BBC’s Blue Peter VS Nickelodeon & Cartoon Network

UGC (User Generated Content) & Kid Empowerment could be SOOO dynamic. Truly.  Why the big kid-networks haven’t figured it out yet, i don’t know.  I’m not bringing Disney into this, simply because Disney tends to only promote Disney (That’s not a diss, just a valid observation)… haven’t seen them branch beyond their own Disneyness yet on programing, kid empowerment, etc. Anyway, check this out:

Teen Kids News is a dynamic television news program for teens and pre-teens-by teens. The half-hour weekly program provides information and news to students in a way that’s educational as well as entertaining. The focus of the program is young people, so all the stories are in their words. This program inserts the clear informed voice of students into the adult-dominated media and provides a unique perspective that is not currently available on network news program. 

Weekly Reader Classroom Magazines and Educational Supplements

This Teen Kid News sounds great. I’m in Chicago and haven’t seen it yet.  But the concept reminds me of a program in the UK.  BBC has a great show called “Blue Peter

Blue Peter is a popular, long-running BBC television programme for children, and airs on Children’s BBC (CBBC) . It is named after the blue-and-white flag
hoisted by ships in port when they are ready to sail. The reasoning
behind the choice of title is that the programme is intended to be a
voyage of adventure and discovery for the viewers, constantly covering
new topics.

There are a handful of adult 20/30 somethings that present all-things-kid (and a few pets that roam the set).  They don’t talk “down” to kids, like babysitters or teachers, but instead talk TO kids as if they’re a respected audience, which they are.  They use vids made by kids, they interview various interesting kids, they interview kid celebrities, kid geniuses, kid authors, authors for kids, etc etc.  They talk about what life is like for kids across the world (ie Linda Ellerbee’s occasional reports on Nick, Sunday nights).  It’s all done with a flavor of NBC’s Today show.  Likeable hosts who joke around together, yet are incredibly interested in journalism, humanity, etc. 

It also, like Nick’s TeenNick (with J. Boogie) & ME:TV and Cartoon Network’s Fridays, acts as the before, middle, and ending of a cartoon block (aka, series of selected cartoons). 

Why hasn’t a “Blue Peter” concept been done in the US yet?  I’m baffled.  What kid doesn’t like adventures?  Plus, update the “Blue Peter” concept and be proactive about sticking more user generated materials.  Have kids interview using webcams, and dice it up in post production to make it “viewer friendly”  They can add a bit more goof to it with fun skits, slime, games, etc… but not make that the mega-uber-concept.

Instead of 20-something hosts, choose cool, funny, edgy teens with AMBITION (Did anyone see Oprah’s “Leadership Academy”? Those girls were inspirational).  It’s OKAY for teens to get too old for hosting the program, you can always recruit from your audience… kids respect hierarchy (even though they complain it’s not fair).  Anything is better than the hosts on Nick’s Me:Tv. Ugh. They stand side-by-side like they’re worried about seperating… the “savages” in the audience might get them.  Not to mention they’re not funny and have NO repoire.  They would NOT have made it as camp counselors, that’s for certain. (Do they even LIKE they’re jobs?  I’d KILL for that job.)

Anyway… programming these days seems so self-centered.  “Look at me, look at me.”  Very “myspace.”  What about mixing up that UGC with a bit of purpose– especially showing kids that there is a bigger world out there & that they can interact with adventures, life, news, cool happenings, etc– then add a large helping of Online Community Acknowledgement & Support. 

Let’s move beyond this concept of “only cartoon blocks & webcams”.  Give a bit more empowerment back to the tween/teen set… then cover them in slime. Slime seems to make everything better.

  1. the geeko
    April 6, 2007 at 7:13 am

    i want to watch a cartoon on this device

  2. Deitra
    July 17, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I live in America and was born in 1988,so I have grown up with Disney and Nick ,Both channels used to be good,but lately it’s gone downhill,there are no more news programmes on Nick.Latley I have been using youtube to watch cbbc and I have found it quite enjoyable than the dumb American kids shows put out by Disney and Nick.

  1. March 30, 2007 at 2:40 pm

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