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NEW YORK, NY—Most Americans believe men should take more than two weeks paternity leave after the birth or adoption of a child and would vote for a candidate that supported extending the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include paid leave, according to the latest Oxygen/Markle Pulse poll. However, American women are split over Cherie Blair's belief that her husband, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, should take paternity leave when she gives birth to their fourth child in May, and a majority of women say they would not support an American President who wanted to take more than two weeks paternity leave. The findings were announced by Cheryl Mills, Oxygen Media's Senior Vice President Corporate Policy and Public Programming. The Oxygen/Markle Pulse, created by the Markle Foundation and Oxygen Media to enhance the influence of the audience over the creation of content, is an ongoing research initiative to create a comprehensive and in-depth source of publicly available information about, and for, women. The latest Oxygen/Markle Pulse poll also found that men and women would like new fathers to take a little over three weeks off after the birth or adoption of a child. However, very few Americans know any men who have actually taken that much time off. On average, according to the Pulse poll findings, men report having taken less than one week of paternity leave. Cheryl Mills said, "The discussion over whether Tony Blair should take paternity leave has pushed the issue of family friendly policies to the forefront, both in Britain and in the U.S. The Oxygen/Markle Pulse is a great tool for us to quickly gauge what women a re thinking about this important issue and the way it affects their lives." Findings in the Oxygen/Markle Pulse poll include: Most Americans (72% of women and 63% of men) think it is important for men to take more than 2 weeks off after the birth or adoption of a child. These economic concerns are reflected in support for changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act. 48% of men and 54% of women say that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate that supported changing the FMLA so that businesses provided 4 weeks of paid leave and up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave. American women are split over Cherie Blair's belief that her husband, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, take paternity leave when she gives birth to their fourth child in late May. 53% of American women think that Tony Blair should take more than 2 weeks off from work when their baby is born. However, American women would be less likely to support an American President if he were in the same position, with 45% saying that the President should take paternity leave of more than 2 weeks. On average, men report having taken less than one week of paternity leave, and few Americans know any man who has taken more than two weeks off. 71% of Americans don't know any male friends or family members who have actually taken more than 2 weeks off. 68% of Americans don't know any male colleagues or co-workers who have done so. Men say the main reasons they don't take paternity leave are not that they don't value their roles as fathers or that workplace issues get in the way. 48% of men agree that "Men who take paternity leave care more about being a good father" 46% of men agree that "It's just as important for men to take paternity leave from their jobs as it is for women to take maternity leave from their jobs." 81% of men disagree that the lack of interest in raising children is the main reason for not taking paternity leave. Only 15% of men agree that "Men who take paternity leave don't take their jobs as seriously as other men." Only 23% of men agree that taking paternity leave "has a negative impact on their careers." Only 32% of men agree that "When men take paternity leave they are viewed negatively by their colleagues." The most significant barrier for most men who want to take paternity leave is the loss of income. 76% of men and 72% of women agree that "The main reason men don't take paternity leave is that they can't afford the loss of income." Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates conducted a nationally representative telephone survey of 511 adults on April 3, 2000. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 4.4% at the 95% confidence level, and is higher for subgroups. About the Oxygen/Markle Pulse The Oxygen/Markle Pulse seeks to learn what women think and believe and to give voice to these findings through the media. The Pulse will comprehensively track and measure women's opinions, attitudes, needs and values. The Pulse seeks to engage women in a dialogue to help shape the direction of the Pulse research and the Oxygen/Markle Pulse's findings will inform and add depth to Oxygen's online and television programming. Oxygen will create programming that is responsive to the findings uncovered through the research conducted by the Oxygen/Markle Pulse. In this national election year, the first phase of the Oxygen/Markle Pulse's research will spotlight women's political and civic participation, women's attitudes about political and social issues, and women's leadership. It will cover the ways ethics, values, religion and spirituality relate to women's political engagement. Over the course of the year, the Oxygen/Markle Pulse will introduce new areas of study including: life balance, career/work, health and well-being, relationships, sexuality, education, technology, and the media. In addition, the Pulse site contains message boards, online surveys and links to relevant organizations as well as other Oxygen sites. About Penn, Schoen & Berland Penn, Schoen & Berland has been conducting strategic research for more than two decades on behalf of political candidates and Fortune 500 companies.
