PR Watch editors Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber are among the supporters of a new activist coalition that aims to promote critical thinking about today's corporate-dominated mass media and encourage democratic reforms.
Did America's largest teachers union construct a subversive web site concerning September 11? This nasty slander against the National Education Association has been spreading across the Internet, sparked by a series of articles in the Washington Times.
In an effort to "bring additional value to our educational partners," Coca-Cola is launching its "Step With It!" campaign. Coke will promote walking to middle school students in 10 cities. According to PR Week, the campaign will encourage students to walk 10,000 steps a day, giving students pedometers to keep track of their walking. Coke will also promote the campaign to local media.
The Free Expression Policy Project has produced a 56-page report "which surveys the history and current state of media literacy education and illustrates why it is far preferable to TV ratings, Internet filters, 'indecency' laws, and other efforts to censor the ideas and information available to the young."
National conferences of the media literacy movement have been funded by Channel One, AOL/Timer Warner, and other media giants trying to define, co-opt and profit from media literacy. Now, "a new, national organization is forming that will tackle the challenges brought on by our current global media system. ... Join other dedicated and passionate individuals that want to make an impact upon media education at the ACME Summit 2002." The summit will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 18-20th, and the Center for Media & Democracy is among the supporting organizations.
Sahara Communications, a public relations firm hired to promote historically black Morgan State University, is under fire for telling students not to show up for a TV commercial with dreadlocks, head wraps, corn rows or braids.
University professors across the country have found their freedom to speak about the issues surrounding September 11 hemmed in by incensed students, alumni, and university officials. Academics have been shouted down by critics who say that now isn't the time to say anything that might offend others. At California State University at Chico, a professor who criticized U.S. foreign policy was heckled by students and received an e-mail barrage of hate messages from around the United States.
Greenbrier high school senior, Mike Cameron was suspended from school for wearing a Pepsi shirt at a Coke Day rally at his school. The Coke Day rally, dreamed up by the school's student government, was part of a marketing contest that offered $10,000 to the high school that does the best job of distributing Coca-Cola coupons. At Greenbrier, students were encouraged to dress in Coke's red and white and lined up to spell out the word "COKE" while more than a dozen of the company's executives looked on.