Press Release – “Alabama will lead the way.”

November 24, 1998

Birmingham, AL (November 24,
1998) – The Washington Times ran a story covering yesterday’s
letter to several Congressional Committee chairmen urging informational
hearings on the controversial Channel One marketing program in
public schools.

Obligation is a Birmingham-based
child advocacy and media watchdog group that has been instrumental
in getting this diverse group of conservative and liberal organizations
working together on this issue.

Jim Metrock, Obligation’s president
said, "Alabama will lead the way in removing this institutionalized
waste from America’s public schools. The public needs to make
accountable our State Superintendent and State Board of Education.
Do they think public schools should be telling schoolchildren
what brand clothes to wear, what junk food to eat and what specific
TV shows and movies to watch? Every commercial shown in school
is endorsed by the school system. Is there any wonder why parents
are turning to private and home schooling when we allow this
exploitation of a captive audience of impressionable schoolchildren
to continue? The continued inaction by our state leaders is undermining
public support for public education."

"Alabama schoolchildren
deserve much better from their school boards and school administrators
than to be sold, like so many pork bellies, to this marketing
company called Channel One. Our children need more reading time,
not more TV time in school," said Metrock. "Obligation
commends the Walker County, Shelby County, and Hoover City school
systems for removing Channel One from their classrooms this year."

Channel One’s recent ads for
the adult-content, TV-14 "D,L,S"-rated "Dawson’s
Creek" TV series, the latest Eddie Murphy movie, and the
off-color movie "The Waterboy" have raised concerns
among educators and others that Channel One is pushing the envelope
with offensive material more than ever.

Other Sources______________

State Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson 334-242-9702

Mr. Kevin McAliley, President of Channel One Network 212-508-6800

Mr. Evan Major, Shelby County Superintendent 669-5955

Area State Board Members: Dr. Ethel Hall 923-6093; David Byers
933-0853; Sandra Ray 758-7777

Visit www. obligation. org for more information on Channel One.

Note: The school that praises
Channel One in the "Washington Times" article is Paul
Folkemer’s (Channel One’s newly-hired Education VP) former school
where he was principal earlier this year. He structured the school
day to maximize the value of Channel One and directs all reporters
to this "model" school. The school is being used as
an advertisement for Channel One.