For 45 seasons the creators of Sesame Street have been honing their expertise in using media to educate children and help them grow “smarter, stronger and kinder.”
Folks from Sesame Workshop shared how they appeal to young and future news audiences at ONA14’s Saturday lunch keynote, “Can You Tell Me How to Get to… Our Next News Audience?”
Carol-Lynn Parente, senior vice president and executive producer, is the global manager for Sesame Street’s content on all media platforms, including online.
Parente attributes the show’s success to its writers, whom she called “unsung heroes” because they write content for children and their parents. “It’s a lot harder than it looks because no second can there ever be an adult joke at the expense of the kids,” she said. “Weaving that magic of something that’s not only funny, but also educational is a tall order.”
One of the workshop’s writers was also on the panel. “The key is to stay current, of course,” script writer and lyricist Christine Ferraro said. “That’s what Sesame Street has done throughout its history, and that’s what we continue to do.”
The panelists said that when parents watch the show with their children, it
deepens the educational impact of Sesame Street’s message. “If you’re watching content with your kids, you talk about content beyond the viewing experience,” Parente said.
Journalists also hung on the words of Cookie Monster, puppeteered by David Rudman and Abby Cadabby, puppeteered by Leslie Carrara-Rudolph. They also waited in line to pose for photos with Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster: