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Award-Winning Commanding Heights Online Relaunched

With extraordinary historical sweep and perspective, the award-winning Commanding Heights Web site, acclaimed as "a milestone in the development of broadband content," has re-launched with 41 updated Country Reports and additional interviews with leading economic authorities. Commanding Heights Online-now widely integrated into college courses across the country-is also the recent recipient of two Webby Award nominations, a prestigious international recognition.

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Award-Winning Commanding Heights Online Relaunched  
Commanding Heights Online, now widely used in college courses, has just been nominated for two Webby Awards by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which named it one of the five best broadband websites of the year and chose it as one of five top candidates for its Best Practices Award. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts hailed the site as "a milestone in the development of broadband content, with impeccable content, navigation and design," and awarded it the prestigious International BAFTA award. In addition, the site and its Webcast were nominated for the first-ever Emmy-award for interactive television.
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Commanding Heights: The Battle for The World Economy, a documentary series and Web site, traces the evolution of the modern global economic system through a century of political and social upheaval, providing in-depth analysis of our interconnected world and the ways in which global economic institutions, systems and values will shape our lives in the twenty-first century. The entire documentary will be re-broadcast in six one-hour programs on PBS beginning Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings).  The webcast is currently live at http://www.pbs.org/commandingheights/ in a version that has been divided into chapters and optimized for online viewing. 

For the re-launch, all of the site's 41 Country Reports have been updated, many with video and external reference links. A further update to the reports is planned just before the May re-broadcast to incorporate the latest information on the economic impact of the Iraq war and SARS.

Along with the updated reports, three full-length interview transcripts are newly available including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and World Bank Vice Presidents Jim Adams and Nemat Shafik. These interviews broaden the range of perspectives offered by the site on 
globalization, economic development, poverty, the role of the World Bank and the IMF, and the impact of the anti-globalization movement. 

Commanding Heights Online, now widely used in college courses, has just been nominated for two Webby Awards by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which named it one of the five best broadband websites of the year and chose it as one of five top candidates for its Best Practices Award. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts hailed the site as "a milestone in the development of broadband content, with impeccable content, navigation and design," and awarded it the prestigious International BAFTA award. In addition, the site and its Webcast were nominated for the first-ever Emmy-award for interactive television.

Features available at http://pbs.org/commandingheights/:

Two complete versions of Commanding Heights Online are available at the site:  a rich-media broadband edition and a low-bandwidth version

Within the rich-media edition of Storyline, explore synchronized, interactive enhancements to the six-hour documentary that launches related in-depth content. On the low-bandwidth version, view video optimized for dial-up Web connections in any of the three popular player formats, QuickTime, Real or Windows Media. Two different bit-rates are available for each.

Journey through time using the rich-media edition's Time Map, an interactive atlas of economic history which tracks changes in political boundaries as well as crucial shifts in economic policies for forty-one nations from 1910 to the present. From the Time-Map launch comprehensive individual Country Reports to dig deeper, or explore Flashpoints-key events in global economic history-such as the Versailles Treaty, the Bretton Woods Agreement, and the Solidarity Strike in Poland. 
 
Find out what Vice President Dick Cheney, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev have to say about the global economy. Read transcripts of their on-camera interviews supplemented with select video clips. The People section of the site contains over fifty interviews with key players from sixteen different countries. Examine biographies of Economic Architects who played significant roles in the evolution of the modern global market. 

Learn how free-market economies differ from centrally planned governments by reading 
topical essays, accessing the glossary and other tools to identify the Ideas, key institutions, and underlying dynamics central to the story of Commanding Heights: The Battle for The World Economy.
 
Participate in a moderated online forum and Discuss contemporary economic issues raised by the broadcast and Web site.
 
Access an online Educators' Guide that provides suggestions for using the Web site in classrooms. The guide-developed in consultation with experienced teachers and scholars- contains resources for both high school and postsecondary educators.

WGBH Interactive
WGBH Interactive is a pioneer in the interactive media arts and the longest continuously operating interactive media production unit in the public broadcasting system. Working with the Foundation's National Production and Children's Production units, WGBH Interactive produces award-winning companion Web sites for major PBS series such as NOVA, Masterpiece Theatre, American Experience, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, ZOOM, and Between the Lions. These sites are continually updated and offer unique, media-rich features as well as more traditional text and image content. Along with these very popular ongoing series sites, WGBH Interactive produces extensive online sites for limited series such as A Science Odyssey, Africans in America, Building Big, Culture Shock and Evolution. Over four million visitors per month, approximately 40% of PBS.org's total traffic, come to Web sites produced by WGBH.

PBS Online
PBS.org, PBS's award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web 
programming, as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS.org features more than 135,000 pages of content as well as companion Web sites for more than 450 PBS programs and specials, and is the #1 "dot-org" Web site in the world. (Source: Nielsen NetRatings)

Production and Funding
Commanding Heights: The Battle for The World Economy is an InVision Productions Limited production in association with Heights Productions and WGBH Boston with the assistance of Lion Television Limited. Funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the John Templeton Foundation. National corporate sponsorship is provided by BP, EDS, and FedEx Corporation. Additional funding for the netcast and Web site is provided by Microsoft Corp. and The Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, Inc. WGBH executive producer and producer for the netcast and Web site is Howard Cutler. Senior content producer is 
Siddhartha Mitter.

In addition to the broadband, media-rich version of the site, Commanding Heights Online is available as a text-based site for users with limited bandwidth or visual or hearing disabilities. All video on the Web site is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing users. 

Press Contacts
Edie Emery, Goodman Media, 703-837-9500, ediegoodmanmedia.com 
Johanna Baker , WGBH New York, 212-661-9445, johanna_bakerwgbh.org
Cathleen Porter, WGBH Boston, 617-300-5331, cathleen_porterwgbh.org

Photography Contact
Rebecca Singer, WGBH Boston, 617-300-5305, rebecca_singerwgbh.org
 


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