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Your search found 29 Results

  1. 1

    Mirror on the media. Gender and tabloids in Southern Africa.

    Morna CL; Ndlovu S

    Johannesburg, South Africa, Gender Links, 2008. 100 p.

    This report is part of Mirror on the Media series of monitoring reports coordinated by GL with the support of the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA) on gender and the media. Previous studies include: Gender and Advertising in Southern Africa; Who talks on radio talk shows and Who makes the news, an analysis of the 2005 Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) results in Southern Africa. The study focused on gender and tabloids in three Southern African countries with the highest density of tabloids, defined both in terms of size and content. It included monitoring of three newspapers in each country over the month of June 2007. The monitoring covered a total of 2546 news items: 859 in Mauritius; 1203 in South Africa and 484 in Tanzania (where tabloids are much fewer pages than in the other countries). Researchers also conducted desk top research; interviewed editors; gathered case material and administered an audience survey to 280 readers in the three countries. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Teenage pregnancy and moral panic in Brazil.

    Heilborn ML; Brandao ER; Da Silva Cabral C

    Culture, Health and Sexuality. 2007 Jul-Aug; 9(4):403-414.

    This paper examines teenage pregnancy as a social-historical construction of increasing concern in Brazil. It presents findings from over five years of empirical research alongside an analysis of a sample of newspaper articles representative of the dominant positions in the Brazilian press concerning teenage pregnancy. In contrast to mainstream arguments and to broader moral panic surrounding teenage pregnancy, we argue that contemporary patterns of sexual behaviour among young people in Brazil do not signal growing permissiveness and are not straightforwardly related to poverty, family dysfunction or lack of life projects on the part of young people themselves. On the contrary, early pregnancy and parenthood retain strong continuities with core Brazilian values and norms of sexual culture. (author's)
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    Gender construction in the media: a study of two Indian women politicians.

    Bathla S

    Asian Journal of Women's Studies. 2004 Sep 30; 10(3):[11] p..

    This study seeks to examine the responses of the newspaper media towards two Indian women politicians and the processes of gender construction in political communication. Under a system of universal adult suffrage and the constitutional assurance of social, political and economic equality, Indian women were given rights that were the envy of women in more advanced nation states. Political parties that should play a crucial role in training and encouraging women to enter the public arena are hostile, generally dosing the gates of the upper echelons of party structures to aspiring or deserving women. How are such women viewed by society and how do the media present them? It is within this background that this paper examines the portrayal of two women politicians, that is, Jayalalitha Jayaram and Sushma Swaraj in the Indian English language press in the pre-election period of January and February 1998. Jayalalitha appeared as a calculating, opportunistic, extremely corrupt, and arrogant leader, while Sushma Swaraj was identified with a clean image and one who fulfilled traditional norms and expectations of feminine identity. The particular construction of this frame of `ideal/good woman' and `bad woman' needs to be explored within the discourses of India's colonial and nationalist past, wherein women were perceived as representatives of the `private' and their feminine virtues were perceived to be the essence of the nation. (author's)
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  4. 4

    ‘But where are our moral heroes?’ An analysis of South African press reporting on children affected by HIV / AIDS.

    Meintjes H; Bray R

    Rondebosch, South Africa, University of Cape Town, Children's Institute, 2005 Sep. 34 p.

    Messages conveyed both explicitly and implicitly in the media play an important role in the shaping of public understanding of issues, as well as associated policy, programme and popular responses to these issues. This paper applies discourse analysis to a series of articles on children affected by HIV/AIDS published in 2002/ 2003 in the English-medium South African press. The analysis reveals layer upon layer of moral messaging present in the reporting, the cumulative effect of which is the communication of a series of moral judgements about who is and who is not performing appropriate roles in relation to children. Discourses of moral transgression specifically on the part of African parents and ‘families’ for failing in their moral responsibilities towards their children coalesce with discourses of anticipated moral decay amongst (previously innocent) children who lack their due care. The need for moral regeneration amongst South Africans generally (but implicitly black South Africans) is contrasted with an accolade of (usually white) middle class individuals who have gone beyond their moral duty to respond. The paper argues that in each instance, the particular moralism is questionable in the light of both empirical evidence and principles of human dignity underlying our constitution. Children – and particularly ‘AIDS orphans’ – are shown to be presented as either the quintessential innocent victims of the epidemic or as potential delinquents. While journalists intentions when representing children in these ways are likely to be positive, the paper argues that this approach is employed at a cost, both in the public’s knowledge and attitudes around the impact of AIDS, and more importantly, in the lives of children affected by the epidemic. (author's)
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  5. 5

    Writing xenophobia: immigration and the print media in post-apartheid South Africa.

