ERIC Number: ED375441
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Broadcast Preparations for and Consequences of "The Day After."
Lometti, Guy E.
The public's reaction to the television film "The Day After" demonstrates that when television responsibly and sensitively presents a controversial yet thought-provoking issue, an educational and enlightening experience can result. The film was developed and produced by ABC Motion Pictures to inspire debate and discussion about the effects of nuclear war. A tremendous public debate was generated even before the film was aired in 1983. The film was the 12th-ranked program of all time, seen by an estimated 100 million people. Many psychologists and educators warned of dire consequences for children exposed to "The Day After," and the National Education Association issued its first-ever parent advisory for a television program, warning parents not to allow children to watch the film alone. ABC took a number of steps both before and after the film was broadcast to assess the public's reaction to the controversy surrounding children, politics, and the public. Two months before the air date, qualitative focus groups comprised of parents and children viewed the film. Results indicated no adverse emotional reactions, and all focus group viewers wanted to talk about what they had seen. A viewer's guide was developed by ABC for use in junior and senior high schools. A national survey of 1,921 adults and children between the ages of 10-17 years was conducted after the broadcast. Results indicated that viewers evaluated the program favorably, thought that children would be able to cope with issues raised by the film, watched the film with someone, and discussed the film during or after its airing. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A