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DNC: Norman Lear opens ‘Democracy Row’ at USC

Hollywood legend Norman Lear cut the ribbon Aug. 14 commemorating the launching of “Democracy Row,” a unique tradeshow highlighting the connection between voter education and democracy.

In the interests of contributing to a informed electorate, USC’s Norman Lear Center – along with 50 non-partisan organizations – is sponsoring the tradeshow at the Los Angeles Convention Center during the Aug. 14-17 Democratic National Convention.

“The 15,000 members of the media expected at the convention will find Democracy Row an eye-opening opportunity to see how groups across the country are working to excite and engage citizens in politics,” said Martin Kaplan, USC Annenberg School for Communication associate dean and director of the Lear Center. “We’re thrilled to be the only outside group with a major substantive presence actually inside the convention perimeter.”

Located in the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, the tradeshow will highlight innovations in political coverage and citizen engagement. Democracy Row will run from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. from Monday, August 14 through Wednesday, August 16 and from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 17. Live updates from Democracy Row will be web-cast on the hour at the Reliable Resources home page (

Norman Lear will officiate at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Democracy Row at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, August 14. Live coverage of the ceremony will be web-cast on the home pages for Reliable Resources, the Norman Lear Center ( and the On-line Journalism Review (

Democracy Row is part of Reliable Resources for Broadcast Political Coverage, a new, multi-year initiative at USC Annenberg. Funded by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Reliable Resources is focused on improving broadcast television’s political coverage.

In conjunction with Democracy Row, Reliable Resources will also host a panel discussion – Improving Broadcast Political Coverage. Moderated by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dean of USC Annenberg’s sister school at the University of Pennsylvania, the panel includes Cokie Roberts of ABC News and NPR, and Paul Taylor from The Alliance for Better Campaigns among others. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, August 15 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the Annenberg Auditorium on the USC campus.

To attend the Democracy Row ribbon cutting ceremony and/or visit Democracy Row at the Los Angeles Convention Center, or to attend/cover the panel discussion on the USC campus, you must RSVP to Jamie Falkowski (310.395.2993 or at Stephen Rivers & Associates by the end of the day on Friday, August 11.

The goal of Reliable Resources is to develop and distribute tools to help local and network television provide innovative and informative political coverage, and to recognize and reward those efforts.

The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center exploring implications of the convergence of entertainment, commerce, and society. The impact of entertainment on news and politics is a principal focus of the Lear Center.

The Pew Charitable Trusts support nonprofit activities in the areas of culture, education, the environment, health and human services, public policy and religion.

DNC: Norman Lear opens ‘Democracy Row’ at USC

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