Advocacy Groups and the Entertainment Industry

Advocacy Groups and the Entertainment Industry

Advocacy Groups and the Entertainment Industry

Advocacy Groups and the Entertainment Industry


Michael Suman has brought together wide-ranging viewpoints of media advocates, media lawyers, academics, and entertainment industry representatives who examine the important public policy issue of how advocacy groups affect the entertainment industry.


On February 19, 1997, the ucla Center for Communication Policy, along with the American Cinema Foundation and the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, hosted a conference on advocacy groups and the entertainment industry. This book is an outgrowth of the debate that occurred at that meeting.

The ucla Center for Communication Policy periodically hosts conferences on controversial issues in the mass media. We aim to bring together leading figures from academia, the media industries, and other relevant groups and organizations to discuss the issue at hand. the first such conference we hosted was the Information Superhighway Summit, which featured Vice President Albert Gore, fcc Chairman Reed Hundt, and the chief executive officers of practically every major film studio and communications technology company in America. Another notable conference was held in June 1995 and focused on religion and prime time television. the February 1997 topic was the nature and extent of the influence of advocacy groups on the entertainment industry and the effect this influence has on society in general.

A select group of participants from the conference was chosen to make contributions to this book. Some additional scholars and experts were also contacted to submit chapters. the writers, all national figures prominent in their respective fields, are a varied lot and provide a great diversity of viewpoints on the issue.

This book is divided into four major sections, framed by this prologue and an epilogue. the first part features articles by representatives of media advocacy groups. Jay Winsten, director of the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health, discusses his successful campaign to introduce a new social concept, the designated driver. He explains how, with the cooperation of the Hollywood studios and television networks, the Center for Health Communication promoted a new social norm, that is, that drivers should not drink, through public service announcements and plot lines. Peggy Charren . . .

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