Something just reminded me about the “education” focused nature of countries here in the East. That something was a friend who was using my computer basically opening up a window to EBS. EBS stands for “Educational Broadcasting System” or one of the bigger public networks here in Korea. Like ABC, CBS and NBC in the states, EBS ranks up there with the 3 biggest tv networks here in korea: MBC, KBS and SBS. It’s funny when you think about how the main publicly accessible channels in the U.S. are all purely entertainment driven with a little news scattered in between (of course) when you consider how Korea has an “Educational Channel” (for many years, by the way – started in 1969). However, when a country values it’s education so much, a channel like EBS is definitely considered valuable and has been able to weather the storm through the years & probably has even driven a profit during that time (40 years).
In the U.S. we have Discovery, History and a number of other somewhat similar, but more focused “educational niche” channels, but are masked under “entertainment pretenses” and didn’t even get funding until 16 years after EBS. There’s also I think a gaming channel which shows a lot of poker — which I can’t say I’m not guilty of enjoying. At the same time, when the preferences of Americans are all on mostly entertainment as we stereotypically may think and when the International community feels Americans are “uneducated” for the most part, is this one of the reasons to blame? Is it because we let public demand sway the country to not value education as much?
Well, the Koreans aren’t 100% innocent. They have a channel that blasts out Starcraft 24 hours a day (or close to that) which is a online PC video game that hasn’t lost the interest of teenagers (and probably many adults) for at least 10 years now.