NEW YORK, NY—Markle Foundation President Zoë Baird today announced the commitment of nearly one million dollars to efforts aimed at closing the "digital divide" by developing online content and services that can best serve the needs of low-income Americans. A Washington-based children's advocacy group, The Children's Partnership, will receive a grant of $300,000 for their initiative, Bridging the Digital Divide: Online Content for Underserved Internet Users, A Project of the Markle Foundation, to educate key sectors on the content needs of low-income communities and to encourage development of applications that can meet them. The grant was announced in conjunction with the release of The Children's Partnership's new study, Online Content for Low-Income and Underserved Americans: The Digital Divide's New Frontier, a path-breaking, systematic study to analyze the needs of low income Americans and those with language and geographic barriers and to provide a practical roadmap for the private and public sectors to work together to develop content that can improve their lives. Of Markle's commitment to tackling this critical component of the digital divide, Zoë Baird said, "There is great potential for the Internet to provide content and services that can solve problems and create opportunities in the lives of low-income and underserved communities. But providing access is not enough. Access to technology is not a gift to low-income people unless it meets their fundamental needs. We need to understand and encourage the creation of useful content if the technology really is to improve people's lives." She added, "We're delighted that The Children's Partnership has taken this look at the online needs of low-income and underserved communities. And, we are pleased to support their efforts to get this important information into the hands of people who can do something about it. Their findings and work that will follow are a significant contribution to ensuring that this technology reaches its full potential." Laurie Lipper, Director of The Children's Partnership, said, "The Markle Foundation has made an investment in an emerging and, we believe, critical field-the development of online content for underserved Americans. The research is clear: there is not the content needed to benefit more than 50 million Americans who are low-income or limited-literacy, or speak a language other than English. Markle's 'early money' will allow The Children's Partnership to move swiftly from research to immediate action: To work with the industry, the government, and low-income communities to develop useful and accessible information and applications for the underserved. The Children's Partnership greatly appreciates the generous support of the Markle Foundation." The report finds that language and literacy barriers, and a lack of local and culturally diverse information on the Net, present the greatest limitations for disadvantaged communities. Among the report's key findings: 1 in 5 Americans are at-risk of being excluded from opportunities available on or through the Internet due to low literacy and limited English skills often associated with low-income families Lack of access is not the primary reason low-income Americans are not online. Instead, low-income users say they would use the Internet more if there were content that was engaging and useful to them Low-income users want more localized information and more information written at lower literacy levels The Markle grant will support the dissemination of the New Frontier study and fund additional research about the use and value of the Internet to Americans of low income, low literacy and low English language skills. The Children's Partnership will convene a series of meetings for policy makers and industry leaders to discuss ways of addressing the content problems uncovered by the New Frontier study, such as how to best create search capabilities for low-income communities, how to best use translation technologies, and how to best provide training and technical support in low-income communities. Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at www.markle.org. The Children's Partnership is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission it is to put the unique needs of children front and center in a changing economy, culture, and policy world. The work to ensure all children—especially the disadvantaged—have access to the resources they need, and work to involve more Americans in the cause for kids. The Children's Partnership endeavors to provide information and develop tools that will be useful to a wide range of leaders and advocates for children. The Partnership undertakes research and policy analysis, publishes reports and multimedia materials, and forges new alliances among parents, policymakers and the private sector to achieve tangible gains for children. The Partnership focuses particular attention on identifying new trends and emerging issues that will affect large numbers of America's children and on providing early analysis and strategies for action. In this way, it functions as a research and development (R&D) arm for the children's movement.
NEW YORK, NY—The Markle Foundation is undertaking an initiative to enable non-profit groups to more fully participate in Internet governance by making it easier for them to attend international meetings of ICANN, the Internet's first international oversight body, it was announced today by Zoë Baird, Markle's President. The announcement was made to coincide with ICANN's quarterly meeting in Cairo, Egypt. Under the initiative—part of Markle's Internet Governance Project (IGP)—the Markle Foundation and The Ford Foundation will each make a seventy-five thousand dollar grant for the ICANN Travel Support Program to The Salzburg Seminar, a renowned institution of international education. By funding non-profit groups' travel arrangements to—and accommodations at—ICANN meetings, the ICANN Travel Support Project will help provide a broader range of groups the chance to attend meetings of the Internet oversight body. Zoë Baird said, "The ICANN Travel Support Project is an important step toward ensuring that the public voice can help shape the governance of the Internet. With this grant, we will reduce or eliminate cost as a barrier to a number of non-profit, educational, research and public-interest organizations that should be able to attend ICANN's international meetings to network, contribute their ideas about how Internet governance should develop, and help shape Internet policymaking." Olin Robison, President of the Salzburg Seminar, said, "For over fifty years, the Salzburg Seminar has provided opportunities for young leaders to meet and learn. As an international educational organization we are well aware of the financial difficulties many non-profit leaders face in supporting their activities. The Seminar is therefore pleased to announce the ICANN Travel Support Project that will allow selected non-profit leaders to attend ICANN's international meetings. We believe their voices, and those they represent, need to be heard at ICANN's policymaking sessions. Working with the Markle and Ford Foundations, this Project is one step towards making ICANN's meetings more inclusive of the global Internet community." On April 1, 2000 The Salzburg Seminar's ICANN Travel Support Project will begin to recruit and screen potential participants. Organizations selected for participation will be funded for the costs of travel to ICANN meetings and their accommodations. About Markle's Internet Governance Project Markle's Internet Governance Project is designed to promote the public interest in nontraditional, international venues where decisions are increasingly made and standards are set that affect the Internet. At ICANN's most recent meeting, in Los Angeles in November, the Markle Foundation announced several major initiatives designed to make ICANN, the Internet's first international oversight body, more accountable to all users of the Internet. This included a grant to enable ICANN to hire staff, conduct outreach (including easy-to-understand educational materials), create technical mechanisms for global voting, translate key documents into several major languages for the benefit of all potential ICANN members worldwide, and initiate the At-large voting process. Markle also enlisted the support of, and is providing funds for efforts by, The Carter Center, The Center for Democracy and Technology, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, Common Cause, and the American Library Association to help establish the election process, to reach out to Internet users, and to monitor the elections. These efforts are designed to encourage the greatest participation by the broadest geographic base of individuals and non-commercial users. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit, international corporation formed in September 1998 to oversee a select set of Internet technical management functions currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and volunteers. Specifically, ICANN is assuming responsibility for coordinating the management of the domain name system (DNS), and other important features of the Internet. About the Salzburg Seminar The Salzburg Seminar was founded on the ideal that open discussion among individuals helps build the bridges of communication and cooperation for the global community. The Seminar was begun in 1947 by three students at Harvard University as a means of bringing together young Europeans and Americans from countries recently at war to engage in intellectual dialogue. Over the years, the Seminar has evolved and expanded to become a renowned institution of international education. More than 20,000 Fellows from more than 150 countries have attended sessions exploring political, social, and cultural issues of global interest. Our mission is to provide opportunities for the next generation of leaders to meet with each other for the exchange of opinions and ideas. Our goal is to bring together in a productive way the worlds of scholarship, public policy, and practice. The Seminar conducts sessions at Schloss Leopoldskron, an eighteenth century palace in Salzburg, Austria. It is an American not-for-profit educational organization with administrative headquarters in Middlebury, Vermont.
