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University of Southern California

The IJPC Journal, Volume 2 - Fall 2010

N Is for News: The Image of the Journalist on Sesame Street

Ashley Ragovin

Abstract


This article examines the children’s television show Sesame Street, and how its portrayal of news potentially affects children’s perception of the news media. Specifically, the research focuses on the “News Flash,” a recurring segment that mimics the format of adult television news. Based upon a viewing of every “News Flash” segment since the show’s inception, the skits were compared to the vast array of common stereotypes of the journalist in popular culture, primarily film and television. This article demonstrates how such stereotypes of the TV reporter and general conventions of television news are communicated to a large audience of young viewers through its unique format, why Sesame Street is an exception to the general rule of pop culture’s negative portrayal of the media, and what the implications of these images and messages are for the program’s young audience.

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