    Danso R; McDonald DA

    Africa Today. 2001; 48(3):115-137.

    This paper discusses the print media’s coverage of crossborder migration in South Africa and how it may affect both public opinion and policymaking on the topic. The paper argues that coverage of international migration by the South African press has been largely anti-immigrant and unanalytical. Not all reportage is negative, and newspaper coverage would appear to be improving over time, but the overwhelming majority of the comprehensive collection of newspaper articles, editorials and letters to the editor surveyed for this research are negative about immigrants and immigration and are extremely unanalytical in nature, uncritically reproducing problematic statistics and assumptions about crossborder migration in the region. Although it is impossible to draw direct causal links between this kind of anti-immigrant media coverage and anti-immigrant policymaking and xenophobia in South Africa, the paper does argue that the two are at least mutually reinforcing and that the print media has a responsibility to be more balanced and factual in its reporting on the issue. (author's)
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  6. 6

    Birth control in popular twentieth-century periodicals.

    Barnes RL

    Family Coordinator. 1970 Apr; 19(2):159-164.

    Spurned as a subject unfit for even private conversation, let alone the pages of a magazine, in the early twentieth century, birth control is now discussed openly in every kind of communications medium. In the early years of the birth control movement, however, only journals which enjoyed some kind of financial security would dare include such an inflammatory subject. As Americans encountered economic difficulties in the 1930s and adopted a more enlightened view of sexual relations, birth control became an acceptable topic, even to those who opposed the practice. Public acceptance of and interest in the issue has been reflected in periodical coverage of the subject. (author's)
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  7. 7

    Read all about it: population knowledge in a Kenyan daily newspaper.

    Coast E

    London, England, London School of Economics, Department of Social Policy, [2002]. 33 p.

    Newspapers are arguably the oldest media, and despite a decline in relative importance in most developed countries, are still growing strongly in most democratic developing countries, forming one of the most widely available channels of information. Westoff and Rodriguez refer to the appeal of newspapers, particularly for ‘agencies committed to promoting behaviour change’ as rooted ‘in their wide coverage and in their potential cost-effectiveness,’ particularly in developing countries. Other forms of mass media are still very immature in most developing countries and access to these media is normally highly stratified by education, income and place of residence. The focus here is on the content of the daily newspaper, and not its production or consumption. What appears in print may be influenced by a very wide range of historical, social, political, economic and cultural factors and the meaning of newspaper content may alter between the producer or as it is understood by the reader (and then translated and re-communicated). A newspaper should not be seen in isolation, rather ‘as one set of social institutions, interacting with other institutions within the wider social system.’ The complex process of knowledge acquisition, absorption, retention and circulation by the consumer is acknowledged but not investigated here. It is not assumed that ‘people learn about an idea or behaviour from mass media and then immediately put it into practice.’ However, the impact of the press on people’s beliefs is ‘one of the most enduring concerns of mass communications research.’ (excerpt)
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  8. 8

    On the role of democracy in Uganda's move to universal primary education.

    Stasavage D

    London, England, London School of Economics, 2003 Jun 27. 24 p.

    The goal of this paper is to focus on Uganda’s recent move to free universal primary education in order to ask whether the success of the UPE program can be attributed to democratic politics. While my primary objective is to explore the Ugandan case in order to ask when and where a move to competitive elections will result in increased government spending on education, it is clear that additional factors have been equally critical in leading to the success of UPE. The Ugandan government has been able to meet its objectives in the area of primary education, because as a prior condition it established macroeconomic stability. It has also developed an exemplary set of budgetary institutions that have allowed a reorientation of expenditures towards sectors that are announced as priorities. Attempts by other democratically elected African government to implement universal primary education programs are unlikely to succeed unless they also follow the broader example set by Uganda in the area of public sector management. Because other contributions, such as the recent survey by Bevan (2001), have already described in detail how Uganda’s “medium term expenditure framework” and related budgetary institutions have been successful in generating both macroeconomic stability and a reorientation of expenditures towards education, I will nonetheless devote the bulk of this paper to investigating the less well understood issue of the link between democratic politics and UPE. (excerpt)
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  9. 9

    Lefatshe la Rona - our land: Botswana.