NEW YORK, NY—The Markle Foundation will commit $2-million to The Advertising Council over the next three years for a campaign to educate families about opportunities for children to learn and grow using the Internet and other interactive media, Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation, and Peggy Conlon, President of the Ad Council, announced today. The multimedia public education campaign will be the first of its kind to communicate the potential of interactive media to benefit children and to help parents make informed decisions about their children's use of these new media. It will help parents identify positive interactive media resources, sites, and games for their children, and give them the tools they need to identify the best ways to use the Internet with their children as a tool for learning and fun. And it will help parents guide children to avoid inappropriate activities. Markle Foundation President Zoë Baird said, "The potential of interactive media to benefit our children is extraordinary. But parents need the know-how and the tools to take advantage of it. This campaign allows us to give parents what they need and to involve them in shaping expectations for this media as it develops." Ad Council President Peggy Conlon said, "We are excited about having the Markle Foundation as the partner and sponsor of a campaign to educate parents about the amazing, positive potential the Internet holds for their children. The Markle Foundation is leading the charge in looking for ways to realize the potential of emerging communications tools to improve people's lives. With Markle's help, we will implement the first mass public education campaign to help parents make smart choices for their children in this new media environment." This three-year commitment by the Markle Foundation will fund research, underwrite a creative campaign conveying key messages to target audiences, place ads in a wide range of media nationally, and provide ongoing tracking and evaluation mechanisms. The Ad Council will work with newspapers, magazines, radio and television networks, and online sites—all of which will donate space or air time to this initiative—and advertising agencies. TBWA/Chiat Day will donate its creative services. The advertisements are scheduled to appear in the Fall of 2000. This initiative is part of the Markle Foundation's Interactive Media for Children program which works to gain in-depth knowledge about the potential and the impact of interactive media, and then to help incorporate this knowledge in the creation of children's products and services. Markle's Interactive Media for Children program is setting a national research agenda on how interactive media can contribute to the cognitive, emotional, physical and developmental needs of children and the potential of interactive technologies to meet them. The program includes work with key content producers and companies to integrate this knowledge into innovative games, toys and programs. In addition, the program studies parents' evolving needs and concerns relative to the new media environment, and aims to create tools that they can use to make informed, responsible decisions for their children. Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at www.markle.org. The Ad Council is a private, nonprofit organization that has been the leading producer of public service communication programs in the United States since 1942. It supports campaigns that benefit children, families and communities. The communications programs are national in scope and have generated strong, measurable results. Ad Council campaigns such as "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk," "Take A Bite Out Of Crime," and "A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste" have helped save lives and resources, educate the public about issues and concerns of the day, and make America a healthier country to live in. In 1998, Ad Council campaigns received more than $1 billion in donated print and electronic media time and space.
NEW YORK, NY—The Markle Foundation, in conjunction with the New America Foundation, has established the Markle Fellows program designed specifically to support writers addressing issues relating to information technology and society. Today, Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation, announced the appointment of the first two Markle Fellows-John Simons of The Wall Street Journal and writer/commentator David Friedman. Markle will commit nearly $1 million over the next two years to support four Markle Fellows in the first year and five Fellows in the second year; each Fellow will serve one-year terms. The Markle Fellows are part of the Fellowship program operated by the New America Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy institute based in Washington, DC. John Simons, who assumed his Fellowship on January 3rd, most recently was the Technology Policy reporter for The Wall Street Journal, writing about the government's broadening role as Internet policy maker, and on the high-tech industry's growing influence on Washington politics. David Friedman, who begins his fellowship on March 1, is an economics writer, commentator and attorney whose work is widely published in national and international publications. Said Zoë Baird, "We are delighted to be able to create an environment in which the next generation of thought-leaders can do focused thinking, writing and analysis about the pressing issues surrounding information technology and society. We see this as an exciting extension of the work the Markle Foundation is doing to look at ways in which new media and technology can improve people's lives. It is important that, as this new communications environment takes shape, we have a deep examination of the critical issues we will face as a society. David Friedman and John Simons will make a serious contribution in that effort." Ted Halstead, Founder, President and CEO of the New America Foundation, said, "We are delighted that the Markle Foundation is now a partner in our successful Fellowship Program. Their support enables us to appoint several exceptionally talented new Fellows who will focus on a critical set of issues at the intersection of information technology and public policy." About John Simons As Technology Policy reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Simons wrote breaking news stories and feature articles on the government and the high-tech industry. Other recent topics covered by Simons include Internet taxation, online crime, consumer privacy, and the Web's influence on the 2000 Presidential race. As a Markle Fellow, Simons is focusing on policy issues, the "digital divide," consumer privacy, participation in the political process and issues of jurisdiction between local, state, federal and international regulatory bodies. Previously, Simons was Senior Editor at U.S. News & World Report. In this role, he developed and wrote articles for the Business and Technology section, covering the Internet as an emerging business and economic environment. Mr. Simons received a B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and currently lives in Washington, DC. About David Friedman As an economics writer, commentator and attorney, David Friedman contributed to the The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Orange County Business Journal, Japan Times, Forbes, and The American Enterprise, among other publications. In 1998, the California Newspaper Publishers Association honored Friedman as Best Columnist. Friedman is also a regular commentator on Marketplace Radio and National Public Radio. As a Markle Fellow, Friedman will focus on technology as an engine of inequality; the demographic and social consequences of urban policies favoring high-tech investment; and the sustainability of the new economy. Previously, Friedman was a Senior Executive at Catellus Development Corporation, a publicly traded land development company. Mr. Friedman received a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of California, San Diego, a PhD. in Political Economy from MIT and a J.D. from UCLA. He currently lives in Culver City, California. The New America Foundation is a non-profit public policy institute whose purpose is to bring exceptionally promising new voices and new ideas to the fore of America's public discourse. The New America Foundation seeks to reshape our public debate by investing in outstanding individuals and ideas that transcend the conventional political spectrum. Based in Washington, DC, the New America Foundation was conceived through the collaborative work of a diverse and inter-generational group of public intellectuals, opinion leaders, and business executives. New America's Board of Directors is chaired by James Fallows, and includes Eric Benhamou (Chairman & CEO, 3Com), Eric Schmidt (Chairman & CEO, Novell, Inc.) and Laura D'Andrea-Tyson (Dean of the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley). Since its inception in 1999, the New America Foundation's Fellowship Program has worked to train and support a new generation of young public intellectuals by helping them gain exposure for their ideas in the information marketplace. The Fellowship selection process is highly competitive and looks for those rare individuals who are not only exceptional thinkers, but who also have an ability to communicate in ways that gain broad public attention. All Fellows are appointed for a one-year renewable term.
