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Abstract

Empowering children for a critical and judicious use and consumption of media is a main objective of media literacy. This paper aims to examine the range of television programs available for children in Portugal through a comparative analysis of the programming for children broadcast by the four Portuguese terrestrial channels (RTP1, RTP2, SIC and TVI) over the course of a year. A content analysis of 4,491 programs reveals that about one third have an explicit educational goal and that preschool children are the primary target audience for children’s television. There are clear differences among Portuguese public and private channels in the content and themes of children’s television programming and little children’s television production comes from Portugal. Television itself could promote this aim through the programs it provides to children, as established in the Agreement for Public Service Television signed in 2008 by the Portuguese State and the public television channel, RTP, but it has yet to be enforced.

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