CLEARINGHOUSE ON CHILDREN’S ISSUES FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

Americans, on average, spend more than seven hours a day watching television. 98 percent of all homes in the U.S. have television sets. Undeniably, television is a major source in shaping our values and behaviors. For example, libraries around the country reported a 500 percent increase in library card applications after a Happy Days episode aired in which the Fonz applies for a library card.

In order to encourage the incorporation of children’s issues in television and film, CAN assists television and film writers in researching topics varying from child custody cases to teen suicide. These projects have ranged from ER, Party of Five, NYPD Blue, Homicide: Life on the Street, Nash Bridges, Picket Fences, and 60 Minutes to the films Freak the Mighty and It Takes Two, as well as an Oprah Winfrey special on Poverty and Hunger.

CAN also sponsors an ongoing series of educational briefings for the entertainment industry and distributes recent news articles to over 2,000 writers, producers, and directors, keeping the entertainment industry informed on children’s issues. Past briefings have addressed issues such as health care, prenatal substance abuse, and lead poisoning, and featured nationally recognized children’s experts including T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Marian Wright Edelman and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.