LOS ANGELES, CA—The Markle Foundation is committing more than $1-million to improve Internet governance, including several major initiatives designed to make ICANN, the Internet's first international oversight body, more accountable to all users of the Internet, it was announced in a statement today by Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation. After a year of initial activities, the first elected Board of Directors of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is now being selected; nine of the 19 Directors have already been elected by three supporting organizations representing technical and commercial interests. Users of the Internet at large will elect an additional nine Directors, and Markle is helping to ensure that this election process is representative, fair and credible. Markle's first initiative—a $200,000 grant directly to ICANN to initiate this process—will enable the organization to hire staff, conduct outreach (including easy-to-understand educational materials), create technical mechanisms for global voting, translate key documents into several major languages for the benefit of all potential ICANN members worldwide, and initiate the voting process. Ms. Baird also announced that Markle had enlisted the support of, and is providing funds for efforts by, The Carter Center, Common Cause, the American Library Association and other organizations from around the world to help establish the election process, to reach out to Internet users, and to monitor the elections. These efforts are designed to encourage the greatest participation by the broadest geographic base of individuals and non-commercial users. Ms. Baird said, "Global institutions are beginning to oversee Internet activities. The decisions they make will determine whether the Internet achieves its potential as a powerful weapon for democratic values and aspirations. Management of the Internet by a private entity will not be stable or legitimate if that entity does not adequately include the public voice. So it is essential that ICANN—which is establishing rules that impact individuals and organizations alike—be accountable to all Internet users everywhere. Specifically, that means building a legitimate way for individuals to vote and create an authority they can trust. We are bringing in experts who can make this happen." Ms. Baird added, "The public must be aware of what is going on, understand what is at stake and have a meaningful opportunity to express its opinion. President Jimmy Carter and the Carter Center, which has overseen scores of elections worldwide, and Washington, DC-based Common Cause, under the leadership of former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, give the Internet community the expertise of leaders who understand how to build and protect democratic institutions. They—and our other partners—will help us forge essential ties between the Internet community and established democracy advocates here and abroad." Esther Dyson, Interim Chairman of ICANN's Initial Board of Directors, said, "We're just delighted that Markle will make such a substantial contribution to ICANN's At-Large Membership program. Markle's commitment to broad public participation in setting policy for the Internet infrastructure is evident in the size of the grant and the attention to the issues that come with it. Although ICANN's specific mandate is limited, we hope its activities will be a key foundation for Markle's initiatives in building public interest and participation in the global medium. We plan to use the money to move quickly in public outreach, so that we can have broad and informed public input as we move forward in the design and implementation of the At-Large membership structure, which will ultimately produce 9 of our 19 directors." Initiatives announced today The initiatives announced today include a $200,000 grant to ICANN, to fund the first phase of ICANN's At-Large Membership Implementation Program. This program is designed to build ICANN's At-Large Membership so that any Internet user in the world can participate. In addition, this grant will support the development of standards to ensure a fair, legitimate voting process and technical mechanisms for global voting. ICANN's At-Large Membership will ultimately select nine of ICANN's 19-member Board of Directors (nine additional directors have already been elected by the three Supporting Organizations; the President/CEO is the 19th member). Markle is also partnering with a wide range of independent entities to improve ICANN specifically and Internet governance generally: The Atlanta-based Carter Center, the world's leading election monitoring organization, will help the Internet community create an adequate mechanism to monitor the ICANN at-large membership elections in order to evaluate whether they are open and free of fraud. The Carter Center will also work with other leading experts in voting and democracy to determine standards for a fair election. Common Cause, a 200,000-plus member, nonpartisan organization promoting open, honest and accountable government, will create and lead an international group of experts in governance and public accountability to advise ICANN about how to build bona fide membership and voting processes. The American Library Association (ALA), the world's oldest and largest national library association, will distribute educational materials about ICANN and individual membership, including those produced by ICANN and others, in the United States and, in partnership with international library groups, throughout the world. In addition, the ALA has agreed to create virtual "voting booths" at libraries in the United States—and work with library organizations abroad to do the same thing—for the At-Large elections. The Center for Democracy and Technology(CDT), a leading civil liberties organization based in Washington, DC, will produce a pamphlet on why the public should care about ICANN and the decisions its makes. The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School—a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development—will explore mechanisms for open governance and deliberation online. In addition, Markle and the Berkman Center co-hosted a public workshop on ICANN and pressing public interest issues in Los Angeles on October 31st. Markle also intends to take other steps to assist leaders from around the world to participate in meetings of ICANN. Said Scott Harshbarger, President of