Saturday, November 22, 2008

So, this is just a post that I did for my copy editing blog, that is very mediocre:

Will the media ever be perfect? Of course not. There is nothing perfect in this world, but someone always has something to complain about. With this in mind, I wanted to know exactly what type of negative effects the media might have on its audience. While searching around this topic, I came across a book called “Selling Anxiety: How The News Media Scare Women,” By Caryl Rivers. So, do the media really scare women? According to Rivers, a Boston University journalism professor and journalist, the answer is yes. Her claim is that women, specifically working women, are portrayed negatively in the news media. Her list of “trend stories” about women is surprising. Some of the stories she lists include:

  • Women who get too much education can’t get a man
  • Women who get too much education and become infertile
  • Women who love their jobs so much they spend most of their time there, neglecting their children
  • (White) women who get murdered
  • Scary women who get power
  • Women (all of them) whose brains suit them only for emotion

Those are just a few of the ones she lists. This is an extreme feminist view on the news media. To be honest, I’ve never read a news article that’s come close to portraying women like that. I’m sure some do exist. Since I couldn’t read this entire book, I can’t comment too much about it, but it made me think about women and media. And, there are some sites specifically geared toward women in the media including, Women in Media and News.

More recently, there were questions about Sarah Palin’s media coverage and whether it was more negative or positive. According a study by, 38.8% of Sarah Palin’s coverage was negative. But was that the media’s fault or Palin’s fault? A lot of people, republican and democrat, can admit Palin was misinformed about a lot of things. Honestly, more negative versus positive coverage might just mean that there was more negative things to say.

And We’ve all heard the classic debate about media setting a stereotype of the typical woman. Though I do believe a lot of the media do this (namely, magazines and advertisments) there are media organizations trying to change this view, and I’m talking all aspects of media, especially advertising. One example is Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign. A Dove press release that introduced the campaign said that “women strongly agree that ‘the media and advertising set an unrealistic standard of beauty that most women can’t ever achieve.’” My problem with this is that some of the women in these ads are truly overweight, and being overweight is unhealthy. While, being extremely thin is not healthy either, saying that women who are overweight are “real” is still giving women the wrong idea. Are these ads trying to say that women who are healthy and naturally skinny shouldn’t be in ads because of women’s own insecurities?

So, will this debate ever end?

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