    Clearinghouse on Development Communication

    [Unpublished] 1978 Oct. [2] p.

    The objective of Botswana's "Our Land" project was to involve the public, and particularly the rural population, in both learning about and voicing their opinion on land-use policies. Initiated in 1975, the media involved were radio, print, flipcharts, and interpersonal communication. The government had developed a land-management policy based on the practices of stock controls, fencing, paddocking, early weaning, salt-and-bonemeal feeding supplementation, and rotational grazing to reverse land degradation. A supplementary goal was to preserve some of the values and features of the traditional land-tenure system as well as to protect the interests of the individuals who own few or no cattle. This educational campaign was created to explain and obtain feedback on land zoning policies and other aspects of the land-management program. There were 4 phases to the "Public Consultation:" a 2-month national speaking tour in the autumn of 1975 with the President and his ministers attending more than 100 community meetings to explain public policy and to field questions from villagers; briefings and seminars for government officers and others held over the July 1975-February 1976 period; a trial-run, the "Radio Learning Group Campaign," and analysis and use of the public responses culled during the Radio Learning Groups, which took place in 1976 and 1977. The Radio Learning Group Campaign included a pilot project, leadership courses, materials preparation, radio broadcasts, and followup radio programs based on responses to earlier broadcasts. Some vital information on the land-zoning proposals and their implications was broadcast to roughly 3200 listening groups averaging 16 members each. Each group, which had a discussion leader, met twice weekly for 5 weeks to discuss the broadcasts and the specially prepared materials. Following each program, group leaders sent a report about the group discussion to the campaign organizers who used the information to develop land-use plans to prepare "answer" programs for broadcast. 3510 groups were established, falling short of the goal of between 4000-5600 groups. The "Public Consultation" revealed that Botswana's population recognizes the problem of overgrazing, identifying the presence of too many cattle as the major cause. A large majority favor the principle of granting exclusive leasing rights to grazing land and want such grazing land situated in the sand-velds where population density is low.
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  10. 10

    AIDS, medicine, and moral panic in the Philippines.

    Tan ML

    In: Framing the sexual subject: the politics of gender, sexuality, and power, edited by Richard Parker, Regina Maria Barbosa, and Peter Aggleton. Berkeley, California, University of California Press, 2000. 143-64.

    This paper describes the popular representations of sex and sexuality in relation to the emerging AIDS epidemic in the Philippines. The author analyzes the sexual and class ideologies reflected in broadsheets, which are large circulation daily newspapers that cater mainly to middle- and high-income groups. This paper also describes ways in which information campaigns become part of moral panic. It notes that the medical world itself creates the conditions for this moral panic, and that the moral panic draws on a medical police model.
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  11. 11
    Peer Reviewed

    Human rights and religious backlash: the experience of a Bangladeshi NGO.

    Rafi M; Chowdhury AM

    Development in Practice. 2000 Feb; 10(1):19-30.

    As part of a human rights education campaign, the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee fixed 700,000 posters throughout Bangladesh. This met with opposition from the religious organizations. This paper investigates the nature and cause of the backlash and sets out strategies for how development organizations can achieve their objectives in the face of opposition. The opposition was found to be in response to interpretations of the posters based on the Holy Koran and Islamic practices, and a perceived intrusion into the professional territory of religious organizations, which affected the socioeconomic interests of these organizations' representatives. It was therefore concluded that development organizations should pre-empt such opposition by spelling out their objectives to potential critics, and formulating programs that do not provide scope for opponents to undermine their development activities. (author's)
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  12. 12

    Women and mass media: a critical and analytical study of the portrayal of Sudanese women in printed media.

    Badri AE; Osama S

    AHFAD JOURNAL. 1995 Jun; 12(1):24-62.