Common Cause, and former Attorney General of Massachusetts, "Throughout our 30-year history, Common Cause has been a leading voice for citizens on issues of democratic process, civic participation, and openness and accountability in American government. We look forward to drawing on this experience to promote democratic values in Internet governance through work with the Markle Foundation." "Libraries are the cornerstone of democracy," said ALA President-Elect Nancy Kranich. "They provide the information people need to be well informed, and they provide access to millions of users. No place is better suited than libraries to foster democracy in action on the Internet." Jerry Berman, Executive Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, added, "Control over Internet names could ultimately impact vital public interest including free expression, personal privacy, and the structure of tomorrow's Internet. An open and accessible domain name system makes it possible for anyone to stand on a street corner in cyberspace and speak to the whole world. We need to make sure that domain name governance is consistent with our fundamental civil liberties. Public interest participation in and oversight of this governance system is essential to preserve those liberties." "Deliberation is at the core of both open education and open governance: a chance for views to evolve and to be refined, rather than simply summed," said Jonathan Zittrain, Executive Director of the Berkman Center. "We are seeking to build a kernel of open source tools to facilitate broad-based online discussion, deliberation, and closure on issues that concern large and diverse groups of people and institutions." ICANN Initiatives are Centerpiece of Markle's Internet Governance Project The initiatives announced today at ICANN's first annual meeting are part of Markle's recently-launched Internet Governance Project (IGP). Markle has committed more than $1 million to the Internet Governance Project, which is designed to promote the public interest in nontraditional, international venues where decisions are increasingly made and standards are set that affect the Internet. These venues—non-governmental organizations such as ICANN and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and intergovernmental or regional organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization—consider such issues as electronic commerce standards, intellectual property, consumer protection, privacy, content regulation, taxation and online jurisdiction. An important component of Markle's Policy for a Networked Society program, the Internet Governance Project will promote the public's interest in a number of ways, such as: Increase awareness among public interest leaders about how the decisions of non-traditional policy-making entities are affecting their constituencies; Provide useful, cutting-edge policy analysis from scholars and professionals from the law, political science, public policy and other relevant disciplines; Assist in institution building by working with nontraditional policymaking entities to make them more accountable and democratic as they remain efficient and goal oriented. Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at www.markle.org. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit, international corporation formed in September 1998 to oversee a select set of Internet technical management functions currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and volunteers. Specifically, ICANN is assuming responsibility for coordinating the management of the domain name system (DNS), and other important features of the Internet.
NEW YORK, NY—Andrew Rasiej, Founder & President of MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools & Education), a non-profit organization providing volunteer manpower and technical support to New York City public schools, announced today that 550 industry professionals will gather on October 26 at New York's famous Windows on the World to support and recognize exceptional leadership in bridging the digital divide in New York City public schools with the first annual "Champions of Technology & Education" Awards. "Champion of Technology & Education Awards recipients include Zoë Baird; President, Markle Foundation, Charles Raymond; President and COO, Citigroup Foundation; Mark Swanson; President, iXL, Fernando Espuelas; President, StarMedia, as well as an outstanding public high school teacher and student. "These champions prove everyday that a personal commitment to education does make a difference. Without their involvement, the effort to bring technology to those who have not been served could not effectively happen," Andrew Rasiej, Founder & President, MOUSE. "I am quite honored to receive this award, especially from an organization that has itself done so much work with technology on behalf of children," said Baird. "The Markle Foundation and MOUSE share the view that new communications media have enormous potential to help our children grow, learn and prosper, and we're both working to give children the communications tools that will truly benefit them." Distinguished attendees such as Bill Thompson, President of the New York City Board of Education, Virginia Fields; Manhattan Borough President, etc and over thirty leading Internet companies have joined MOUSE in the launch of this prestigious fundraising event. MOUSE, since its launch in 1997, has provided 24 public high schools with an estimated $1.5 million worth of technical expertise and support. On September 29, MOUSE and its partners, the 168th Street Armory Track and Field Center and Community School District 6, were awarded a three-year $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to set up a community technology center in Washington Heights.
CAMBRIDGE, MA—This final event of the Markle-funded Media in Transition Project at M.I.T. aims to establish a broad-gauged discussion of our emerging computer culture in the perspective of ancestor technologies and older media. The conference includes some 75 presentations on many aspects of this subject, a series of multi-media demonstrations and films offered in parallel with the presentations, and three plenary "conversations" in which distinguished panelists will speak briefly and then participate in extended dialogue with the audience. Among the panelists: Phil Agre, Robert Darnton, Henry Jenkins, Elaine Kamarck, Adam Powell, Mitchel Resnick, Paul Starr, Bob Stein, Maria Tata.
