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Language Used when Covering People with Disabilities

Description

News outlets frequently portray people with disabilities as either helpless victims or objects of motivation. Portrayal of people with disabilities has improved over the years, but there is still room to grow. News outlets tend to make disability the center

News outlets frequently portray people with disabilities as either helpless victims or objects of motivation. Portrayal of people with disabilities has improved over the years, but there is still room to grow. News outlets tend to make disability the center of the story. A story about a disabled person is primarily about their disability, with their other accomplishments framed by it.

As one example of the victimhood narrative, ABC News used to run a special called My Extreme Affliction as part of 20/20 until 2012. As the name implies, the specials covered people with disabilities, specifically extreme versions. One 2008 episode on Tourette’s syndrome described Tourette’s like it was some sort of demonic possession. The narrator talked about children who were “prisoners in their own bodies” and a family that was at risk of being “torn apart by Tourette’s.” I have Tourette’s syndrome myself, which made ABC’s special especially uncomfortable to watch. When not wringing their metaphorical hands over the “victims” of disability, many news outlets fall into the “supercrip” narrative. They refer to people as “heroes” who “overcome” their disabilities to achieve something that ranges from impressive to utterly mundane. The main emphasis is on the disability rather than the person who has it. These articles then exploit that disability to make readers feel good. As a person with a disability, I am aware that it impacts my life, but it is not the center of my life. The tics from my Tourette’s syndrome made it difficult to speak to people when I was younger, but even then they did not rule me.

Disability coverage, however, is still incredibly important for promoting acceptance and giving people with disabilities a voice. A little over a fifth of adults in the United States have a disability (CDC: 53 million adults in the US live with a disability), so poor coverage means marginalizing or even excluding a large amount of people. Journalists should try to reach their entire audience. The news helps shape public opinion with the stories it features. Therefore, it should provide visibility for people with disabilities in order to increase acceptance. This is a matter of civil rights. People with disabilities deserve fair and accurate representation.

My personal experience with ABC’s Tourette’s special leads me to believe that the media, especially the news, needs to be more responsible in their reporting. Even the name “My Extreme Affliction” paints a poor picture of what to expect. A show that focuses on sensationalist portrayals in pursuit of views further ostracizes people with disabilities. The emphasis should be on a person and not their condition. The National Center for Disability Journalism tells reporters to “Focus on the person you are interviewing, not the disability” (Tips for interviewing people with disabilities). This people-first approach is the way to improve disability coverage: Treat people with disabilities with the same respect as any other minority group.

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Date Created
2019-05

Tell it Like it is Video Podcast

Description

Traditional forms of news distribution are rapidly dying out. Newspaper revenue continues to decline, while internet alternatives, accurate or otherwise, gain traction. One of the fastest growing forms of "new media" is the podcast. Everyone from comedians to organizations like

Traditional forms of news distribution are rapidly dying out. Newspaper revenue continues to decline, while internet alternatives, accurate or otherwise, gain traction. One of the fastest growing forms of "new media" is the podcast. Everyone from comedians to organizations like National Public Radio is launching their own, and they are increasingly becoming legitimate sources of income when supplemented with advertising. Video podcasts have also exploded into the mainstream, generating millions of views on platforms like YouTube. However, it is rare to find a video podcast series with one journalist and a guest, and even less common for a show to be hosted by a college student. The "Tell it Like it is" video podcast is an attempt at bringing college journalists into the world of video podcasting. It examines the extent to which a single person can have a successful podcast while in college and what resources are necessary for the task. The following paper contains the history of podcasting, its growth in the 21st century, the inspiration for this project, an in-depth description and background of each episode, challenges, successes, future endeavors, and a conclusion. An accompanying website serves as the headquarters for the five-part video podcast series. The website also hosts additional information about the subjects and their careers. All episodes have been uploaded to YouTube.

