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No. 40 • January - June 2005 • Page 157
 •  Initiatives

São Paulo -- Television program for the family

Two years ago, a group of professionals organized the Association for Culture and Current Events (ACEA), dedicated to reflection on the ethical and humanistic principles of culture. Its first activity was a cycle of conferences entitled “Values as the Basis for a New Society.”

At the end of its first year, ACEA had gathered extensive material in the area of education, bioethics, ecology and, above all, the family. At the same time, the Rede Vida television channel decided that the material would be of interest for its program Tribuna Independiente, which is broadcast throughout the country on Friday evenings.

Tribuna Independiente brings together experts in various fields who participate in round table discussions on subjects of their specialty. On this interactive program, TV viewers send their questions by e-mail, which are answered directly if time permits. The questions that remain unanswered at the end of the program are handled afterwards.

At the request of the public, Tribuna Independiente is now broadcast also on Mondays. In addition, the Association sends videos of the programs to anyone interested. Many requests come from schools, libraries and universities. The principal of the Galois School in Brasilia was invited to speak on the respective roles of parents and schools in educating children. Later she decided to make copies of the video for the three thousand families who send children to her school.

An example of the repercussion of Tribuna Independiente was the case of a 15-year-old girl who after seeing one of the programs sent an e-mail to Professor Sueli Caramello Uliano, who had spoken about abortion. The correspondence was then continued, with the result that the young girl changed her decision to have an abortion.

The current research on embryonic stem cells, which is the subject of a piece of pending legislation, led the Attorney General of the Republic to watch an episode of Tribuna Independiente that considered this question. Two days later he declared in the country’s largest newspaper: “I have been greatly impressed by an interview that I saw on Rede Vida with a specialist on this question and am reflecting on his words. The fact is that, in order to save a life, one is doing away with another life.”

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