    This study examines how Sudanese women are portrayed in the mass media. Data are obtained from a content analysis of historical records of Sudanese daily newspapers and women's magazines and from surveys among female editors in print media. The following types of newspapers are reviewed: independent newspapers; papers for the Al-Umma Party, a communist party, a Bathist party, a Muslim Nationalist Islamic Front Party, and a National Union Democratic Party; and a current military government paper. Women's magazines are published by women. Articles focus on women as the main newsmakers, women's life issues, female authors, a female focus but a male author, and famous Sudanese women. 16 content themes are identified. Women were not extensively featured or photographed in either newspapers or magazines. The Al-Umma Party paper and Al-Sudan Al-Hadith paper (an independent paper) were the only two newspapers with at least 10 photos of women. Women were pictured as professionals, educated persons, and leaders. There were 17 female editors. These editors preferred an image of women as leaders, followed by productive workers. Only 11.76% believed that women's dual roles as producers and reproducers should be portrayed. Female editors did not want a special women's page. 52.94% (the largest percentage) preferred targeting women with substantial leadership abilities. 17.65% desired the portrayal of women as workers and housewives. 58.82% did not think that the mass media image changed behavior or attitudes, because most Sudanese women are illiterate. Women's issues in both newspapers and women's magazines were devoted to women's work, achievements, and needs. The authors recommend removal of obstacles to women's equal participation in the mass media and press and research on the effect of media images on women's self-perception and behavior.
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  13. 13
    Peer Reviewed

    Stigma stories: four discourses about teen mothers, welfare, and poverty.

    Kelly DM

    YOUTH AND SOCIETY. 1996 Jun; 27(4):421-49.

    This study uses a pragmatic model of discourse theory to analyze more than 700 articles about adolescent mothers published in the Canadian printed media in 1980-92. The introduction notes that feminist research has challenged the view that adolescent motherhood is caused by and perpetrates poverty and that a strong social stigma is still associated with teen pregnancy. After describing the methodology and theoretical framework used in this analysis, academic research on adolescent mothers, welfare, and poverty is criticized for using teen motherhood as a conventional scapegoat which allows the structural causes of poverty to be ignored. Discourses about teenage mothers are then described as a "stigma contest." Thus, discussion centers on 1) the bureaucratic notion that the "wrong" girls are keeping their babies, 2) the conservative framework which holds that an unwed teenager who relies on welfare and refuses to give her baby up for adoption (having properly rejected abortion) serves as the epitome of a "wrong family," and 3) oppositional discourse which provides a "wrong society" framework and is articulated in the alternative media. A "stigma-is-wrong" framework is then provided by the self-interpretation of the teen mothers who hold that the right to choose is essential and that it is inappropriate to stigmatize any choice. The bureaucratic viewpoint is the most common winner in this media contest and helps to frame the public debate and public policy about teenage motherhood and, thus, profoundly influences the daily lives of young mothers and their children by perpetuating negative stereotypes.
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  14. 14

    Public opinion about, and media coverage of, population growth.

    Simon RJ

    In: The state of humanity, edited by Julian L. Simon. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Blackwell Publishers, 1995. 619-27.

    The author of this monograph chapter states that during the period of the mid-1960s to the end of the 1970s population growth issues were newsworthy coverage in the US and coverage increased dramatically in the New York Times. The Washington Post, in the 1970s, covered population issues differently from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. During the 1980s, the Times and the Journal reduced the coverage of the negative effects of population growth, and the Post increased its negative coverage. During the 1980s, coverage declined in the Times and to some extent in the Post. The Journal maintained the same level of coverage. National opinion polls indicate that the general public has been concerned about population growth issues over the past 45 years. Most people believe that both world population growth and US population growth are too high. Increased population size is associated in the public's mind with increased energy consumption, increased air and water pollution, and too many immigrants in the US. In 1971, 41% of those polled thought population growth was a major problem, and 27% thought it was somewhat of a problem. 19% viewed it as a potential problem. 25% believed it would affect their quality of life and 29% believed in its potential to affect their life. 27% thought it could affect the quality of their life, but were unconcerned. 65% in 1971 considered that US population growth was a serious problem. 57% accepted present US population size as appropriate and 22% desired a smaller population size. During 1947 and 1974, public opinion shifted in the direction of greater concern about population growth and its negative consequences. In 1991, 65% believed overpopulation to be a serious problem. During 1976-88, concern about overpopulation declined. Increased concern appeared in 1988 and peaked in 1991. Environmental concerns also increased during 1974 and 1991.
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  15. 15

    The strategic use of the broadcast media for AIDS prevention: current limits and future directions.