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2019-12

Situated Journalism

Description

There's a growing trend of transparency in the media that has been reflected in the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. SPJ advocates that journalists "explain ethical choices and processes to the audience" and "expose unethical conduct." Transparency currently

There's a growing trend of transparency in the media that has been reflected in the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. SPJ advocates that journalists "explain ethical choices and processes to the audience" and "expose unethical conduct." Transparency currently means taking responsibility for your work and not allowing yourself to be compromised by conflicts of interest. It doesn't usually mean being open about your beliefs, positions and perspectives. We would argue that it could, and should. There are many examples of publications making mistakes because they lacked the knowledge and understanding of someone from a different perspective. Additionally, there are many examples of journalists lacking in information because they were trying to remain objective. There should be a place where journalists can be open about where they are coming from and give their perspective on a situation. Using many different perspectives we can build a bigger, and more accurate, picture around the context of a situation. This thesis project examines objectivity and proposes a new philosophical approach based on Situated Knowledges by Donna Haraway. We examine media case studies to expose issues with the coverage of news when objectivity is the main goal.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

Juvenile Offenders with Mental Health Disorders—A look at the history and consequences of imprisoned youth with mental health and when these issues intersect with the media

Description

This thesis examines youth with mental health disorders in the juvenile justice system, and when their stories intersect with media coverage. In addition to exploring the history of juvenile justice in the United States, it reviews the relationship with youths

This thesis examines youth with mental health disorders in the juvenile justice system, and when their stories intersect with media coverage. In addition to exploring the history of juvenile justice in the United States, it reviews the relationship with youths who have a mental health disorder within the system, criticism of media’s coverage on these topics, and expert opinion on how this can be improved. Typically, both print and broadcast media have utilized these stories for sensationalism: slapping these crimes across the front page of the paper, or leading in a broadcast news show. Yet the journalistic responsibility of educating the community is tragically over looked, with these stories adding to the stigma of mental health. With this research, I aim to gather insight on how word choices, details, and story structure can improve daily reporting in a world of tight deadlines and competing interests—moving into a higher-quality news product.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

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An analysis of how narcocorridos portray the political sociology of the Mexican Drug cartels in Mexican society

Description

Since the collapse of the Medellin Cartel in Colombia in 1993, the Mexican drug cartels have been increasing in strength and international presence. Along with the organization's political and economic involvement, a deeply rooted culture has been developing. Three distinct

Since the collapse of the Medellin Cartel in Colombia in 1993, the Mexican drug cartels have been increasing in strength and international presence. Along with the organization's political and economic involvement, a deeply rooted culture has been developing. Three distinct time periods define this culture: pre-Medellin Cartel collapse (1970s-1993), post-Medellin Cartel Collapse (1993-2006) and post-President Calderon's Drug War announcement (2006-present day). More specifically, the history and fascination with the cartel is documented in songs, known as narcocorridos, which celebrate and support the drug cartels. The science of political sociology addresses the power relationship that exists between a state, its citizens, and the state's social groups. This study investigates the political sociology of each period, specifically how society viewed the cartel and their roles within the cartel. I argue that the narcocorridos accurately describe the evolution of narcoculture in Mexican society. This study consists of analyses of narcocorrido song lyrics, the political sociology of each time period, and finally, the societal perception of the drug cartel. First, I will evaluate the most popular songs' lyrics of the three defining time periods in the Mexican Drug Cartel history. Next, I will analyze the lyrics and determine whether or not they accurately reflect the political sociological features of the time period. Last, I will discuss what the societal perceptions of being associated with the cartel were during each time period. This study concludes by hypothesizing what the future of narcocorriodos will be. This prediction will demonstrate how the songs will continue to reflect the political sociology of the time period, including the societal attitudes towards the cartel.

