Cartoon Network is Socially Responsible!
Cartoon Network Finds Pro-Social Cop
By Jean Bergantini Grillo
Alice Cahn is a self-admitted laughist. As an academic and television kids programming executive (PBS and TBS), she’s serious about the impact and need for humor in kids’ lives, an important prerequisite as she steps into the newly-created position of VP/Social Responsibility for Cartoon Network.
But a pro-social do-gooder at the edgy home of Baby Looney Tunes? Fear not.
Cahn, mother of a five and nine-year-old, still enjoys flat-out-fall-down-funny stuff. Indeed, Cahn insists, her new position is all about “getting zany and funny and social responsibility to all fit.” Cartoon’s official announcement defines her responsibilities as “Providing guidance, content direction and coordination on the design and implementation of outreach and social responsibility initiatives across all Cartoon Network divisions.”
Privately, Cahn sounds a lot less scary when describing what a pro-social cop is all about. “We have a generation of parents who’ve grown up with the same media as their children,” she explains. “For the first time ever, media programmers now have a chance to address families issues through the same media–TV, web, iPods, Internet blogs, hand-held games– today’s families enjoy, many times, together.”
What issues concern Cartoon Network’s 2-17 target demo?
“It’s everything from Trick or Treat for UNICEF, Katrina relief, the new emphasis on exercise and healthy foods,” Cahn explains, adding, “All of these have been ongoing efforts of (our) Turner Broadcasting Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media Group.”
Happily for Cahn, she gets to work with Cartoon Networks acclaimed group of off-the-wall animators, “people who really know who today’s children are and how they can reach them,” she notes. “We’re not interfering with the creative process, just asking how we can continue to be funny (while being) socially responsible.”
To reach families not media savvy, Cahn says she’ll also work with partners such as the PTA, CDC, Boys and Girls Clubs, attending the Sandbox Summit and National Association of Young Children events.
“The best thing we can do as parents is treat media with Tender Loving Care,” Cahn explains. “Talk with your children about the screen sites they ‘re using; look at the material they’re experiencing; and change the channel, url or mobile portal if you don’t like what you see!”
This is the coolest step Cartoon Network has taken. Bravo! Brava!
In the past year– if you’ve followed this blog at all, you’d noticed that I’ve talked about this OFTEN… especially in the beginning of this blogging adventure. (Seriously).
I can’t WAIT to hear more about Alice Cahn, her adventure in this new position, and how such a career-creation can impact an industry.
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