    DeJong W; Winsten JA

    In: AIDS. Prevention through education: a world view, edited by Jaime Sepulveda, Harvey Fineberg, Jonathan Mann. New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 1992. 255-72.

    US public health officials have depended on the broadcast media to deliver potent anti-AIDS messages to vast audiences. While most Americans now know a great deal about AIDS, this knowledge has not always resulted in the adoption of preventive behavior. Since promoting condom use will result in the greatest reduction in AIDS transmission, messages which are targeted to homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual audiences and are designed to address the psychological barriers to condom use are needed. It is difficult to convince the broadcast media to communicate targeted messages, even to heterosexuals, for fear of the political and economic repercussions of viewer alienation. The media has been used successfully to promote health, and anti-AIDS campaigns have achieved a high level of understanding of the disease on the part of the public. These include the American Red Cross' "Rumors Are Spreading Faster Than AIDS" and the Centers for Disease Control's "America Responds to AIDS" and print advertisements for condom use. The news media has played a role in informing, and sometimes confusing, the public by presenting unchallenged and unsubstantiated inaccurate reports, especially in the early days of the disease. Surveys now indicate that AIDS knowledge is good in areas that have been the focus of media reports, and awareness of the role of condoms to prevent transmission is high, higher in fact than the use of condoms. It is time to move beyond delivering current information and to begin motivating condom use. Condoms are maligned in the US and are associated with reduced pleasure or "illicit" sex, requesting their use also raises issues of interpersonal trust. These specific concerns need to be addressed, but the current standards of the national broadcast media block delivery of messages to motivate condom use. Entertainment programming is a possible source, since it is only subject to general guidelines, depending on audience and context, but these opportunities are not frequent enough to make a significant difference. To successfully promote condoms, their image has to be changed to that of a product used by couples rather than individuals which might actually enhance sexual pleasure, and peer consensus in favor of condom use must be implied. Marketing efforts using suggestive names and slogans and offering different shapes, colors, and textures are attempting such an image change. In light of current media restrictions, it is important to develop community-based educational programs which focus on condom promotion and can be assisted by local mass media. Local sentiment will ultimately dictate whether paid condom adds or public service spots will be used to address the psychological barriers to condom use.
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  16. 16

    Family planning goes public.

    Merritt AP

    INTEGRATION. 1992 Jun; (32):41-3.

    The Center for Family Orientation (COF), a private family planning agency with clinics in 8 provinces of Bolivia, initiated a bold, scientifically planned, and successful mass media campaign in 1986. As late as 1978 the Bolivian government had been hostile to COF. The Johns Hopkins University/Population Communication Services helped COF determine that the Bolivian public and its leaders were open to more information about family planning. Bolivia, the poorest Latin American country, then had 7 million people, expected to double in 27 years. There are 2 distinct indigenous groups, the Aymara and the Quechua, and Spanish-speaking people, centered in the cities of La Paz, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz, respectively. Only 4% of couples use modern family planning methods. Initial surveys of 522 opinion leaders, 300 family planning users, focus groups of users, and a population survey of 1300 people in 8 provinces showed that 90% wanted modern family planning services. Radio was chosen to inform potential users about COF's services, to increase clinic attendance, and to involve men. To obtain support from public leaders, 10 conferences were held. The 1st series of radio messages focused on health benefits of family planning and responsible parenthood; the 2nd series gave specific benefits, information on child spacing, breast feeding, and optimal ages for childbearing. Besides 36,800 radio spots broadcast on 17 stations, booklets, posters, calendars, promotional items, and audiotapes to be played in public busses, were all designed, pretested, and revised. New acceptors increased 71% during the 11-month campaign. Success of the project influenced the start of the National Reproductive Health Project and new IEC efforts planned through cooperation of public and private institutions.
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  17. 17

    New reproductive technologies in India: a print media analysis.

