CTPAA Launches Member Discussion Message Boards
CTPAA has launched a member discussion message board in the members-only section of the association's Web site. This new service is a place where CTPAA members can chat electronically with fellow members about cable public affairs and other topics of interest. The board has four different discussion forums: Beacons, FORUM, General Discussions and Programmer/Operator Discussions.

The CTPAA Member Discussion Message Board is designed to be a resource where CTPAA members can obtain advice about how to develop a Beacon entry, programmers and operators can discuss possible partnership opportunities, and public affairs professionals can ask for tips on situations that their peers may have already confronted. Before a member can reply to posts or create new topics on the message board, he must register. For more detailed instructions on how to use the message board, see the help for new users section of the Message Board.

This new member service is the result of recommendations of several members of the CTPAA Best Practices Committee, an ad hoc group that is overseeing the development of a Web site on best practices in cable public affairs. This soon-to-be-launched, Web based member service will be in the members-only section of the CTPAA Web site. It will use Beacon award entries and member input to create an easy-to-use outline of key practices and tips. The Best Practices Web site will be helpful for members when developing an initiative or looking for alternative ways to deal with issues they confront in their jobs. When it is fully developed, it will feature a variety of topical subjects such as cable's competition, effective partnerships, what to do with a difficult LFA and more.

The new CTPAA Member Discussions Message Board is in the members-only section of the CTPAA Web site. To access this area, a member needs to log-in. The user name is a member's email address, and the password is the member's last name. Both must be in all lowercase letters.

 Lifetime Strives to Make Sure "Every Woman Counts"
At a time when nearly 20 percent of young women polled believe that a woman will never be elected president, Lifetime Television's Our Lifetime Commitment: Every Woman Counts campaign is inviting young women to flex their political muscles to change this idea. The campaign encourages women to become engaged in the political process as voters and candidates through efforts such as candidate training, voter registration drives, public service announcements, and Web resources for election information on their Web site. The non-partisan campaign is launching special events this summer as the election campaign season heats up. This week, the Democratic National Convention was home to several Lifetime events promoting women in politics.

On Monday the "Future Frontrunners" seminar brought ten Boston-area high school juniors and seniors to the convention to learn how to change the world by participating in politics. The young women were winners of the "Future Frontrunners" essay contest, sponsored by Lifetime, Comcast, the Boston Globe and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School. They were invited to participate in a day-long, non-partisan seminar where they were addressed by prominent political leaders, journalists and activists. The seminar concluded with a visit to Monday's session of the convention.

On Tuesday Lifetime hosted "Every Woman Counts - Women Who Blaze the Trail," a celebration of the opening day of the Women's Caucus. Attendees numbered around 2,000 and included Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), the honorable Madeline Albright, Donna Brazile, Chair of the Democratic National Convention Voting Rights Institute, and many Congresswomen.

Lifetime also co-hosted the Young Women's Leadership Conference '04 that brought more than 200 young women to Lesley College in Cambridge this week. At the four-day conference, attendees learned about women in leadership roles and their ability to influence government and society. A similar conference will be held at Barnard College in New York during the Republican National Convention.

On Wednesday night, Lifetime and Rock the Vote partnered to host an "Every Woman Counts" late night party. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Vice Presidential nominee Senator John Edwards (D-NC), attended the event that featured performances by Vanessa Carlton and Carole King.

Lifetime and Rock the Vote recently released poll results that found the majority of women believe that neither President Bush nor Senator Kerry (D-MA) really understands them and the issues they face. The survey asked women to rate each candidate's understanding of women's issues as extremely well, well, not too well, or not at all. More than half (51%) of women said that President Bush understands them not too well or not at all, while approximately four out of ten (39%) said that Kerry understands them not too well or not at all. Very few women said the candidates understand them very or extremely well, with President Bush reaching 16 percent and Senator Kerry only 12 percent.

Women make up 60 percent of all undecided voters and have decided every presidential election since 1980, but the poll found the candidates are not connecting with women on issues of importance to them. More than nine in ten women said that the candidate's position on preventing violence against women, equal pay and women's health issues would affect their decision and fewer than 10 percent said they have heard a great deal from either candidate on these issues.

It seems discussion of topics important to women has decreased as the campaign has rolled on. These numbers are a significant change from the poll Lifetime conducted during the primaries when only about half of the women said they were hearing little from the candidates on these same three issues. For more information on that poll see CPR Facts January 30, 2004.

The current poll results also supported the need to encourage women to become involved in politics. More than one in four men (27%) said they were told to run for an elected office by parents or teachers, versus only about one in ten women (13%). Through events like the ones mentioned above, Lifetime is working to empower women of all ages to get involved in politics.


  A La Carte Tools from NCTA
NCTA has developed two new communications tools, a model op-ed piece and model letter to the editor, highlighting the cable industry's point of view on "a la carte." Public policy deliberations across the country have produced a variety of news stories, editorials, and opinion columns in print, electronic, and broadcast media. NCTA and other companies in the cable industry have been active in advocating the cable industry's point of view in response to these stories.  Discussion of a la carte has been present in the media in many local markets as well. To assist companies in discussing the issue in the media, NCTA has developed these tools to emphasize the pitfalls of a la carte. Language from the materials may be useful in crafting columns and letters for company executives and spokespersons.  

