Find the word definition


E/I, which stands for "educational and informational" (or "educational and informative"), refers to a type of children's television programming broadcast in the United States that incorporates educational content in some form. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that every full-service broadcast television station in the U.S. air at least three hours of these programs every week to retain their station license. The E/I program requirements were enacted as part of the Children's Television Act of 1990.

In addition, stations must identify such shows on-screen with an "E/I" bug placed in a corner of the screen, usually either in the form of plain text or an icon (as seen to the right); some broadcasters display the identification in appealing or "child-like" fonts. Originally, this was displayed only during the first minute of a program, or, as a separate announcement prior to the program, but since 2004, all E/I shows must display the icon during the entire duration of the show. Sometimes the bug does not show during commercial breaks (even so, some commercial broadcast networks continue to also identify E/I-compliant programs through announcements seen immediately before the show begins).

This requirement only applies to commercial and non-commercial broadcast television stations that are either licensed as a full-power or Class A outlet. Cable television and non-Class A low-power broadcasting channels are exempt from FCC regulations for television programming, although some do place an "E/I" bug or descriptor on programs containing educational content, mainly to differentiate E/I-compliant shows from non-compliant programs within electronic program guides and other program listings services. Collegiate institutions offer distance education, a curated form of educational television, which is unique to public and educational access cable channels and is also carried by some public television stations.