    Lingam L


    Examining newspaper and magazine articles, the author compares the media treatment of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with sex determination tests in India. Analysis found general media support and glorification of IVF and related technologies, but only mixed opinions regarding sex- determination testing. Mixed support for the latter form of new reproductive technologies is attributed to the debate and campaigning of women's groups, health activists, and some political leaders against amniocentesis. While public opinion regarding IVF from the feminist's perspective is just gaining ground, the author points to the classic, racist, eugenic, and patriarchal nature of both types of new reproductive technology. Anti-women in nature, they reinforce fertility as an important indicator of women's status, and will be used in population control in the future.
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  18. 18
    Peer Reviewed

    Mass media and the spiral of silence: the Philippines from Marcos to Aquino.

    Gonzalez H

    JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION. 1988 Autumn; 38(4):33-48.

    Arguing against the applicability of the "spiral of silence" theory to the Philippines, this author maintains that the alternative media--and an active audience--helped influence the events that precipitated the downfall of the Marcos regime in 1986. The controversial spiral of silence theory, developed by Noelle-Neumann, insists that the mainstream media can overcome any differences with its audience's perceptions given 3 conditions: consonance (a congruence of content and values within the mainstream media), cumulation (the constant repetition of messages), and ubiquity (their presence as public sources of information). This theory considers the audience as passive consumers, and although it acknowledges its presence, grants no role to alternative media in shaping public opinion. After discussing a number of unresolved conflicts between the spiral of silence theory and the great body of mass communication research, the author examines the history of media in the Philippines during the Marcos years. The long-standing free press tradition in the Philippines came to an abrupt end in 1972, when Marcos declared martial law, closed all privately owned print and broadcast facilities, and jailed many opposition journalists. The mainstream media, which had formed part of the opposition to Marcos, suddenly underwent an ownership change, coming under control of Marcos relatives and business associates. The article traces the accomplishments of the alternative media, including the powerful voice of the Catholic Church that was heard through Jose Burgos, who formed the first alternative newspaper. As human rights abuses and charges of corruption escalated, the mainstream media found itself increasingly unable to suppress the information. And the audience showed its active involvement when it staged a boycott of the leading mainstream newspaper during the presidential election lost by Marcos.
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  19. 19

    The consequences of being clever [editorial]

    Abernethy V

    POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT. 1990 Fall; 12(1):5-8.

    Cornucopians such as Julian Simon and Ben J. Wattenberg hold the opinion that the population explosion will lead to a better quality of life for everyone in the long run. They contend that hardships should be viewed as merely the incentive to attain economic prosperity through less expensive and more abundant resources. A necessary part of this argument is that the human population must continue to grow or it will begin to decline economically. In terms of the U.S., this includes birth, prolongation of life, and immigration. Support for this type of thinking is growing in the media and in the political halls of our country. Starting with demographic data up to 1960 and then predicting the future has shown some interesting results. The equation predicted a human population in 1980 of 3.969 billion (The actual was 445 million higher). The prediction for 1990 was 5.033 billion (in 1987 the population passed this figure). The time for the human population to double has been getting shorter each time it happens. It took from 1880 to 1950 to go from 1.25 billion to 2.5 billion--but only 37 years to get to 5 billion. The equation predicts another doubling in 20 years. However, if we take a linearly decreasing doubling times to its mathematical conclusion, then the world will end in 40 years. The process will have reached a region of instability well before 2026 when the human population will become infinite. So it seems that the cornucopian's theory is doomed to failure.
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  20. 20
    Peer Reviewed

    Media coverage and public opinion on scientific controversies.

    Mazur A

    JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION. 1981 Spring; 31(2):106-15.

    The nature of science reporting for the U.S. mass media is detailed as an introduction to a brief analysis of the effect of media coverage on public opposition to science issues. There are a small number of scientist "stars" often seen on television, and a similar small number of influential reporters of science, about 50, who dominate the print media. There is a localized, slender communication link between the science community and the journalist community, with friendly exchange of information and favors. This local bias is exemplified by the public relations received on publication of the book "Sociobiology, A Science of Altruism," described as a manufactured "science event" turned into a national controversy via this narrow communications channel. It is possible to demonstrate fluctuations in media coverage, such as by numbers of articles indexed in the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, and Television News: Index and Abstracts. When publicity of issues is plotted vs. public opinion polls, on issues such as fluoridation and nuclear power plants, an increase in public hostility can be seen with each rise in publicity. Media exposure to scientific issues seems to encourage public opposition and suspicion, suggesting that the public is either discriminatory, or perhaps anxious in a counter-productive direction.
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  21. 21

    The cultural meaning of AIDS and condoms for stable heterosexual relations in Africa: recent evidence from the local print media.

