CBS Traces Social Responsibility

CBS has issued its third annual social responsibility report.

The report outlines the efforts in 2006 efforts of the network and its broadcast stations, cable nets, and print and outdoor businesses to "community outreach, public service announcements, responsible programming and diversity."

The report is meant to accentuate the positive and reinforce the company's image as a public servant.

Among the responsible programs the network spotlights heavily in the report is Without a Trace. That is the show that the FCC hit with the largest-ever proposed indecency fine, a fine that CBS is challenging. It is also, per CBS,  a show that has dealt with important issues including drug abuse, AIDS, and racial inequality

Without a Trace leads off the report's list of socially responsible primetime shows. In fact, it claims the first three entries, plus a pull-out "focus" page on the most recent of three instances in which the show helped find a real missing person.

CBS also showcases the Super Bowl, a broadcast that in other years has drawn content critics. In this case it was the 2006 game during which CBS distributed footballs and gear to soildiers in Iraq and held a flag football "Baghdad Bowl" game, airing some of the footage during the game.

Among CBS' other highlights are its CBS Writers Mentoring Program, its stations news apprenticeship programs and other diversity efforts, tolerance PSA's, part of the CBS Cares campaign, featuring Nelson Mandela, network news investigations, and a host of station public service campaigns, from raising funds for children's hospitals to sending pre-paid phone cards to the troops.

The report is sent to advocacy groups, legislators, regulators, journalists and anyone else the various CBS divisions want to get the message about the company's pro-social activities.

 "The following pages are a snapshot of how CBS businesses across the company honored the Corporation’s commitment to the communities we serve," said CBS President Leslie Moonves in a letter fronting the rerpot. "[T]his commitment is at the core of what it means to be a public trust. Issuing this annual report is our way of providing a sampling of the good work CBS has done throughout the country on both a national and local level, while at the same time reminding us of the responsibility that comes with being a global mass media company."