NEW YORK, NY—Ruth Ann Burns, Vice President and Director of the Educational Resources Center at Thirteen/WNET and Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation announced today the launch of Learning Adventures in Citizenship, an interactive project designed to promote student participation and volunteerism in their communities. Acting as an educational companion to Ric Burns' six-part series, New York: A Documentary Film, Learning Adventures in Citizenship provides a national, standards-based Web curricula for middle school students and their teachers, to teach them how they can take responsibility for solving problems in their communities. Developed with, and underwritten by the Markle Foundation, Learning Adventures is part of the Foundation's $100 million investment over the next three-to-five years to help ensure that public needs are served by emerging communications media and information technologies. Learning Adventures in Citizenship takes visitors through six consecutive time periods in New York City history. This virtual experience in time travel is brought to life through interactive learning material, such as QuickTime video, GIF and Flash animation, audio, student activities, lesson plans, and a "Citizenship Gallery"-forms that students can submit of their classroom and community projects across America. With an official launch on Friday, October 1st, Learning Adventures in Citizenship can be found at two locations, www.wnet.org/newyork and www.pbs.org/newyork. New York: A Documentary Film premiers on Sunday, November 14th on PBS. Specifically, Learning Adventures in Citizenship includes the following components: "Learning Adventures," which presents interactive environments that contain learning material and student activities; · "For Teachers," which contains lesson plans, a primer on social science inquiry, and discussion forum; · "Citizenship Gallery," which features student works illustrating individual or classroom community projects; · "Citizenship Research Resources," a guide to research and citizenship resources; and · "Learning Adventure Contest," a national citizenship contest for students and children at home. "In a sense, visitors to the site will be given the proverbial key to the city of New York," said Ruth Ann Burns, Vice President and Director of Thirteen/WNET's Educational Resources Center. "Hopefully, they'll use that key to unlock the doors to their own communities, to explore the past, present and future of those communities, and to discover the many opportunities for participation and volunteerism." According to Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation, Learning Adventures in Citizenship embodies some of the best things the Internet can offer children and parents. Learning Adventures in Citizenship is an important and engaging way for children to use their own media to discover how they can contribute to their communities through the lessons of those who built our hometown—New York City. So many key elements of Learning Adventures—from video clips and animation to audio and online contests—make this an exciting and fun way to learn about not only New York, but communities across America. Learning Adventures in Citizenship is a multi-disciplinary resource that can be used in the classroom or at home. Most important, it gets young people involved in their community." Learning Adventures in Citizenship includes educational activities in social studies, science, technology, language arts, music and the fine arts and places them within the context of New York City's economic, political, technological and cultural evolution. It is built around an interactive multimedia knowledge base that synthesizes and expands on the information included in New York: A Documentary Film and makes it available to teachers and students in a creative assortment of lesson plans, online activities, classroom and team projects and individual assignments. In addition, teachers can take advantage of citizenship research resources that are organized by state and topic. About Thirteen/WNET wNetStation, Thirteen/WNET's Web site, is a project of the New Media Group at Thirteen/WNET's Kravis Multimedia Education Center. Ruth Ann Burns is Vice President of the Educational Resources Center. Barry Levine is Director of wNetStation and Online Programs at Thirteen/WNET. Anthony Chapman is the senior producer of Learning Adventures in Citizenship. New York: A Documentary Film, a special presentation of The American Experience, is a production of Steeplechase Films in association with WGBH Boston, Thirteen/WNET in New York, and the New-York Historical Society. Major support for the series is provided by The Chase Manhattan Corporation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Ford Foundation, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Television Viewers and PBS, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Additional funding is provided by the J. M. Kaplan Fund, the Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation Inc., Rosalind P. Walter, Central Parking Corporation, Glenwood Management Corporation, Judith and Burton Resnick, The Sheldon H. Solow Foundation, and Alan Wiener/American Property Financing Inc. Thirteen/WNET in New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters and Charlie Rose—as well as the work of Bill Moyers—to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen/WNET reaches millions of viewers each week—airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as City Arts and Reel New York. With educational and community outreach projects that enhance value of its productions, Thirteen/WNET takes television "out of the box." And as broadcast and digital media converge, Thirteen/WNET is blazing trails in the creation of Web sites, CD-ROMs, educational software, and other cutting-edge media products.
NEW YORK, NY—The Markle Foundation will invest up to $100 million over the next three-to-five years to help ensure that public needs are served by emerging communications media and information technologies, it was announced today by Zoë Baird, Markle's President. Emphasizing the potential of the Internet and other new media to improve people's lives, Baird unveiled plans for a significant increase in Markle's spending as well as four new areas of focus for the Foundation, and initial partnerships with several nonprofit, academic and commercial entities. "New communications media are shaping the future of our politics, our culture and our economic relationships. The next few years represent a unique opportunity to develop these emerging tools for the public's benefit," said Baird. "This is a critical time, while the industry is still in flux, to try to realize the potential of new media to meet public needs. We intend to operate with a sense of urgency, working in collaboration with other nonprofits, academic institutions, government and the industry itself." The announcement is the result of a comprehensive review of the current communications landscape begun when Ms. Baird became Markle's president in 1998. The examination has led the New York-based Foundation to identify four key areas of public need in which it will concentrate: Public Engagement through Interactive Technologies, which will encourage the use of communications technology to help people actively pursue knowledge and participate in democratic society. Policy for a Networked Society, which will work to enhance the public voice in the consideration and resolution of domestic and international policies that are surfacing in this new communications environment. Interactive Media for Children, which aims to enhance the potential for children to benefit from using interactive technologies. The program also aims to expand public expectations for what these technologies can do to enhance children's lives. Healthcare, which will work to improve the ability of patients and consumers, and those who treat them, to make use of information technology to improve their health and health care. In addition, the Foundation announced the creation of an Opportunity Fund to support public interest initiatives that fall outside these primary program areas and to ensure that intellectual and financial resources are available for unanticipated projects. "Zoë Baird and the terrific Markle Foundation team have an opportunity to have a significant impact on the role communications technologies will play in our lives," said Lewis W. Bernard, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Foundation. "This is an important time in the evolution of the industry, and we are therefore making a serious commitment to provide the resources necessary for the course the Foundation has charted." A private, nonprofit philanthropy, the Markle Foundation is the largest grantmaking foundation concentrating exclusively on the field of communications media and information technology. According to the announcement, Markle will pursue its goals through a range of activities, including analysis, research, public information and the development of innovative media products and services. The Foundation will also create and operate many of its own projects - using not only grants but also investments and strategic alliances with non-profits and businesses. Among the grants and investments announced today: A $4.5 million investment in a project with