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TV Turn Off Week - April 22 - 28, 2000

International TV Turn Off week might make Kiwis healthier and better informed

TV Turn Off Week - April 22 - 28, 2000

FairNZ is suggesting Kiwis take the opportunity to support the international TV Turn-Off Week - just hit the power button, shut down 'the box', and choose to do other things for the week. "With the extra time, people might indulge in sport and outdoor activities, find other forms of entertainment, better news sources, or just cuddle up - enjoy the company of partners, family and friends."

Spokesperson Stu Sontier says that New Zealanders can show their support for this global action simply by turning their television off for the week of April 22 - 28, and they may want to let the TV channels know why. "We still have one of the highest rates of advertising in the world, the quality and number of documentaries has dropped and the news is appalling."

Around the world, Health officials note that populations are becoming more sedentary and thus overweight and unfit. The US Surgeon General last year said that people should get away from TV and get more exercise. Our own health department notes that 9 out of 10 TV advertisements for food during children's viewing time are for unhealthy foods.

Last year, Mohammad N. Akhter, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said "Put simply, we could turn off our television sets and get a little more exercise. Few single steps would do as much for (Americans') health -- physically and in other ways. "

"I'm sure this statement holds true for New Zealanders too. Our TV habits are almost as bad as in the US".

In terms of information, TV lets us down badly.

"Right now TV is the main source of news for most people. We challenge TV news addicts to look at other sources for their news fix, such as radio, internet sources and newspapers. Libraries have newspapers from all over the world; some offer internet access."

"Learn to question all news sources - don't depend on just one" says Stu Sontier "you might even want to phone a TV station and tell them why their news service isn't "all the news you need".

Ends.

FAIR NZ Contact Stu Sontier (09) 620 6018 stu@ihug.co.nz http://shell.ihug.co.nz/~stu/fair/

The global TV Turn-Off campaign is being organised by Adbusters helped by a loose global network of artists, activists, writers, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to launch the new social activist movement of the information age. - "Your living room is the factory . The product being manufactured is you." More information: http://www.adbusters.org


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