"McTeacher's Night" has drawn criticism from some elementary school teachers in South San Francisco according to the San Francisco Chronicle. During the fast-food chain's PR event, teachers volunteer to work a three-hour shift at a McDonald's, preparing and serving food. Then the restaurant donates 20 percent of the profits to the teachers' school. "This is exploiting teachers for a real, live McDonald's commercial," one first-grade teacher told the Chronicle.
"The myth that the National Educational Association told teachers not to blame Sept. 11 on al-Qaida continues to unravel," reports Brendan Nyhan. "It's now clear that Washington Times reporter Ellen Sorokin based her original myth-creating article on a preliminary NEA Web site that clearly wasn't complete, misconstruing quotations from a recommended sample essay allegedly written by a professor named Brian Lippincott and attributing them to the NEA.
"The Department of Education is in the process of a massive overhaul of its Web site to make it easier to use and to remove outdated data -- and ensure that material on the site meshes with the Bush administration's political philosophy," reports Michelle Davis.
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.