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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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8

Is There Local Content on Television for Children Today?

Katalin Lustyik and Ruth Zanker

ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the dichotomy between “local” and “global” television content targeting children in the context of debates on media globalization. Our three case studies – TVNZ6 in New Zealand, Minimax in Eastern Europe, and Al Jazeera Children's Channel in the Middle East – focus specifically on locally produced content offered on thematic children's television channels launched to promote the cultural heritage of a particular nation or region. Operating in small but radically different media environments on different continents, these channels provide concrete examples of how local content is conceptualized and what types of content are being offered and produced for children today.

At this moment, there are nearly 2 billion children under the age of 18 worldwide who are targeted by an increasing number of television programs and dedicated children's channels. As such globally circulated programs and networks expand their reach using multimedia platforms, the question becomes: Is there a need – and room for – locally produced television content for young people? From the perspectives of many governments, the public, and producers and broadcasters, locally produced content developed with the interest, perspective, and views of local children in mind can provide them with a sense of their own place in an increasingly complex world. But how is local television content defined ...

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