Fred Rogers with kids and a school bus

Fred Rogers and the significance of story

The late George Gerbner, a leading scholar of TV program content, wrote this article for the 40th anniversary of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, but it served the additional purpose of explaining why he founded the Cultural Environment Movement in 1996 after leaving the University of Pennsylvania, where he was dean of the Annenberg School of Communication. The article appeared in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Children, Television and Fred Rogers, a collection of diverse essays published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. There is a story about a mother who said to her child, "I wish you would change your behavior." The child said, "That's all right, Mother; Mr. Rogers loves me as I am." Forty years in children's television — with an approach that is so different from so many other programs— is an event of historic significance. Continue Reading