information. He continues to read books that he enjoys.
I commend Principal Joanie Burris' decision. Without her immediate action, this issue might never have been resolved. Principal Burris has foresight and truly understands the minds of the children that she oversees. Besides, someday newspapers could go the way of the eight-track tape and we might all be receiving our news from the Internet - no commercial exploitation there.