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

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Collision of News and Technology, Chaos or Catalyst

Description

The foundations of legacy media, especially the news media, are not as strong as they once were. A digital revolution has changed the operation models for and journalistic organizations are trying to find their place in the new market. This

The foundations of legacy media, especially the news media, are not as strong as they once were. A digital revolution has changed the operation models for and journalistic organizations are trying to find their place in the new market. This project is intended to analyze the effects of new/emerging technologies on the journalism industry. Five different categories of technology will be explored. They are as follows: the semantic web, automation software, data analysis and aggregators, virtual reality and drone journalism. The potential of these technologies will be broken up according to four guidelines, ethical implications, effects on the reportorial process, business impacts and changes to the consumer experience. Upon my examination, it is apparent that no single technology will offer the journalism industry the remedy it has been searching for. Some combination of emerging technologies however, may form the basis for the next generation of news. Findings are presented on a website that features video, visuals, linked content, and original graphics. Website found at http://www.explorenewstech.com/

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

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The Manifesto Project

Description

A nonprofit organization / grassroots movement capturing the voice of a generation of young Arizonans

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Created

Date Created
2014-05

The Endless Cycle of Neglect

Description

Parental substance abuse is the number one reason children are neglected and placed in foster care. More than 18,000 children were in out-of-home care in Arizona in 2015, the majority of them for neglect. Reports to the Arizona Department of

Parental substance abuse is the number one reason children are neglected and placed in foster care. More than 18,000 children were in out-of-home care in Arizona in 2015, the majority of them for neglect. Reports to the Arizona Department of Child Safety are categorized by physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Neglect is the broadest category and 72.9 percent of the maltreatment reports DCS received between April and September 2015 were for child neglect. Experts say nationally, parental substance abuse is the main cause for the neglect of children. "The Endless Cycle of Neglect" is an in-depth story about the effects of parental substance abuse leading to children being placed in foster care. The research was conducted through reviews of data available in public records and interviews with experts and adults who were in placed in foster care after experiencing neglect by parents who were abusing substances. The story is built into a multimedia website with elements such as photos, embedded audio, and infographics. The story follows Amber Anderson, whose father was a drug addict, and chronicles the events in her life that led to her being placed in foster care and ultimately losing her children to foster care because of neglect. Anderson shared her story of neglect, her time as a prostitute, and the events that led to her losing custody of her children. The website that the story is hosted on, kuntharathesis.com, was built to be visually engaging for readers, with large photos, pull quotes, and interactive infographics. The full thesis can be found at kuntharathesis.com or http://kuntharathesis.com/index.php/2016/05/05/the-unending-cycle/

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Created

Date Created
2016-05

Analyzing the efficacy of an after-school journalism program

Description

This paper describes a thesis project in which the author developed an eight-session, after-school curriculum to teach journalism basics to Desert Mountain High School's newspaper in Scottsdale, Arizona. Wolf's Print, the school's paper, moved to an after-school basis in the

This paper describes a thesis project in which the author developed an eight-session, after-school curriculum to teach journalism basics to Desert Mountain High School's newspaper in Scottsdale, Arizona. Wolf's Print, the school's paper, moved to an after-school basis in the 2011-2012 school year as a result of budgetary constraints. The topics covered in these sessions ranged from the current state of journalism to learning more specific skills, such as news writing and copy editing. The paper begins with a discussion of the efficacy of after-school programs as a whole. Though these programs have been shown to benefit students, there are also challenges \u2014 most notably attendance and commitment on the part of students \u2014 to a club that is operated on a solely after-school basis. The paper ends with an evaluation of the program and several recommendations to strengthen after-school journalism programs. These recommendations include robust community involvement and teacher commitment to the club.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Polarization and Profit: Newsrooms Need to Leave Both Behind

Description

This thesis examines the current polarization of news media, specifically written journalism, either in newspapers or on news websites. Americans increasingly get their news from polarized sources, and that is leading to a large divide in information. This issue is

This thesis examines the current polarization of news media, specifically written journalism, either in newspapers or on news websites. Americans increasingly get their news from polarized sources, and that is leading to a large divide in information. This issue is also exacerbated by political idealogy. Furthermore, I explore how the traditional business model of advertising-based revenue is leading to more polarized news coverage. To combat this, I offer interventions for news organizations, including the importance of journalistic ethics and the possibility of more news organizations transferring to nonprofit status, which has gained traction in recent years. Access to accurate news and information is essential in a functioning democracy, and if polarization and issues in news continue, it will be harmful to America as a whole.

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Created

Date Created
2021-05