For Immediate Release
March 5, 2008
Washington — A series of broadcast and print public service ads featuring 13 actors, who are high-profile members of The Creative Coalition, speaking about the importance of open and accountable government has been produced for Sunshine Week, March 16-22, and can be used throughout the election season in conjunction with the Sunshine Campaign. The PSAs were developed by the Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, in cooperation with The Creative Coalition, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Appearing in the ads are Barry Bostwick, Connie Britton, Saffron Burrows, James Eckhouse, Louis Gossett Jr., Sharon Lawrence, Camryn Manheim, Izabella Miko, Andy Milder, Ron Rifkin, Richard Schiff, Judy Tenuta and Joan Van Ark.
The ads may be used on television, on radio, in print or online by any Sunshine Week participant. They join two sets of previously released Sunshine Campaign public service ads: television and radio spots in English and Spanish featuring a variety of people talking about their right to information (www.rtnda.org/pages/media_items/sunshine-week-2008939.php); and print and Web ads in English and Spanish utilizing the Sunshine Campaign imagery and “spokesmammals” Ronnie and Donnie (www.sunshineweek.org/sunshineweek/printwebads08).
“The quantity and quality of the star power in these ads deliver a strong message about the people’s right to know what government is doing,” said David Westphal, Washington editor of McClatchy Newspapers and co-chair of ASNE’s Freedom of Information Committee. “Combined with the ads and other materials already out there — and more is coming — print, broadcast and online outlets have some very powerful tools to make the case for the importance of open government.”
Sunshine Week is a national initiative that encourages dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Led by print, broadcast and online journalists, participants include civic groups, non-profits, schools, libraries, scientists, government officials, actors and many others. The Sunshine Campaign is a yearlong effort to have candidates for all level of office — from the presidency to city council — discuss their position on government access issues.
“Last year, more than 11 million Americans saw the Sunshine Week public service announcements on television,” said Barbara Cochran, president of RTNDA and RTNDF. “Hearing the Sunshine message from some of their favorite stars is bound to make a strong impression on the public.”
All the public service ads are posted on the Sunshine Week website, www.sunshineweek.org. The broadcast ads are on the RTNDA site, www.rtnda.org, and are being distributed by ABC, CNN, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo and Univision to their affiliates. Information on how to download broadcast-quality versions of the television ads is on RTNDA’s Sunshine Week web page, www.rtnda.org/pages/media_items/sunshine-week-2008939.php.
“The Creative Coalition is pleased to use the power and platform of the entertainment industry and arts community to support this initiative. Our organization was formed to use this spotlight to encourage all citizens to use their voice to get involved in and take a leadership role in their communities,” said Robin Bronk, executive director of The Creative Coalition.
The broadcast ads were produced by United Front Media in Los Angeles, unitedfrontmedia.net. Print and web ads were designed by EMacDesign of Northern Virginia, www.emacdesign.com.
“We hope America can get into a virtuous cycle when it comes to open government,” said Eric Newton, Knight Foundation’s vice president/journalism. “The more our government tells us about our own business, the smarter our decisions, the better our problem-solving, the more we can ask of open government in the future.”
About Sunshine Week and Knight Foundation
Sunshine Week (www.sunshineweek.org) is a non-partisan open government initiative led by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, with online and broadcast media, public officials, celebrities, civic groups, non-profits, libraries, schools, religious leaders and others. The 2008 Sunshine Campaign is designed to spur campaign conversation — and commitment — to open government during this election year by encouraging journalists, and anyone else with the opportunity, to ask every candidate for public office from president to city council to explain his or her positions on open government and Freedom of Information issues. Sunshine Week is endowed through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (www.knightfdn.org) which invests in journalism excellence worldwide and the vitality of the 26 communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. It focuses on projects with the potential to create transformational change.
About the Radio-Television News Directors Association and Foundation
RTNDA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTNDA represents local and network news executives in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries. RTNDF provides training, research and scholarship aid for professional and aspiring electronic journalists. For more information about RTNDA and RTNDF visit www.rtnda.org.
About the American Society of Newspaper Editors
ASNE (www.asne.org), founded in 1922, with about 700 members, is the main organization of the directing editors of daily newspapers in the Americas. The organization is leading efforts to protect First Amendment rights and enhance the free flow of information, to promote the newspaper’s role in providing information necessary to the informed practice of citizenship, to encourage innovation and celebrate creativity in newspapers and the new media environment, to drive the quest for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and news content, and to bolster media credibility and improve high school journalism.
About The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition (www.thecreativecoalition.org) is the leading 501 c (3) nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating and mobilizing its members on issues of public importance, primarily public education, the First Amendment, arts advocacy, media literacy, destigmatizing mental illness and stemming runaway production. Headquartered in New York City, The Creative Coalition also has offices in, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Creative Coalition does not endorse or raise funds for political parties or candidates.