    Bledsoe C

    [Unpublished] 1989 Mar. Paper presented at the Seminar on Population Policy in Subsaharan Africa: Drawing on International Experience, sponsored by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP), Committee on Population and Policy, with the collaboration of Departement de Demographie de l'Universite de Kinshasa, Commission Nationale de la Population du Zaire (CONAPO), Secretariat au Plan du Zaire, held at the Hotel Okapi, Kinshasa, Zaire, 27 February to 2 March 1989. 27 p.

    This paper draws on the authors previous research experience in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and articles in local newspapers and journals from Central, Eastern and Western Africa. To research the AIDS epidemic in terms of: 1) problems for fertility that condoms pose 2) the association of condoms with promiscuity 3) economic pressures that induce women to contract lovers and men to enter polygamous relationships 4) the importance of fertility and 5) the association of AIDS with promiscuity. There is great concern for the uninfected children of parents who die of AIDS. Women are generally being blamed for spreading the HIV virus to their partners and being promiscuous making all her children suspicious as products of illicit unions. The father and his kin often repudiate these offspring. Questions are raised as to where these children will go and, what is the economic and social effect of their geographical mobility? Young women, school girls in particular, now comprise one of the groups at high risk for contracting the HIV virus because private schools expose girls to older, wealthier, married men. Parents may begin growing reluctant to send their daughters to school to avoid the AIDS virus, while encouraging them to marry early, leading to higher fertility rates and low interest in contraception. Yet secondary schools are the best arenas to introduce condoms and AIDS education because the girls are highly motivated. The use of condoms in Africa is controversial because they prevent fertility and suggest promiscuity. 2 major philosophies are common among health manpower: 1) minimizing the demographic impact of AIDS in light of continued high fertility rates, or 2) emphasizing the crisis brought on by death and destruction. Government efforts to publicize the AIDS epidemic and the utility of condoms as a prophylactic are doing the greatest service to women and society by providing them with credible elements of ambiguity and deniability.
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  22. 22

    Population information in the public arena.

    Haub C

    POPULI. 1989 Jun; 16(2):30-7.

    An explosion of demographic information has taken place in the last 10 years. Yet, the public does not seem to be concerned about population growth. Population must compete with many other issues which have also "exploded." In 1983, an article in the New York Times carried a headline that assumed that the UN had lowered its world population projection for the year 2000. No such downturn actually took place. Other such mistakes are also reported. In 1982, an article in the Christian Science Monitor had a headline that suggested that the population bomb had fizzled. However, it did publish another article stating that the population bomb had not fizzled. However, it did publish another article stating that the population bomb had not fizzled. The public has grown tired of crises. They are inclined to "tune out" the dire predictions of experts. An editorial page article from the Mobil Corporation is an example. Popular opinion on world population growth is the result of a process of what can be gleaned from the mass media. The consistent, accurate dissemination of world demographic pattern information to the public should be a high priority for the field of demographics, but is not. The mechanics of population change should be separated from the effects of that change. The demographic community should impart an understanding of the world situation and how it came about. Among the concepts that are not well understood, but not too complex are the fact that population growth has taken place in developed and developing countries in different ways. Too often population projections are taken too literally. An understanding of the simple arithmetic of population growth is basic to considering the impact of population growth upon countries. Now is the time to increase population understanding. Knowledge of population growth should not be left to demographers alone.
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  23. 23
    Peer Reviewed

    The public controversies of AIDS in Puerto Rico.

    Cunningham I

    Social Science and Medicine. 1989; 29(4):545-53.

    This article addresses the high incidence of AIDS in Puerto Rico (PR). Reasons include the high incidence of homosexuality and drug usage on the island, and the high rates of return migration and tourism between New York and PR. Since there is very little material on AIDS in PR, much of the data on the public's knowledge and awareness of the disease has been taken from the daily press. All copies of the 5 major daily newspapers were reviewed from January 1981 to the present. 1981 was the 1st year that AIDS was accepted as a disease, the year the 1st medical articles appeared describing it, and the year it was named. Nearly all information regarding the AIDS epidemic in PR has been turned into major controversies: the incidence of the disease (actual cases), testing for it, funding of AIDS research and patient care, methods of preventing the disease (education), the use of condoms, methods of contacting the disease and how infection can be avoided, and protection of prisoners. The victims of AIDS: the homosexuals, drug addicts, and hemophiliacs were left out of the controversies as participants. The controversies were nonmedical and nonscientific, suggesting that the public perceived insufficient interest on the part of medical and political leaders and was expropriating the problem. AIDS was seen as more of a political question than a medical one, with politicians turning the controversies into debates. It can be concluded that unless a strong apolitical socially organized assault is mounted on AIDS by the people, a society such as PR will have difficulty surviving the epidemic.
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  24. 24

