Every so often there comes a study with
findings that simply cannot be conveyed adequately in words alone. These occasions call for a musical journey, an exploration of the destructive impact of media consumption habits through the irrepressible power of song. This is one of those times.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: This week some confirmation of what many have suspected all along - namely, that the media may be hazardous to your health. Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and the California Pacific Medical Center reviewed 173 studies on media and health conducted over the past three decades. What they found was a powerful link between media exposure and childhood obesity, smoking and sexual activity. BOB GARFIELD: The report was released by the nonprofit group Common Sense Media. The intention, said lead researcher Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel of the National Institutes of Health, was to, quote, “create a new sense of urgency about the media consumption of children.” He said the findings called for a bold new agenda that needs to consider not just traditional media but video games, the Internet and cell phones.
Here to help contextualize the report is – hey, you know what, Brooke, why don't we just sing? BROOKE GLADSTONE: Uh-oh. [PIANO INTRODUCTION] BOB GARFIELD: [SINGING] Like the beat, beat, beat of the tom-tom, as The Gossip Girls drone on, like the tick-tick-tock of the stately clock from dawn to dusk to dawn. BROOKE GLADSTONE: [SINGING] Like the drip, drip, drip of the raindrops, a thousand channels pulsing through, as your life counts down to the moments lost to MySpace and YouTube too. BOB GARFIELD: [SINGING] Night and day, you are at risk, from every moronic show, website and disk. Whether Punkd or Heavy.com, you are standing beside a ticking time bomb that threatens you – night and day. BROOKE GLADSTONE: [SINGING] Night and day, the stats say it’s so, that perniciousness that follows wherever you go. Obesity, bad grades and crime all increase with increase in media time. It’s harming you - night and day. BROOKE GLADSTONE AND BOB GARFIELD: [SINGING] Day and night, 200 studies say - BOB GARFIELD: [SINGING] Three long decades of besmirching researching, now the experts say - BROOKE GLADSTONE: [SINGING] The Centers for Disease Control say don't smoke, watch or download much iTunes’ rock n' roll – BROOKE GLADSTONE AND BOB GARFIELD: [SINGING] Day and night, night and day! [SINGING OUT/MUSIC UP AND UNDER] BOB GARFIELD: That's it for this week's show. On the Media was produced by Megan Ryan, Jamie York, Mike Vuolo, Mark Phillips and Nazanin Rafsanjani, and edited – by Brooke. We had technical direction from Jennifer Munson and more engineering help from Zach Marsh. We also had help from Deena Prichep and Andy Lancet. Our webmaster is Amy Pearl. BROOKE GLADSTONE: Katya Rogers is our senior producer and John Keefe our executive producer. Bassist/composer Ben Allison wrote our theme, and this week we also enjoyed the piano stylings of Jon Dryden. This is On the Media from WNYC. I'm Brooke Gladstone. BOB GARFIELD: And I'm Bob Garfield.
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