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December 30, 2005
Targeting China's Children
Read a fascinating pair of articles today from the New York Times (free registration site). This first one is about how Viacom's Nickelodeon, the children's cable TV network, is targeting the children of China is fun, irreverent rogramming that dispenses with dogmatic messages about how to behave. Great strategy - will the parents and the government like it? A quote from the article:
Viacom already has a 24-hour MTV channel in southern Guangdong province. China Central Television and the Shanghai Media Group broadcast Nickelodeon's "Wild Thornberries" and "CatDog" cartoons. "SpongeBob SquarePants" is due to premiere here next month.I am sure both Viacom and the Chinese government are wondering the same thing. Are these 'creative' influences mildly suggestive of American child rebelliousness, and what impact will it have on Chinese society? posted by HK Dave on 12.30.05 at 08:57 AM in the China history, education & culture category.
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There's a greater worry - that China's little emporers will turn into a vast army of rote-learning robots that lack creativity, initiative and drive, such as largely afflicts Japan and Korea. If American cartoons can engender a small amount of rebelliousness, it may undermine Confucian ideals of filial duty, but it may also prove the spark that ignites future economic growth and success.posted by: Simon on 12.30.05 at 10:06 AM [permalink]
I quite agree Simon, the potential for differences in thinking created by cartoons are quite positive overall, as much as China may fret about it (proof being that Disney was banned from airing its Looney Tunes cartoons on TV on the mainland until this year).
It will also be interesting to see what works and translates well in China, and what does not (for instance, Mulan) simply because the kids don't like it much.posted by: HK Dave on 12.30.05 at 12:05 PM [permalink]