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Media Institute To Launch "Cornerstone Project," National First Amendment Education Campaign

Founding Sponsors Represent Major Media, Ad Industry

FOR RELEASE: May 30, 2000

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute


Washington, May 19 - The Media Institute will launch a major program this fall aimed at celebrating the First Amendment to The U.S. Constitution.

Called "The Cornerstone Project," the ambitious public awareness effort will strive to give the American public a renewed appreciation of the importance of free speech and free press.

The Cornerstone Project will pursue three types of activities: media relations and promotion; education; and public service announcements.

Four trade associations representing major American media and advertising agencies are supporting the project as Founding Sponsors:

  • National Association of Broadcasters. NAB is a nonprofit association of radio and television stations and broadcasting networks. NAB serves and represents the American broadcasting industry

  • Newspaper Association of America. NAA is a nonprofit organization representing the $57 billion newspaper industry and more than 2000 newspapers in the United States and Canada. NAA members account for 87 percent of U.S. daily circulation.

  • American Association of Advertising Agencies. AAAA is the national trade association for the advertising agency business. AAAA has over 1,200 member agency offices across the country who, in the aggregate, create and produce 80 percent of national advertising.

  • Magazine Publishers of America. MPA is the industry association for consumer magazines, representing more than 200 U.S.-based publishing companies with more than 1,200 titles; more than 75 international companies; and more than 90 associate members.

"We are gratified that these associations, whose member companies touch the lives of virtually all Americans, share our vision about the importance of the First Amendment," said Institute President Patrick D. Maines. "Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of our democracy, and it's vital; that the American people reconnect with this precious freedom."

In coming months the Institute will seek additional funding and in-kind support from a wide range of media companies, associations, journalism organizations, and foundations. Contributors will have opportunities o sit on project advisory bodies and to receive various forms of recognition. Project activities will commence in the fall and will continue for 36 months.

"We are deeply grateful to Cornerstone's Founding Sponsors and we look forward to broad support throughout the media industry," Maines said.