Powered by CPB Grant, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center to Research New Ways for Public Media to Engage with Preteen and Teen Audiences

January 27, 2020

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)-- The media landscape is changing faster than ever for digital-native teens and tweens. As part of a shared commitment to educate and serve the public across generations, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center (Cooney Center) at Sesame Workshop announced a new research project to investigate and understand the media habits of children ages 8-18. Made possible by a $523,097 grant from CPB, the Cooney Center-led project will identify how public media can reach young people and adapt to their evolving media practices.

The Cooney Center will examine how young people interact with media – video, audio, social media, messaging, and more – to help public media engage youth audiences and communities in new ways beyond traditional broadcasting. The project will leverage public media’s broadcasting and publishing infrastructure and connections to local schools and youth-serving organizations. The findings will help to inform future content development, local station projects, and potential partnerships.

"Through this research we will have the opportunity to learn more about young people's need to stay constantly connected and engaged with media. Our goal is to enable public media to connect with them through ideas and educational content that can enhance their learning and their lives," said Pat Harrison, CPB president and CEO.
This research project comes more than 50 years after Joan Ganz Cooney’s groundbreaking report introduced the idea that television could help young children learn. Cooney, co-creator of Sesame Street, laid the groundwork not just for that iconic show, but for all educational children’s programming going forward. The upcoming collaboration between CPB and the Cooney Center continues that legacy of innovation, exploring how public media can evolve to remain relevant with audiences ages 8-18.

“Today’s youth are surrounded by media and technology that constantly compete for their attention,” said Michael Preston, Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. “At the same time, they’re actively using media to support their creativity, communication, civic participation, learning, and play. We are excited to partner with CPB to learn how public media can move beyond traditional broadcasting to embrace new content created by, with, and for kids.”

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About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.

About The Joan Ganz Cooney Center
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit research and innovation lab that focuses on the challenges of fostering smarter, stronger, and kinder children in a rapidly changing media landscape. We conduct original research on emerging learning technologies and collaborate with educators and media producers to put this research into action. We also aim to inform the national conversation on media and education by working with policymakers and investors. For more information, visit www.cooneycenter.org and follow us on Twitter @CooneyCenterFacebook and subscribe for other updates.

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