Title

Negotiating 'non-profit': The survival strategies of the Sesame Workshop

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2017

Abstract

Our study focuses on Sesame Street and sets out to examine how Sesame Workshop, as a 'non-profit' organization targeting children, has been able to continuously transform and make itself relevant in a predominantly commercial children's television landscape dominated by transnational ownership structures. The analysis includes an investigation of Sesame Workshop's mission statements, organizational structure, annual fiscal reports, promotional material and other written sources from the 1970s to the 2010s. We focus on the Workshop's own arguments and reasons for why their 'non-profit' status was, and still is, better at taking care of children's interests than the for-profit companies. These understandings are held up against the, at times, very commercial logic guiding the workshop's business model, and analysed within the economic and political context of children's television in the United States and the Workshop's key international target markets. Our theoretical framework draws upon insights from work on political economy and children's media and comparative media systems.

Publication Name

Media International Australia

Volume Number

163

First Page

97

Last Page

106

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1177/1329878X17693930

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