Oxygen Media for research and experimentation in converging media. Markle has made a program-related investment of $3.5 million to create a partnership with Oxygen Media for the development of the Oxygen/Markle Pulse, which aims to enhance the influence of the audience over the creation of content. The Oxygen/Markle Pulse will track and measure women's attitudes, needs and values to engage them as active partners in informing Oxygen's content online and on cable television. This information will also be widely distributed to the public. In addition, Markle is creating a $1 million Experimental Fund for Converging Media with Oxygen for the creation of new programming, tools and technologies that might not otherwise be developed on a strictly commercial basis. A $200,000 grant for Web White & Blue, for the Markle Foundation and partners to broaden access to national and local election information during the 2000 elections. Markle created the Internet-based Web White & Blue campaign in 1998 with Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, America Online and numerous other commercial and noncommercial sites. Markle and America Online and others will partner again to help citizens find election information through Web White & Blue 2000. A $400,000 grant for Thirteen/WNET to support New York: Learning Adventures in Citizenship, a curriculum-based Internet project that will use the Web to teach children about their responsibility in the community and the ability to act on it. The project is being created to tie in with filmmaker Ric Burns' "New York," an upcoming five-part documentary on PBS. A $140,000 grant for the College of Communications, University of Texas at Austin to create a research agenda addressing the potential for interactive technology to meet children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs. A $76,500 grant for Oxford University to support the Programme on Comparative Media and Law. The Programme studies policy and regulation strategies that nation-states create in response to media globalization, and the implications of these strategies for democracy and human rights. A $157,000 grant for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to lay the groundwork for dialogue and development of Chinese media law, including the publication in Chinese of Western legal scholarship on free speech and communications law, and support for an international symposium on these issues in China. A $50,000 grant for the International Rescue Committee to develop and implement Child Connect, a software-based program to reconnect refugee children with their parents, and the Kosovar Family Finder, which uses database technology to provide refugees with location information of displaced family and friends. A $500,000 grant for Internews Network to develop and apply for a license for an interactive, 24-hour live television channel on two major Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) systems. It will be integrated with the Internet and dedicated to quality international affairs programming. The opportunity to pursue such a channel is the result of a recent FCC ruling that DBS operators must make available four percent of their channel capacity to public interest programming. Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at www.markle.org.
WASHINGTON, DC—Web White & Blue, the campaign to promote easy access to election-related information on the Internet, has demonstrated the public's tremendous interest in using the Internet for election information and has in fact made that information easier to find, according to a survey of those using the site. Web White & Blue also has resulted in substantial increases in traffic at several of the election- related resources linked through the Web White & Blue site. Close to 400,000 users have already logged on to Web White & Blue since it was launched October 7. The Web White & Blue awareness campaign is sponsored by the Markle Foundation and Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and supported by hundreds of major industry and nonprofit Web sites. These sites have joined together in an unprecedented effort to donate prime "real estate" for placement of the Web White & Blue icon or banner ad to help Americans become better informed about politics. In a voluntary survey answered by more than 500 visitors to the Web White & Blue site, the most striking preliminary findings are: 84 percent of survey respondents said 1998 is the first year they have used the Internet to get election information; 88 percent said that Web White & Blue was extremely or quite easy to use; 49 percent learned about Web White & Blue by seeing the icon or the banner ads displayed on leading Internet sites; 61 percent say they expect to use the Internet as their primary media source for election information in 2000. "Web White & Blue makes democracy easier," said Markle Foundation President Zoe Baird. "These findings indicate that the American public wants political information that is easy to use, and that the Internet can provide it. Efforts like Web White & Blue can transform citizen involvement in politics." There are now more than 1,200 sites displaying the Web White & Blue icon, up from 350 when the site was launched three weeks ago. The icon links directly to the Web White & Blue site, which in turn links to 45 Web sites that offer a range of election-related resources. DemocracyNet, one of the resource sites whose access and visibility was significantly heightened through its link from Web White & Blue, registered a 1,200 percent increase in page views from October 1 to October 7 and continues to have a regular viewership that is 600 percent higher than it was prior to the launch of Web White & Blue. Minnesota E-Democracy reported a 300 percent increase during the same time period and has maintained double the viewership that it had prior to the Web White & Blue launch. "Web White & Blue is fulfilling its promise to be a portal for democracy," said Steve Case, chairman and CEO of America Online, which is hosting the site. "This unprecedented online initiative will have a major impact on shaping the way the public gets political information in 2000." Other compelling findings from the Web White & Blue user survey include: 80 percent of those who said television was their primary news source were especially impressed with the comprehensiveness of the Web White & Blue site. Almost 90 percent of those users age 46 and over said they were getting election information from the Internet for the first time. 81 percent of the Web White & Blue users said they would recommend the site to a friend. "Web White & Blue has clearly met a need among Internet users who wanted to know more about the upcoming election," said Shorenstein Center Director Marvin Kalb. "We look forward to using what we've learned about educating voters online in 1998 to make the Internet an even more effective and interactive information tool in the presidential election in 2000." Web White & Blue links to election-related resources in the following categories: Voter Information - polling locations and youth resources Your State - government and non-profit election-oriented Web sites, by state Issues - comprehensive issue directories, candidate positions and public opinion poll results Campaigns - candidate directories and more Election News - national, regional and state news sites Participate - discussion about politics and election issues On election night, November 3, Web White & Blue will offer Internet users a comprehensive directory of links to live election results compiled by state governments and national media organizations. The John and Mary R. Markle Foundation is a private, not-for-profit grantmaking foundation that was incorporated in 1927 in the state of New York by John Markle and his wife, Mary R. Markle. The Foundation has assets of $180 million, and makes charitable contributions of approximately $9 million per year in the development and use of technologies of communication and information to enhance lifelong learning and promote an informed citizenry. The Media and Political Participation program aims to study the democratic process and develop new practices for how media and technology can improve citizen participation in national politics. Currently, the Markle Foundation supports applied research on political campaigns and creates innovative experiments that use new media technologies to enhance political dialogue, deliberation and participation among citizens. The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy is a Harvard research center dedicated to exploring the intersection of press, politics and public policy in theory and practice. The Center strives to bridge the gap between journalists and scholars and, increasingly, between them and the public. Through teaching and research at the Kennedy School of Government and through its program of fellows and conferences, the Center is at the forefront of discussions in this area. Established in 1986 with a generous gift from the Shorenstein Family, the Center has emerged as a major source for research on U.S. campaigns and elections, journalism and public policy, international news, and race, gender and the press. It is a widely respected convener of journalists, scholars and political activists working to help the press improve its role in democracy."
