Producing with Integrity

Most of us have seen the lower case or capital “e i” on the upper right hand side of the television screen for select children’s shows. I have learned that ensuring that a show is both educational and informative is only the beginning when producing programming for children. In fact, it is necessary to have integrity as well, and to be extremely meticulous in all three of these aspects of production.

In fact, I have seen this best demonstrated by the children’s television programs produced by the independent television company I am interning with. These programs promote education and literacy by featuring them in different segments throughout each episode. In one program, children from all over the country and world are invited to submit their original writing. The producers of the program make sure to read all stories submitted. Once a story is selected, a script is written for it. The scriptwriter is very careful to maintain the structural integrity of each story and anything written by the child is attributed to them. They also ensure that proper and inoffensive language is used and maintained throughout the script. The family of each child is then informed that their child’s story has been selected. After the producer has approved the final script, the costuming and sets are designed.

The producers of this program make sure to dot every “I” and cross every “T,” even down to the correct pronunciation and gender of the selected story’s author.  Although, this takes a lot of time, I have seen how extremely valuable these extra steps are to the child and their family.  During the production of the show, correct grammar and pronunciation are also checked and changed if needed.  In the production phase of the show, the child’s story is brought to life by the talented skills of professional actors. Finally, in post-production, the show is edited, special effects and all of the final touches are made to perfect the show. After the final cut of the show has been made, the child’s family is mailed a DVD of the show and receives a call to inform them when the show will be broadcast. This has been done for over 1500 children.

Although, this is just one case study, I have learned through observation—more than anything, integrity and responsibility are vital as a producer/media manager. In this case, not only is the producer responsible for including educational elements in each show while maintaining the story’s integrity; but they are also responsible for making each subsequent season as valuable to the child and audience as the first.

– Tamara John

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