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Showing posts from July 15, 2007

Beauty and Body Image in the Media

Images of female bodies are everywhere. Women—and their body parts—sell everything from food to cars. Popular film and television actresses are becoming younger, taller and thinner. Some have even been known to faint on the set from lack of food. Women’s magazines are full of articles urging that if they can just lose those last twenty pounds, they’ll have it all—the perfect marriage, loving children, great sex, and a rewarding career.Why are standards of beauty being imposed on women, the majority of whom are naturally larger and more mature than any of the models? The roots, some analysts say, are economic. By presenting an ideal difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet product industries are assured of growth and profits. And it’s no accident that youth is increasingly promoted, along with thinness, as an essential criterion of beauty. If not all women need to lose weight, for sure they’re all aging, says the Quebec Action Network for Women’s Health in its 2001 repo…

News in the Age of Money

By Diana B. Henriques
Financial Writer at the New York Times In 1980, I was working in New Jersey as an investigative reporter at The Trenton Times, trying to unravel the local angles of the FBI's wacky "Abscam" sting, in which members of Congress were secretly filmed accepting bribes from undercover agents posing as aides to an Arab sheik. By the end of 1982, I was a business reporter, covering the Latin American debt crisis for The Philadelphia Inquirer. The media monitor Dean Rotbart estimates there were only a few thousand business journalists in 1980. When his newsletter, TJFR Business News Reporter, first counted noses in 1988, there were about 4,200 of us in the top fifty newspaper markets and at national business publications in the United States. Trained on political news beats, we were utterly unprepared to cover the economic legacy of the 1970s. Before we had memorized all the members of OPEC, the next "war" was upon us -- Federal Reserve Chairman Pau…

Defining the Land of the Fourth Estate

By Nicholas Johnson
Visiting Professor of Law, University of IowaCollege of Law
"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. . . . "
(Amendment 1, Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution, 1791)These words enshrine freedom of the press in the U.S. Constitution, the document that forms the structure of government and undergirds U.S. law.In constructing the framework for U.S. government, the Constitution establishes a balance of power between the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive (the president and the administration). Each branch is imbued with separate and distinct powers that establish a system of checks and balances. The Founding Fathers painstakingly designed this governmental architecture to create a system in which the distribution of power among the branches would contribute to stability. By the early years of the republic when this system of checks and balances was devised, a daring journalistic community had already become estab…