Time Warner Cable Promotes Civic Literacy in Los Angeles
Inspired by the disturbing trends in voter participation and the 2003 C-SPAN Educators Conference on how cable companies can use C-SPAN to educate children about the government, the Los Angeles Division of Time Warner Cable decided to use the power of the media to improve civic literacy. It launched the Civic Literacy Project, a year-long, bi-partisan educational initiative to promote an informed and involved electorate with an understanding of the role, responsibility and impact of government.

The project's goals are ambitious, and in addition to educating the public about government, Time Warner Cable plans to increase voter registration, increase civic volunteerism, and influence public policy. To expand the reach of its Civic Literacy Project, it has partnered with elected officials, schools and colleges, youth groups, civic organizations, programmers, its employees and the media. The Civic Literacy Project is part of Time Warner Cable's 21st Century Literacy Initiative that also includes Traditional Literacy with Time Warner's Time to Read program and Media Literacy components.

The Civic Literacy Project kicked off on February 8 when Time Warner Cable and HBO Films presented a premiere of the HBO film Iron Jawed Angels at a free public screening at the Madrid Theatre in Canoga Park, California. Iron Jawed Angels tells the story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, two influential women in the suffrage movement. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with audience participation on the role of women in government and politics. The panel was moderated by attorney and television personality Lee Kanon Alpert. Panelists included a board member of the League of Women Voters of the United States, the assistant director for the Center for the Study of Women at UCLA, the president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles and the president and executive director of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Other planned events have included the C-SPAN bus visiting city hall in April and kickoff school visits in May. Upcoming endeavors are Web casts of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, an essay contest for students to win the chance of the C-SPAN bus visiting their school, and campaign coverage. In addition, Time Warner Cable has attempted to incorporate the Civic Literacy Project into all its public affairs activities. It has tried to have voter registration available at all its public events and is encouraging its employees to become involved in the process and register to vote. On its weekly local origination public affairs show, Lee Kannon Alpert starts his interviews by inviting his guests to tell the audience why they got involved in public service, why it is important to them and why others should become involved. Time Warner Cable also is working as a liaison between local government officials and civic teachers to help coordinate visits by officials at local schools to discuss the importance of public service with students.

Time Warner Cable has encountered great enthusiasm for this project from the community, public officials and school leaders and plans a big push in the fall leading up to the presidential elections. The cable system plans to use November and December as a time to analyze what worked and what did not in the Civic Literacy Project and revamp it for mid-term elections and local city council and mayoral elections in spring 2005. Time Warner Cable hopes to develop a blueprint for cable public affairs civic literacy projects that will be replicable, scaleable and to varying degrees quantifiable. For more information, contact Deane Leavenworth at deane.leavenworth@twcable.com.

 VH1 Joins the Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
VH1 has joined The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in a two-year public education campaign to help in the battle against the world's deadliest diseases that together kill six million people every year. The multi-million dollar media partnership, a first for The Global Fund, is designed to raise awareness and spark action in VH1's audience. The first wave started this week with provocative spots that aired on VH1 and directed viewers to find out more by visiting VH1's Web site  and The Global Fund's Web site.

One of the spots asks what would happen if the life expectancy in the U.S. dropped suddenly to 33 years, as it is in some of the countries that have been hit worst by these epidemics. Another tells viewers that the real weapon of mass destruction is global AIDS. The spots intend to provoke thought on the subject and inspire viewers to find out more about AIDS and how they can help.

Visitors to the VH1 Web site will find valuable facts and information, as well as links to other helpful resources on the Internet. One of these resources is the KNOW HIV/AIDS campaign, a partnership between Viacom and the Henry J. Kaiser Famiy Foundation. They have worked together on a media campaign that includes television, radio, outdoor, online and print media, and Viacom has added AIDS-related themes into its most popular networks and programming.

More than 42 million people worldwide are infected with HIV or AIDS. In the U.S. alone the number is around one million and more than two young people become affected every hour. Each year, about three million people die from malaria or tuberculosis worldwide, despite relatively inexpensive treatment and prevention options. The Global Fund was created in 2001 to combat these worldwide health crises, and has succeeded in reaching millions of people every year. It is a public-private collaboration between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities, that manages and disburses resources to developing countries to fight disease. Working closely with 129 countries, The Fund provides assistance for prevention, treatment and training programs. Out of every dollar donated, 98 cents goes directly to the cause.

A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation discovered that more than half of Americans now believe that spending more money on disease prevention in Africa and developing countries will lead to meaningful progress. VH1 hopes to inspire viewers to turn their thoughts into actions through its new public affairs campaign. For additional information contact Irma Arizmendi at irma.arizmendi@vh1staff.com.

