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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 23 TO 29 IS INTERNATIONAL TV TURNOFF WEEK
NOT WELCOME ON THE AIRWAVES — Despite well-established links between obesity, poor school performance, and excessive TV-watching, major American and Canadian television networks appear to be stonewalling attempts to air public service ads that promote responsible viewing.
The ads – created by the Vancouver-based Adbusters Media Foundation – promote the increasingly popular International TV Turnoff Week. Starting on Monday, April 23, the campaign will be observed by millions of people around the globe by swearing off their TVs – along with their computers, video iPods and game consoles – for seven straight days.
The American Broadcasting Company has already rejected the ads outright, while several other cable and broadcast networks have stalled attempts to air the spots in time for the major anti-TV festival. This is a repeat of developments in years past, when similar ads have been rejected by the likes of CBS, NBC, ABC, MTV and FOX in the U.S., and CBC, CHUM, and CanWest Global in Canada.
Since its inception in 1994, International TV Turnoff Week has taken on a life of its own, with events planned by individuals, schools and other organizations in dozens of countries, including Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, the United States and Mexico. The U.S.-based TV Turnoff Network estimates that in that country alone, 7.6 million people participated in TV Turnoff 2004, with over 19,000 events spread across every state.
In years past, supporters have publicly smashed televisions, postered schools and corporate offices, ran print ads and TV spots, and held street demonstrations. For the past two years, these tactics have been joined by a clever keychain-sized device – dubbed the TV-B-Gone – that is able to remotely shut off virtually any television without lasting damage. Participants have used the TV-B-Gone to silence TVs wherever they encroach on communal spaces, including hotel lobbies, pubs, doctors’ offices and cafeterias.
For most participants, the goal of TV Turnoff Week is simply to shake up routines and to get people questioning the massive role of TV and other entertainment technologies in their lives. In light of estimates that children in many developed nations average between 4 to 5 hours per day of screen-time, teachers and parents concerned about school performance and skyrocketing childhood obesity rates have proven to be some of the most enthusiastic supporters of the week-long challenge.
Other participants see the popularity of TV Turnoff Week as the tip of the iceburg in a growing media democracy movement. Adbusters has been instrumental in turning TV Turnoff Week into an international statement of resistance against media concentration and commercialization. Kalle Lasn, the editor-in-chief of Adbusters, argues that „just like our oceans and air, our shared mindscape is also littered with pollutants – manipulative ads, gratuitous violence, bogus eroticism, and distorted news. TV Turnoff Week is about cleaning up that mindscape.”
„During TV Turnoff Week we clear our minds and focus in on the very real political and environmental crises that we currently face,” he said. „Global warming is just one example of a crisis that has been trivialized by the commercial and corporate influence over the media.”
As a part of what Adbusters has called „mental environmentalism,” the media democracy movement seeks to take a stand against a media system that shuts out the voices of regular people and yet dominates the lives of all citizens. Proponents make the case that allowing ownership of all media to fall into the hands of a few corporations results in the denial of a basic human right to communicate.
Das zweite Video dann hier:
For more information and media interviews contact:
MEDIA LIASON: Clara Kuoch
For more information on TV Turnoff Week, to view the spots, and for links to country-specific sites, visit ADBUSTERS.ORG.For more information of the global media democracy movement, visit MEDIACARTA.ORG.
TV Turnoff Week facts:
* Following the lead set by several national and regional groups across the world, Adbusters launched the first International TV Turnoff Week in 1994.
* Since 1995, 90% of participants who have responded to the TV Turnoff Network’s participant survey have said that they now watch less television or watch more selectively as a result of participating. Fully 67% of those to respond have said that the changes in their viewing habits may be or will be permanent. [TV Turnoff Network].
* TV-B-Gone is available from Cornfield Electronics at TVBGONE.COM, or through the Adbusters Media Foundation at ADBUSTERS.ORG.
Facts about TV consumption:
* The average person in the USA watches 4 hours and 35 minutes of television per day, and the average US household has a television on in the house for 8 hours per day [Nielson, 2006].
* In 2005, the average US child spent more time in front of the television (more than 1,500 hours) than in school (900 hours) [Neilson, 2005].
* Canadian tweens – kids ages 7 to 12 – average 45% of their media time watching TV, 14% on the internet, 12% on video games, 11% on music, 11% on radio, 6% on DVDs and 1% on cell phones. By comparison, teens (ages 12 to 19) spend 25% of their media time on the Internet. [Solutions Research Group for YTV, 2007].
* Numerous major studies conducted in the USA, the UK, India, Australia and elsewhere have established strong correlations between high levels of TV viewing and poor school performance, as well as childhood and adult obesity [consult the British National Literacy Trust (LITERACYTRUST.CO.UK) and the International Journal of Obesity (NATURE.COM/IJO) for a selection of relevant studies].