White House Establishes Guidelines 

White House Establishes Guidelines 
Posted by FoM on January 19, 2000 at 10:38:23 PT
The Associated Press
Source: NJO NewsFlash
The White House drug policy office has established guidelines to clarify its arrangement with television shows and other media outlets that want government financial credits for inserting anti-drug messages into their programs. Under the new rules, the government will not review program episodes for such credits until after the program episodes have aired or been published. 
The office also pledged that it would keep separate the process of granting financial credits from simply offering guidance to networks or producers who seek advice on how to portray drug-abuse situations. The office was responding to recent fallout from the disclosure that the government used financial incentives to get TV networks to include anti-drug messages into their shows, in some cases even reviewing the scripts before the programs aired. The arrangement has drawn criticism from some who say the government is intruding on the independence of networks. The guidelines set out Tuesday are an effort "to eliminate any misunderstandings and prevent any inference of federal intrusion in the creative process," said Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The new parameters still require a 100 percent match for every dollar the federal government spends on media outlets and continue to allow media heads to decide how to meet this requirement. Namely, networks can still receive financial credit for the content of their programs. But programs will not be reviewed for these credits until after they have aired, the office said. In addition, the drug office said it would still make available scientific and technical experts to the entertainment industry. "We have forged a strong partnership with the entertainment and media community and look forward to continuing to strengthen those ties," said McCaffrey. The office plans to periodically seek the advice of the entertainment industry on the credit process as well. The arrangement stemmed from Congress' 1997 approval of a program to buy anti-drug ads on TV. Networks were asked to match each commercial spot bought by the government with a free one. Since the program started, however, the government has since agreed to give up some of its ad time -- as long as the networks demonstrate that some of their programs convey anti-drug messages. WASHINGTON (AP) Please send any questions orcomments to newsflash Published: January 19, 2000Copyright 1999 Associated Press. Related Articles:Skip the 1st Amendment, Just Give Em Their Profits-1/19/2000, Drugs & Civil Liberties - Ministers of Truth-1/18/200 Magazine Articles:White House Defends TV Drug-Ad Deal - 1/15/2000 Script Doctors - 1/13/2000 Money, How the White House Secretly Hooked TV-1/13/2000 
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