In 2012, voters in the California cities of Richmond and El Monte soundly defeated proposed taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages. The ballot measures were widely covered by local, state and national press. An analysis of that coverage, released today by the Berkeley Media Studies Group, looks at what themes were covered on both sides of the debate.
In 2012, two California cities with large Latino populations, Richmond and El Monte, failed in their attempts to pass a tax on sugary drinks. A new study by Berkeley Media Studies Group found that the soda industry influenced news coverage of the two ballot measures, but did so in a behind-the-scenes way.
In November 2012, the cities of Richmond and El Monte, Calif., tried but failed to implement a soda tax to fund health programs. To those watching this play out, it appeared that both communities had spoken and their answer was "no" to the tax. A new report from Berkeley Media Studies Group shows that wasn't the case.
The purpose of Coca-Cola's ad, which highlighted America's diversity, wasn't just to celebrate the reality of a multi-ethnic country. Citing BMSG research on target marketing, Jill Filipovic shows it was to sell soda to rapidly-expanding but vulnerable populations, even if that means contributing to serious health problems, exploiting divides in class and education, and exacerbating racial inequality.
Responding to criticism of first lady Michelle Obama's emphasis on her role as "mom-in-chief," MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner makes the case that the real feminist issue is undermining women because they are mothers. This often leaves them economically insecure and struggling to put food on the table, making it a public health issue too. BMSG Director Lori Dorfman notes the positive steps that the first lady has taken to prioritize kids' health to the benefit of moms, families and entire communities.