Extra! March/April 1994

    Campus Feminists: The Media’s New Bogeywomen

    In her new book Where the Girls Are, Hampshire College media studies professor Susan J. Douglas argues that to grow up female with the mass media in the United States is to grow up confused, or, as she puts it, “with the bends.” When it comes to the women’s movement, or the dreaded F-word, “No wonder young women, who were infants and toddlers at the height of the women’s movement, say, ‘I’m not a feminist, but…’” says Douglas. Time magazine’s Dec. 4, 1989 cover asked the question, “Is there a future for feminism?” Inside, the story revived old ghosts: “Hairy …

    Teaching Censorship

    In civics classes, high school students are taught that the First Amendment is the foundation upon which political freedom stands. But in their journalism classes, they are frequently taught the opposite lesson, as Hazelwood, a late ’80s Supreme Court ruling that gives principals the power to review and censor high school newspapers, continues to have chilling effects on high school journalism. Issues of free speech in high schools were first considered by the Supreme Court in Tinker vs. Des Moines. The 1969 decision, which concerned students who were suspended for wearing black armbands to protest the Vietnam War, ruled that …

    Bashing Youth

    “Unplanned pregnancies. HIV infection and AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases. Cigarettes, alcohol and drug abuse. Eating disorders. Violence. Suicide. Car crashes.” The 21-word lead-in to a Washington Post (12/22/92) report sums up today’s media image of the teenager: 30 million 12- through 19-year-olds toward whom any sort of moralizing and punishment can be safely directed, by liberals and conservatives alike. Today’s media portrayals of teens employ the same stereotypes once openly applied to unpopular racial and ethnic groups: violent, reckless, hypersexed, welfare-draining, obnoxious, ignorant. And like traditional stereotypes, the modern media teenager is a distorted image, derived from the dire …

    Fear of a Rap Planet

    The latest backlash against top-selling but controversial rap music has hit the airwaves. The latest controversy centers on so-called “gangsta rap”—a term used by mainstream media in the late ‘80s to describe rap music, such as that of the group NWA (Niggaz With Attitude), whose lyrics often focus on the subject of urban violence. Teen-oriented stations across the U.S. are either editing its graphic, explicit lyrics, limiting its airplay, or banning it. Many journalists charge that the lyrics of “gangsta rap” advocate violence and misogyny and that this advocacy may contribute to actual violent and misogynist attitudes and behavior among …

Articles in the print edition

What’s Behind the Twentysomething “Movement”?

By Miles Seligman & Aimee Strasko

Girls in Gangs

“Violent Equality” or media Hype?

By Meda Chesney-Lind

The “Crisis” of Teen Pregnancy

Girls Pay the Price for Media Distortion

By Janine Jackson

Covering Gay Youth

From Invisibility to Trendiness to Respect

By Matt Marco

Who’s Failing Whom?

Media Coverage of Public Education

By Robin Templeton

Selling “Power” to the Powerless

How Cigarette Ads Target Youth

By Mark Crispin Miller

We Cannot Wait

The Importance of Youth-Produced Media

By Samir B. Vural

Turning the Camera Around

Young People Make Movies

By Kim Deterline