 Charter Sponsors Olympic Swim Trial Venue as part of All Digital Launch
Charter sponsored the U.S. Olympic Swim Trial venue in connection with its launch in Long Beach and Signal Hill, California, of the nation's first all digital cable network. The trials began July 7 and were held in the new Charter All Digital Aquatic Centre, a 10,000 seat swim venue.

When Long Beach city officials began planning the swim trials they realized the old permanent aquatic centre was not adequate and there was not enough time to build a new one. They decided to construct two modular pools that were set up in the parking lot outside the ocean side Long Beach Arena. The stadium was built around the pools using bleachers from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The opportunity to become involved with the Olympic swim trials coincided perfectly with Charter's launch of the nation's first all digital cable network, so the company decided to sponsor the naming of the venue. The largest component of this sponsorship was a 20 feet by 24 feet video screen that displayed the competition to all the attendees at the Charter All Digital Aquatic Centre. Charter Business was also on-hand to provide wireless and non-wireless Internet to the press and spectators.

Everyone attending the swim trials were invited to "take the All Digital Challenge" and test the difference in picture quality between the cable digital network and satellite competitors. The conversion to an all digital network will eventually provide additional benefits to Charter customers because the company will be able to recover bandwidth and then introduce more channels or advanced services without the need for additional plant upgrades.

The Olympic trials are part of the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix, a six-week competition that includes four aquatic events. In total the events are expected to bring 130,000 spectators to the new swim venue.

 Washington Cable Companies Promote Literacy, Environmental Protection and Volunteerism
Cable companies in Washington are working together to promote literacy, environmental protection and volunteerism by donating $500,000 of advertising resources for a series of PSAs that feature Governor Gary Locke. Comcast, Charter Communications, Adelphia and Wave Broadband are donating advertising space through the end of the year. Together, they reach every major city and nearly 1.3 million households in Washington.

Comcast produced the three PSAs, all featuring Governor Locke as the spokesperson. One promotes the Governor's Summer Reading Challenge and invites students to take part by reading at least 15 hours during the summer. Students who meet the challenge will receive certificates from the governor and a chance to win a trip to Disneyland, courtesy of Alaska Airlines. In the 30-second spot he is shown reading to children at the Hands On Children's Museum in Olympia.

Another announcement features Locke standing beside a river and advising the audience to take small steps to reduce pollution in lakes and rivers, such as washing cars on the lawn, fixing oil leaks, and minimizing the use of fertilizers. In a third spot he works alongside volunteers cleaning up a state park and calls on the audience to do their part by volunteering.

 Submit Information on Election-Related Programming for NCTA Brochure
NCTA plans to produce a brochure that demonstrates cable's contributions in providing coverage, information and analysis of Campaign 2004 and invites CTPAA members to submit information about their planned efforts. The publication will highlight coverage or programming that is planned for this fall in order to illustrate that "nobody covers politics like cable." Examples may include programming by national networks, state public affairs networks, regional and local news networks, and cable systems. Contact Sharon Radziewski, sradziew@ncta.com or 202-775-1027 with questions or submissions. Feel free to include information about complementary efforts such as community events, and public affairs campaigns (for example voter registration initiatives), and additional materials that apply (press releases, photo files, etc.).

 Thank You Corporate Members!
Join and support CTPAA by becoming a corporate member. For information on how your organization can join CTPAA as a corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at sjones@ctpaa.org or at 202-775-1083. For membership details, go to ctpaa.org/mcorp.shtml.

2004 Golden Benefactors
A&E Television Networks
Advance/Newhouse Communications
Cablevision Systems Corporation
Charter Communications
Comcast Cable Communications
Cox Communications
MTV Networks
NBC Universal Cable
Rainbow Media Holdings
Time Warner Cable
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc
.

2004 Benefactors
ABC Cable Networks Group
ESPN
G4techTV
Lifetime Television
The Weather Channel

2004 Friends & Associates
Adelphia Communications Corporation
Bresnan Communications
CableLabs
Cable Telecommunications Association of New York
Court TV
C-SPAN Networks
Discovery Networks
Florida Cable Telecommunications Association
Fox Cable Networks
Game Show Network
Gemstar-TV Guide
Hallmark Channel
HBO
Indiana Cable Telecommunications Association
Insight Communications
International Channel
Midcontinent Communications
Motorola, Broadband Communications Sector
Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association
The Outdoor Channel
Outdoor Life Network
Oxygen Media
Scientific-Atlanta
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Encore Group
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association

 


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