From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
RELIGIOUS COALITION CHALLENGES GENERAL ELECTRIC,
05 May 1996 13:04:59
95168 RELIGIOUS COALITION CHALLENGES GENERAL ELECTRIC,
OWNER OF NBC, ON TELEVISION VIOLENCE
by Jerry L. Van Marter
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--A shareholders' resolution asking General Electric to
review NBC's programs for excessive violence received 8.2 percent of the
proxy votes cast on the issue April 26 at GE's annual meeting.
The resolution was brought to the meeting by a coalition of religious
groups, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), that own stock in GE,
which owns NBC. A similar resolution in 1994 received a 6.7 percent
affirmative vote. The level of support for the resolution assures that it
will reappear on the docket of GE's 1996 annual meeting.
"Shareholder proposals on social issues rarely garner a majority
vote," said the Rev. William Somplatsky-Jarman, associate for Mission
Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) in the PC(USA)'s National
Ministries Division. "The goal is a high enough vote to convince the
company they need to respond positively to the issue. We clearly achieved
Somplatsky-Jarman presented the resolution on behalf of a broad-based
coalition of religious groups. "While television is not the only cause,
and perhaps not even the leading cause, of violence, it does have an
impact, " he argued, calling attention to more than 3,000 research studies
which have linked television viewing to violent behavior.
General Electric responded to the proposal by announcing a $20 million
advertising campaign featuring an anti-violence message from NBC stars.
The PC(USA), whose General Assembly has repeatedly called for the
elimination of violence in the media, was joined in the resolution filing
by the Sisters of Loretto, Sisters of Divine Providence, Sisters of St.
Francis of Philadelphia, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Grey Nuns of the
Sacred Heart, Mercy Health Services, Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth
and St. Vincent de Paul of New York, and the Order of Friars Minor, as well
as other religious institutions and individuals.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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