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Co-Founder of Baby Einstein Files Open-Records Complaint for Access to University of Washington Research
Date:1/11/2010

SEATTLE, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- William Clark, co-founder of Baby Einstein, has filed an open-records complaint in Washington state court (King County) asking a judge to order the University of Washington to release records relating to two studies that examined the effects of television viewing on young children.

Clark said he has been pursuing release of the experimental methods, raw data and interpretative methods of the "Associations Between Media Viewing and Language Development in Children Under Age 2 Years" and "Early Television Exposure and Subsequent Attentional Problems in Children" studies for nearly three years. The University has either denied his requests or failed to be fully responsive.

"All we're asking for is the basis for what the University has represented to be groundbreaking research," Clark said. "Given that other research studies have not shown the same outcomes, we would like the raw data and analytical methods from the Washington studies so we can audit their methodology, and perhaps duplicate the studies, to see if the outcomes are the same."

The studies were widely publicized when the researchers concluded television viewing by babies or younger children could be harmful. Baby Einstein and other brands of baby videos were named in the "Associations" article.

Clark believes parents should be discriminating about the quality of media they allow their children to watch, and how that media is used. He cited Baby Mozart, Baby Shakespeare and Baby Van Gogh as examples of age-appropriate content that exposes babies and parents to classical music, poetry and Impressionist art in a positive, engaging way.

Clark is not seeking any monetary gain. The Court may award recovery of legal fees and impose a penalty on the University of Washington. In the event a penalty is awarded, Clark will donate the proceeds to breast cancer research.


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