LOS ANGELES, July 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Norman Lear Center at the USC
Annenberg School for Communication has established "Reliable Resources for
Broadcast Political Coverage." The project, funded by a $1.3 million grant
from the Pew Charitable Trusts, will focus on improving political coverage on
broadcast television by identifying, creating and distributing tools for local
stations and network television. This unique effort will attempt to address
the problem of an unengaged public, not only by identifying what works in
political coverage, but also by putting that information, in an easy to use
format, into the hands of the broadcast decision makers.
"Broadcast news is still the largest public square we have in American
democracy," said Martin Kaplan, USC Annenberg School for Communication
associate dean and director of the Lear Center. "But the pressure for ratings
has driven politics from the news, except as a horserace. Our goal is to give
broadcasters the tools they need to make important information interesting to
big audiences -- to cover civic life as successfully as they cover traffic,
weather, sports, crime and entertainment."
"Our project is designed to help hundreds in TV news who want to do a good
job and cover politics but are not being given the resources and support they
need," said Cinny Kennard, former CBS News correspondent and now assistant
journalism professor at the USC Annenberg School. "The foot soldiers in the
trenches of television news are told the viewing audience doesn't want
political news. We want to help them make the case that Americans want and
need high-quality TV coverage of issues and candidates."
Reliable Resources is a two-year project that will:
-- Create videotape presentations showcasing the most creative and
informative Campaign 2000 television coverage for dissemination to
-- Create a cyber-guide containing sources, tips, and info for political
journalists, based at the Reliable Resources web page.
-- Hold regional workshops, some of which will be in conjunction with
broadcasters' professional associations and mid-career training
-- Reward the country's best broadcast political coverage at local and
network levels, with the newly-established USC Annenberg Walter
Cronkite Award for Excellence in Broadcast Political Coverage. The
first award will be presented in Washington D.C. next year.
-- Showcase the importance of political coverage on broadcast and local
television at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, where
Reliable Resources will make its first public presence (details
-- Create an advisory board comprised of distinguished political
scientists and broadcast journalists.
The goal of Reliable Resources (www.reliableresources.org) is to develop
and distribute tools to help local and network television provide innovative
and informative political coverage, and to recognize and reward those efforts.
The Norman Lear Center (www.entertainment.usc.edu) is a multidisciplinary
research and public policy center exploring implications of the convergence of
entertainment, commerce, and society. The impact of entertainment on news and
politics is a principal focus of the Lear Center
The Pew Charitable Trusts (www.pewtrusts.com) support nonprofit activities
in the areas of culture, education, the environment, health and human
services, public policy and religion.
SOURCE The Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School