To receive copies of the information, email Rob Stoddard at rstoddard@ncta.com For additional information and resources on cable's point of view on pay-per-channel proposals, visit "Understanding the Pitfalls of A La Carte" on NCTA's Web site. NCTA's communications and public affairs department may be reached at 202-775-3629.

 FX and Local Cable Systems Award Grants to Big Brothers Big Sisters
FX and four local cable systems have donated a total of $20,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations across the country. The donations, made in conjunction with a PSA promotion for FX's original movie Redemption, are intended to get children off the streets and into one-to-one mentoring programs. Redemption educates audiences about gang violence through the story of a notorious gang leader turned children's book author and Nobel Prize Nominee.

Each cable system became eligible for a $5,000 grant by donating airtime to show PSAs created by FX that promote Big Brothers Big Sisters and speaks out against drugs and gang violence. One participating operator was chosen from each region to receive the grant for their local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

With signs emerging that warn of a resurgence of gang activity in the Pittsburgh area, Comcast of Pittsburgh felt that Redemption hit home. This prompted the company to get involved with the promotion and led to the donation of its $5,000 grant to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western PA. The clubs, which are part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, will upgrade their insufficient libraries to Comcast Learning Centers with more books and computers.

Mediacom in Columbus, Georgia, donated its grant to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Columbus, an organization it has been working with since February. The groups collaborate on community events like bowling and football tournaments, Mediacom produces PSAs for the chapter, and several staff members have become "Bigs." Its grant will help the organization continue to reach Columbus area youth.

Charter Media Reno, Nevada, donated its grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters Reno where the money will meet some of the organization's many needs, including funding for an awareness campaign. The donation was the start of a relationship that Charter says will last as employees become involved as "Bigs," committee members, and board members. Oklahoma City Cox Media's grant will benefit a local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, but they have not yet determined which one.

Redemption tells the story of Stan "Tookie" Williams who co-founded the Crips in Los Angeles. Williams, a convicted murderer on death row, preaches peace from his jail cell at San Quentin State Prison. He has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his children's books that urge kids not to join gangs. This spring in Newark, New Jersey, rival gangs the Crips and the Bloods finalized a truce days after hearing Williams' story through the film.

 Toon Disney and Local Cable Systems Invite Children to Take a Journey Through Reading
This summer Toon Disney is partnering with several local cable systems to invite children to journey into the world of books through the Passport to Reading program. Part of Learning Together! ABC Cable Network's public affairs initiative, the Passport to Reading program challenges children to read by giving them a passport that is marked with a colorful sticker featuring a Toon Disney character for each book they read. When the passport is complete, children will receive an achievement certificate.

The summer's events kicked off in New Orleans where Cox Communications and local parish libraries joined with Toon Disney to promote reading as an exciting extracurricular activity. To launch the program, Newbery Award-winning author Avi read selections from his best seller "Crispin: The Cross of Lead" at the East Jefferson Regional Library. The event was open to the public, and all children in attendance received their own copy of the book signed by Avi. The author has been awarded the Newbery Medal twice, including the 2003 award for "Crispin: The Cross of Lead," an action adventure set in 14th century England.

Avi made his next Toon Disney appearance at the Riverfront branch of the Yonkers Public Library in Yonkers, NY, as part of Cablevision's Power to Learn campaign. More than 175 fourth, fifth and sixth grade students enjoyed his presentation. Toon Disney and Mediacom will partner on a similar event in Davenport, Iowa, later this summer.

Parents and children can visit the Passport to Reading Web site to find additional materials including reading lists, book reviews and reading tips courtesy of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association. Toon Disney and the ALSC work together to help children improve their current level of academic achievement.

 HITN-TV Partners with White House Initiative to Provide Educational Programming
Spanish language channel HITN-TV has partnered with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans (WHI) to provide unique programming to benefit the Hispanic population. WHI is a resource created as part of the No Child Left Behind Act to provide information on how to close the educational achievement gap that exists for Hispanic Americans. By partnering with HITN-TV, WHI will be able to introduce the programs it offers to HITN-TV's 12.5 million subscribers. This will allow both groups to continue to strive toward the goal of providing all Latinos with opportunities to achieve their highest potential.

WHI holds educational programs in areas like Florida, New Mexico and New York where there are large Hispanic populations. However, beginning in early fall these events will reach a much wider audience when HITN-TV begins to cablecast them. Programs will educate Hispanic viewers on topics like applying for college grants or speaking with teachers about their children. Often there is a lack of experience or a language barrier that prevents Hispanics from succeeding in these tasks that directly affect academic achievement. Through this outreach opportunity, HITN will make their viewers more aware of programs available to them and help them close the educational gap.

 Deadline Extended to Submit Information for NCTA Election Brochure
NCTA has extended the submission deadline for a brochure that will highlight Campaign 2004 coverage to August 2nd. Submissions should describe coverage that will take place this fall, after the conventions, and 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, 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
Lifetime Television
The Weather Channel

2004 Friends & Associates

Adelphia Communications Corporation
Bresnan Communications
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
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
Scripps Networks
Showtime Networks
Starz Encore Group
Texas Cable & Telecommunications Association

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