Impact of cartoon channels on the social and cultural behaviour of children - A study in Karnataka, India


Advent of multi channels, multi-platform services has created large contemporary children’s television culture based around dedicated children’s channels and programming with a combination of global and local content. With over 17 cartoon channels in India, both in English and regional languages with diversified content, children are exposed to a variegated content right from cartoon programs to educational programs. Children are perceived as active audience which has boosted commercialization of cartoon content. There is a steady increase in the television viewership among children. It is evident that children have emerged as a dominant viewer category in television as pointed out by the recent BARC Report. Though, there has been a paradigm shift in the access of content on multimedia platforms, this has minimum bearing on children’s media habits. While television continues to dominate the Indian household, it is important to understand the implication of children spending a substantial amount of time over watching cartoon channels. One of the noticeable influences of television is on the behaviour. Behavioral changes and associations with mass media have intrigued researchers for decades now. However, considering the fact that kids today have multiple viewing options amidst digital technology, it is significant to understand if this viewing pattern of children has any impact on their behaviour. Children are the citizens of tomorrow. Children develop their personality as they grow amidst various experiences. Media undoubtedly contributes to their experience pool. How the child shapes her understanding of the world and reacts to circumstance and situations depends on multiple variables. Whether cartoon programmes on television contribute to such behavioral influences? If yes, to what extent? What are the implications of the same? These are some of the pertinent questions to which the study tries to seek answers to. This study focuses on exploring the dimension of influence of cartoon channels on children’s behaviour. The current study is an exploratory research. The study has been conducted with the aim of probing into the relationship between programme content on cartoon channels and the behaviour of children. The objectives of the study are to examine the influence of programmes on cartoon channels on the social and cultural behaviour of children. The study was conducted on the primary school children in Karnataka state, India.