WASHINGTON, DC—The Markle Foundation and Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government today joined with industry leaders representing hundreds of Web sites to unveil "Web White & Blue Day" on October 7, an awareness campaign promoting easy access to election-related information. The campaign seeks to harness the power of the Internet to strengthen democracy by giving Internet users a more informed and authoritative voice in the 1998 elections, which are just four weeks away. Commercial sites are leveraging their massive audience appeal to encourage participation among the broadest possible range of Internet users. More than 350 commercial and nonprofit Web sites—including ABC News, Microsoft, the Democracy Network, Infoseek, the League of Women Voters, Compaq, Hispanic Online, iVillage and Yahoo!—have joined together for the first time at a national level to get Americans informed about politics by displaying an icon on their homepage that links Internet users directly to the Web White & Blue Day site. The campaign's Web site—at www.webwhiteblue.org—will be live October 7 and remain active through the election, November 3. Web hosting services for the campaign are being provided by America Online. The Internet recently passed a milestone in cementing its role in American politics: Last month some 20 million people used the Net to gain access to the Starr Report within 24 hours after the report was released. "Participation in our democracy just became easier," Markle Foundation President Zoe Baird said. "Web White & Blue Day will insure that the vast array of political information on the Web is as accessible and user-friendly as possible. As 1998 unfolds, the public clearly feels that the Web is an important part of the political process. This unique partnership will further that trend." Based on historical traffic records for Web usage, it is estimated that more than 25-30 million Web users will see the Web White & Blue Day icon throughout the campaign. Almost 35 percent of the U.S. adult population now uses the Internet, and Americans have adopted this medium faster than they adopted television, radio, and the telephone. While citizen involvement in politics is at an all-time low - less than half of the voting age population in the U.S. voted in the 1996 election according to the Federal Election Commission - 60 percent of "connected" Americans vote, according to a 1997 study by Wired magazine. The Internet can "fundamentally change our political process by empowering people to educate themselves," America Online Chairman and CEO Steve Case said. "Web White & Blue Day illustrates this tremendous power - how the Internet can provide a depth and breadth of information in one place that's simply impossible to duplicate in the traditional media." The Web White & Blue Day site offers election-related resources in the following categories: Voter Information - polling locations and youth resources Your State - government and non-profit election-oriented Web sites, by state Issues -comprehensive issue directories, candidate positions and public opinion poll results Campaigns - candidate directories and more Election News - national, regional and state news sites Participate - discussion about politics and election issues All together, Web White & Blue Day links to 45 Web sites that offer a range of political information, from ELECnet, which links to state, county and city sites in all 50 states, to the Center for Responsive Politics, which offers in-depth campaign finance information, to Project Vote Smart, which tracks information on more than 13,000 candidates and elected officials, to the Newspaper Association of America's Newspaperlinks.com, which is creating a new directory of local election coverage by its 850 members. The more than 350 web sites carrying the Web White & Blue Day icon represent organizations ranging from major Internet search engines and services, to media organizations, online directories and general-interest sites that focus on sports—types of Web sites not usually associated with politics. "The value of the commitment by commercial sites to putting the Web White & Blue Day icon on their homepage cannot be overstated," said Baird. "It means that millions more Internet users will visit the site, and we hope they will be motivated by what they see to actively participate in the political process." Web White & Blue Day has also attracted wide online involvement by families, local governments, small businesses, libraries and local citizens' groups. "What we learn from Web White & Blue Day about educating voters on-line in 1998 will help us make the Internet more effective for voters in the presidential election in 2000," said Marvin Kalb, director of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. The John and Mary R. Markle Foundation is a private, not-for-profit grantmaking foundation that was incorporated in 1927 in the state of New York by John Markle and his wife, Mary R. Markle. The Foundation has assets of $180 million, and makes charitable contributions of approximately $9 million per year in the development and use of technologies of communication and information to enhance lifelong learning and promote an informed citizenry. The Media and Political Participation program aims to study the democratic process and develop new practices for how media and technology can improve citizen participation in national politics. Currently, the Markle Foundation supports applied research on political campaigns and creates innovative experiments that use new media technologies to enhance political dialogue, deliberation and participation among citizens. The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy is a Harvard research center dedicated to exploring the intersection of press, politics and public policy in theory and practice. The Center strives to bridge the gap between journalists and scholars and, increasingly, between them and the public. Through teaching and research at the Kennedy School of Government and through its program of fellows and conferences, the Center is at the forefront of discussions in this area. Established in 1986 with a generous gift from the Shorenstein Family, the Center has emerged as a major source for research on U.S. campaigns and elections, journalism and public policy, international news, and race, gender and the press. It is a widely respected convener of journalists, scholars and political activists working to help the press improve its role in democracy.