Unit 1 A Courtesy Campaign Script

By Nicholas Sullivan,2014-06-07 10:52
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Unit 1 A Courtesy Campaign Script

Unit 1 A Courtesy Campaign Script

    Nearly half of all American adults have wireless telephones. People are buying them at a rate of 46,000 a day. The rise of portable phones has been accompanied by a rise in complaints about mobile phone manners. A few cities have passed laws restricting their use. But San Diegos trying

    a different approach, appealing to cell phone users with a courtesy campaign. From member station KPBS, Scott Horsley, reports.

    It seems to be happening more and more, in restaurant, movie theaters, even in church.

    When it comes to the shrill interruption of a ringing cell phone, no place it seems is sacred.

    Well, if were in the middle of prayer and meditation, I usually just ignore it. And I may make a comment afterwards, something like, Well, you know, maybe the spirit of God is truly calling

    us and wanting our attention.

    Not everyone is as forgiving as Reverend Wendy Craig-Purcell of San Diegos Church of

    Today. And not everyone views the cell phone as an instrument of divine intervention. When San Diego Mayor Susan Golding conducted an Internet survey last year, thousands of people responded calling for restrictions on cell phone use, especially in movie theaters.

    I know that I‟ve been in the movies. And its at that quiet time when everyones on the edge

    of their seat and the phone rings next to you and the person starts to talk in a very loud voice.

    But rather than propose regulation, Mayor Golding has launched a voluntary courtesy campaign, urging wireless phone users to mind their mobile manners. The campaign includes stickers that businesses can display, reminding customers theyre in a quiet zone. The mayor

    herself posted a sticker outside one movie theater as Doug Cohen looked on in approval. Cohen is a real estate broker whose own cell phone gets plenty of use, but he agrees there ought to be limits.

    I have very good friends that I wont eat lunch with. They just cant get away from it. So

    itstheres an etiquette. Its just like driving or anything else, you know. Some people will

    subscribe to a certain politeness and some people wont. But its nice that theres an issue being

    raised here.

    San Diego might seem like an unlikely place to raise the issue of rude cell phone use since the cell phone industry is one of the citys biggest employers, with companies like Qualcomm and

    Nokia. But Nokia is actually sponsoring the mayors courtesy campaign. Vice President Larry

    Paulson says customers should set their phones to vibrate rather than ring in certain settings, and

    sometimes even turn their telephones off.

    Certainly, I think that everyone agrees with this. In certain public areas such as movie theaters, plays, churches, museums, and libraries, talking can be very disruptive and, essentially, its a violation of basic courtesy.

    Cell phone companies realize a public backlash isnt good for their business. And with

    communities in Ohio and New Jersey already banning cell phone use behind the wheel, the industry may see a courtesy campaign as a way to head off further government regulation, like the beer companies urging their customers to drink responsibly.

    Instead of a strict enforcer, Mayor Golding hopes to play a gentle Miss Manners. The real Miss Manners, newspaper columnist Judith Martin, thinks that might work better, anyway.

    If you use the heavy hand of the law for everyday trivial things, you create the state where everybody is angry at everybody else, where the courts are clogged up. This is a very simple thing were talking about: dont disturb people, you know. Dont talk at the movies. Dont talk in the

phone in the movies. Dont talk to the person next to you in the movies.

    Martin says its not unusual when new technologies develop for people to believe theyre in

    an etiquette-free zone. But gradually, a consensus develops about how the tools should be used. With cell phone, she says, were halfway there. People agree that others shouldnt annoy them

    with their phones, but they dont necessarily apply the same rules to themselves. That will be the challenge, as Mayor Golding demonstrated during a news conference kicking off her courtesy campaign.

    I think we will influence a great number of people to stop and think.

    For example, mine is ringing right now. But I think we will influence a lot of people to turn off their cell phones or to put them on vibrate.

    Clearly, there are placesand this doesnt even hang up well. But because…I want to be

    courteous and not answer it during this press conference.

    The Mayor later explained that hers was a new phone, and she hadnt figured out all the

    settings. She got a quick lesson from the Nokia vice president in how to turn off the ringer. For NPR News, I‟m Scott Horsley in San Diego.

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