    Interview with Mr. Morkeh-Yamson, Public Relations Co-ordinator, National Population Census Secretariat.

    Popleone. 1985 Aug; 2(3):8-11.

    In an interview, Morkeh-Yamson, the public relations coordinator for the National Population Census Secretariat (Sierra Leone) stated that the success or failure of any population census depends ultimately on the cooperation of the public to respond willingly to the questionnaire. To realize this, the census publicity strategy must be directed towards educating the population on the need for and the benefits which would result from the 1985 National Population Census. Sierra Leone's publicity program is aimed at motivating the general public for maximum cooperation during the enumeration. The publicity campaign has been structured to cover the various target groups, with program content designed to meet the perceived requirements of each group. At the public relations level, contacts have been established with most of the important institutions in the country. At the level of the masses, the basic effort has consisted of public meetings, street campaigning, and film shows at which the census message is conveyed. In the province, it is effective to operate at the grassroots level, through the paramount chiefs and chiefdom authorities. The school publicity program works to involve all the secondary schools. On return to their respective schools, teachers are expected to explain and disseminate the census message in some organized form to their students. In addition, there has been wide press and radio coverage of census activities. At this stage it is rather presumptuous to make any definite pronouncement as to the effectiveness of the publicity strategy, but there are indications that the campaign is progressively achieving its goals in terms of evoking popular support at the grassroots level. During the last 4 days of May 1985 the Census Secretariat carried out a pilot census in 57 specially selected enumeration areas covering the entire country. The objective was to test certain aspects of the modalities of the census operation, including the effectiveness of the publicity campaign. The degree of support and cooperation revealed by the favorable reaction of most of the respondents to the census questionnaire suggests that the publicity strategy is achieving results. In answering the question of how much success has been achieved in correcting the negative attitudes toward the census exercise, Morkeh-Yamson reported that instances of negative attitudes toward the census have been minimal. He also indicated that a serious handicap in the publicity campaign is the inadequacy of the national radio coverage and that more vehicle and mobile cinema vans are needed. Morkeh-Yamson urged readers to cooperate with the census and to help create awareness about the census so that other people also would cooperate.
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  25. 25

    Mass media in political campaigns: an expanding role.

    Chaffee S

    In: Rice RE, Paisley WJ, ed. Public communication campaigns. Beverly Hills, California, Sage, 1981. 181-98.

    The author studies the conduct of political campaigns in the context that they are collectively of general benefit to society and yet propagated by special interest groups that are in direct conflict with one another. He also studies why the role of mass media has been expanding and how the set of 3 interactions among campaigners, their target audiences, and mass media is structured in today's political process. Political campaigns center around the mobilization of support for candidates. Channels of communication are keyed to the changes in goals and targets at different phases of the campaign; a campaign can be viewed as a set of relationships involving the political system, the electorate, and the press. In the 1940s party power and affiliation was strong but the reduced state of the major parties in the 1950s-80s has meant that a candidate has to rely more on media and less on personal contacts. In addition there has been a rise in issue-based voting which requires a great deal of communication. As a result for the campaigner the shift of the burden of mass communication to television had meant that different skills are needed and budgets must be organized differently. The public opinion poll has changed campaigns more than any other aspect and polls have become a major topic of interaction between campaigners and the press. The product of campaigner-press interactions is a selected set of messages than can reach over 80% of the adult population via the mass media. Media events also provide a stimulus to political discussion and act as a substitute for interpersonal contact. The press mediates between competitors and between different kinds of audience members who do not interact directly. While the politcal effectiveness of a single campaign message may be limited, the cumulative impact of a total campaign can be great, especially when evaluated in terms of the extent to which it produces informed poltical decisions.
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