Download a Free TV Turnoff Poster!
Challenge your work or classmates to get out of the box for a week! Download our TV Turnoff 2003 poster, print it out and make photocopies. Put them up in the kitchens, cafeterias, pubs and train stations. Stick them over any poster for a TV show! Make people curious about the life they're missing.
International TV-Turnoff Week
Last April 5 million people switched off.
Every time your turn it on, your television is giving you these messages:
"You are boring"
"The people you know are stupid."
"The things you yourself could do are second rate"
"Thank God you have television to bring glamour
and professional entertainment into your life!"
Not only are these messages insulting, but study after study have shown that television is hurting the quality of our lives. There are many good arguments for getting rid of television altogether.
TV is bad for kids!
It isn’t stimulating or educational. Many of the people who support the TV-Turnoff are teachers. They’ve seen first hand how it kills creativity and disrupts concentration. TV causes delayed acquisition of speech in very young children and is being studied for possible links to attention deficit disorder - a condition which has spread widely since the introduction of television into British homes. TV has been linked to heart disease and depression. And far from relaxing you, TV actually raises stress levels. It makes you lethargic, unhappy and unable to concentrate for hours after watching.
TV is bad for democracy!
A study by Roger Putnam at Harvard University revealed that generations of people after 1950 have stopped participating. They know less and join in less. From bowling clubs to national politics, people are staying home and doing nothing. The study isolated a single cause for this erosion of social capital: television.
Even if you just want to be a "discerning viewer", remember that there's a whole industry of highly paid, well educated people whose job it is to see that you don't discern. They get paid to keep you sitting there - no matter what's on. That's why the best way to moderate your viewing is to stop watching entirely for a while. It will give you a chance to see how much TV you really need.
You'll also get a chance to rediscover your own life: you are interesting. Your friends are worth knowing, and the things you do are more important than the things you watch others do on television.
The TV Turnoff is great for kids.
Children don’t like TV. They watch it because they’re bored. And television just encourages them to stay bored and keep watching. The TV-Turnoff gives children back their natural creativity. Here’s a teacher from one of the 25,000 schools that participated last year:
|"Kids get excited at how easy they find not-watching. |
If at the end of the day they haven't watched TV, there's such pride."
Fill in a pledge form!
We need to know how many people are turning off this year, so we can get more people to turn off next year. Send us a letter, an email, or fill out the form below. Make up a petition and get people you know to sign it. Every pledge is important!
(We ask for contact details to prove we're not making up these numbers. But no one else will get your details, and if you don't want to be contacted again, you won't be.)
TV-Turnoff 2003 Pledge
I pledge to stop watching television for the week of April 21-27, 2003 and find out how much more there is to real life.
|wwwww||TV Free America, and made an international event by the Media Foundation in Vancouver (publishers of Adbusters magazine), the Society for Ecology and Culture in Bhutan and Ladakh, and by White Dot in Great Britain.|
Aside from anti-television campaigns, the TV-Turnoff is endorsed by a large number of health, education and social organisations. What follows is only a partial list:
Children’s Defence Fund, Libraries for the Future,The American Medical Association, American Federation of Teachers, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association of Elementary Schools, American Psychiatric Association, Council for Basic Education, American Heart Association, Association of Library Service to Children, National Parenting Association, Family Research Council, Student Environmental Action Coalition, Child Welfare League of America
We are especially keen to hear from representatives of any group that wishes to find out more about the Turnoff and perhaps give it their own endorsement. If that's you, or someone you can introduce us to, tell us! The difference between a "cute story" and a serious issue is your involvement.
Step One: Contact White Dot
The TV-Turnoff has been running for four years now in the United States. White Dot is bringing this unique campaign to Britain. Help us do it! Register your own Turnoff, and find out who else near you is taking part.
Send in as many pledge cards (see below) or Turnoff petitions as you can get people to sign!
PO Box 2116
Hove, East Sussex, BN3 3LR
Email us or fill in the on-line local Turnoff registration form, and visit the TV Free America website for more information and organising materials. We’re looking for all kinds of help!
Step Two: Print This Website
Using your browser, print off this website, or save it as a file. You are then ready to hit the photocopying machine give copies away to people. Hand them out at meetings and put stacks of them in public places. You can also send to White Dot for the original Turnoff leaflet in glorious colour! (?0 for 100 and ?0 for 250)
Step Three: Form a Local TV-Turnoff Committee
Organising any event is easier if you have a few extra hands. Talk to friends or family. Hold a meeting to get going. Agree a list of people to contact and start calling. The following types of people have strongly supported previous TV-Turnoffs:
Teachers and School Librarians: They know how important it is to break television’s grip on children. Teachers who participate in TV-Turnoffs say their children behave better and take more interest in learning, almost immediately. And teachers are great organisers! Participating schools have held dinners, sleep-overs, costume days, "Earth Weeks", art nights, readings, talent shows and activity fairs. (See our sample letter to parents)
We can help teachers twin their classes in Britain with classes in America to co-ordinate special activities.
Parents: Ask the local PTA to endorse the Turnoff. Their support is of enormous benefit. Address their meetings, and those of any parent or childcare group.
Local Businesses: Approach the managers of any place that sells books, sporting goods or coffee. Also: pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres. Ask them to display leaflets, and to hold or sponsor events.
Religious Leaders: Ask them to tell their congregations about TV-Turnoff Week, perhaps incorporating the theme of a "TV fast" into their readings or sermons, as Pope John Paul II did in March 1996.
Other Groups: Public librarians, environmentalists, doctors, museums and art galleries, colleges, adult literacy councils and almost any charitable organisation. These groups know that their biggest enemy is apathy. The Turnoff is a chance to attack apathy where it lives.
Step Four: Contact the Press
Write a press release with as much information about the Turnoff and yourself as you can fit on a page or two. Include a contact name and numbers. (See our sample) It helps to stage a public event with notable endorsers giving speeches of 5-10 minutes each. Have reporters sign a press list, so you can contact them again.
Step Five: Contact White Dot Again
Tell us how it went and what you did. Send us any press cuttings about your Turnoff. Help us prepare for next year. Tell us how you liked being set-free.