Blogs

News coverage of the Sandusky case: Lessons for advocates

Media coverage of violence and other public health issues tends to focus narrowly on individuals, overlooking the context for their actions. Continuing coverage of the Sandusky child sexual abuse case is proving an exception to that rule, yet it is not without shortcomings. Read more >


Media oversimplify coverage of Aurora shooting

In the wake of last week's shooting in Aurora, Colo., the news media have been filled with journalists, elected officials, and others bemoaning the rampage as "senseless" and "evil." But calling it evil does nothing to open up a discussion of how to keep it from happening again. Read more >


Child sexual abuse prevention advocates work to keep issue in media spotlight

Child sexual abuse has fallen out of the news cycle since Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse last month. Fortunately, children's advocates are working to remind readers that child sexual abuse doesn't end when a high-profile trial does. Read more >


Just how pervasive has anti-government sentiment become?

It's our government's duty to protect us from health hazards. Yet a dominant "government intrusion" frame is making efforts to do so difficult. It's time for public health leaders to vigorously defend government's role in improving health. Read more >


As Sandusky trial progresses, what story are the media telling about child sexual abuse?

Reporting on child sexual abuse typically centers on courtroom play-by-plays, with little attention given to prevention or the role of institutions in fostering abuse. The Sandusky case gives the media an opportunity to change that. Are they taking it? Read more >


How sexist language is undermining efforts to improve public health

Critics of public health measures often use the phrase "nanny state" to evoke fears about the U.S. government exerting too much control over people's lives. But what's really behind the words? And what do public health advocates lose when they repeat it? Read more >


The tobacco industry rehashes old arguments -- will voters listen?

Public health advocates have crafted a proposal that would tax cigarettes to help prevent young people from smoking and risking premature death from cancer and other diseases. Unfortunately, Big Tobacco is up to its usual tricks, and its smear campaign may derail the measure. Read more >


Dozens die each year at the Golden Gate Bridge -- when will we finally install a barrier?

Public health advocates and the news media have long pointed to the need for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge to prevent unnecessary deaths. Now, as we approach the bridge's 75th anniversary, it still lacks one. What will it take to change that? Read more >


Media frenzy on breastfeeding asks wrong questions, obscures context for health

A recent Time Magazine article and the firestorm of commentary that followed asked, How long is too long to nurse a child? But if we're concerned about children and their health, we need to stop pitting mom against mom and start asking different questions. Read more >


Why we should stop using the word 'obesity'

Obesity is a symptom of a much bigger problem. Yet many of the groups working to improve health equity have placed responsibility for the country's growing waistlines and related health issues squarely on the shoulders of individuals. And the food industry is reaping the benefits. Read more >


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