Karen Core, VAGUEpolitix

New York, NY — For Americans tired of partisan bickering, media hype and dull debates, here's an antidote — VAGUEpolitix, a first-of-its kind guide to politics on the Web.

The debut edition of this unique site, designed as a quarterly, premieres Monday, June 14, on PBS ONLINE at (
(Press may preview the site beginning May 7 at

Fusing pop culture and politics, VAGUEpolitix advocates "compassion with edge, cynicism with heart and flat-out dumb fun." Created by a media-savvy team and a host of well-known contributors, the site's innovative use of interactive Web technology and content-connected links brings you, as the homepage says, "the information you need — with the attitude you crave."

VAGUEpolitix covers today's most important issues but reframes them unlike any other political publication or broadcast outlet. Using graphics, lively writing and humor, VAGUE's articles link visitors to some 250 sites with varying views — Left, Right and Elsewhere. The site is designed to open minds by neutralizing media cliches and distortions. It helps users to make their own choices, replacing received wisdom with fresh, constructive, multi-partisan political thinking.

VAGUEpolitix is a project of Web Lab, a non-profit that develops, supports and champions innovative uses of the Web to enhance public understanding of — and participation in — the issues of our times. Web Lab was founded by Marc Weiss, the creator and former executive producer of P.O.V., PBS's award-winning showcase of independent, non-fiction films.

VAGUEpolitix is the brainchild of a high-profile team with wide-ranging experience. Executive Producer Elizabeth Santeix is a multimedia producer with credits ranging from MTV Award-winning music videos to interactive media. Her website credits include produced for K2 Design and, a site for women entrepreneurs. Editor-in-Chief Lynn Phillips has written and edited for many media. Her credits include "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," and articles in The Nation and Glamour magazines. Information Architect Karen Casamassima, founder of one of the first e-zines, is a Silicon Alley Ronin for the likes of Modem Media and Grey Interactive. Producer Patricia Lee Stotter is an Emmy Award-winning composer who has worked in theater, film, interactive media and television, including "Sesame Street" and "Another World".

In the nine info-clusters of its features section, "FOCUS ON...," the premiere edition of VAGUEpolitix takes on crime — what really causes it and what effectively prevents it.

Can a nurse be a more powerful crime-stopper than a Teflon bullet? Should we televise executions? VAGUEpolitix tackles these and other policy issues in the "Nutshells" section.

In this issue's "Vision Things" section, Olivia Goldsmith, author of "First Wives Club," designs a "Bad Boyfriend Bootcamp" for women prisoners, and novelist Emily Prager, author of "Roger Fishbite," recounts the life of Phoolan Devi, India's renowned "Bandit Queen," from the perspective of a busy American mom.

Site visitors are invited to shape the VAGUEpolitix experience by contributing to "Joker's Wild," "Opinion Poll-O," or "Body Politix."

Play the Shockwave game, "Killer App," in the site's "Fair Game" section, and face consequences — whether just or just arbitrary — that our criminal justice system imposes upon those who commit murder.

Not-entirely-innocent babies created by "Beavis and Butt-Head" staffer Donna Evans let users navigate through "10 Simple Reasons" where they will find both funny and horrifying answers to Rodney King's famous question, "Why can't we get along?"

PBS ONLINE, 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 ONLINE features more than 65,000 pages of content as well as companion Web sites for more than 300 PBS programs and specials. PBS ONLINE has won the prestigious Webby Award for best TV Web site in each of the last two years.

The first issue of VAGUEpolitix was funded in part by Web Lab. Additional support was provided by K2 Design Inc. and EDK Associates.

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