May celebration lauds excellence in journalism education
The Graduate Journalism Students Association made its annual “Outstanding Faculty Awards for Excellence in Journalism Education” at the USC School of Journalism’s May commencement. The 2000-2001 teaching award for part-time faculty was given to Gretchen Goldsmith. Bryce Nelson received the full-time faculty teaching award.
Study refutes stereotypes of Pentecostals
Religion expert Donald Miller’s study of Pentecostalism was mentioned in a May 31 Los Angeles Times article about the World Pentecostal Conference that was held in Los Angeles. “Miller said the study has countered stereotypes that liberal Christians were doing the social ministries while Pentecostals focused on the hereafter,” the article said. The study also “challenged assumptions that active social ministries stymie church growth by reducing time for evangelism.”
A killing field grows along the border
Immigration law expert Niels Frenzen‘s op-ed in the May 31 Los Angeles Times. argued that the Border Patrol’s selective interdiction policy and enforcement program along the U.S.-Mexico border is pushing illegal immigrants further and further into such deadly territory as the Tecate Mountains and the Arizona Desert. “Any country has the right to control illegal immigration, but no country has the right to cause needless loss of innocent life,” he wrote. “The Border Patrol has not sought to seal the border but has instead intentionally channeled border crossers into the most rugged and dangerous terrain and thus has guaranteed deaths.” The op-ed also appeared in the June 10 Outlook section of The Houston Chronicle, under the headline “Trail of deathly sorrows; Channeling illegal immigrants across border is turning it into a killing field.”
Here’s one habit that’s good for the country
Political participation is habit forming, according to an article in the June 2 Los Angeles Times that featured Annenberg’s Los Angeles Student Voices project and political communication expert Thomas Hollihan. High school students who participated in the project that concentrated on the mayoral elections “focus on the issues and questions like, ‘If you’re not responsible for the schools, how can you assure us that you’ll actually do something to improve their quality?”
The most effective treatment for AIDS makes the patient a team player
The June 4 Los Angeles Times marked the 20th anniversary of AIDS with two separate stories that featured AIDS experts Alexandra Levine and Fred Sattler. “Before AIDS, patients didn’t walk into my office with big binders containing all the pertinent medical literature they had amassed,” said Levine. “Today, it happens all the time. And that’s perhaps the biggest thing we’ve learned from the AIDS epidemic, that treatment is more likely to be effective if the patient is a full member of the health-care team.”
A new driving test should be devised for senior citizens
The June 8 Los Angeles Daily News looked at the need for a new driving test for senior citizens. “On the whole, there are people who are demented who are afraid to be tested, and are still driving in Los Angeles,” said geriatrician Loren Lipson.
Pollution affects the heart and can lead to heart attacks, says health expert
A June 11 story on the ABC News Web site looked at how pollution can affect the heart, leading to heart attacks. “These effects could be manifested by an increased heart rate, a lowered heart rate variability or evidence that the heart is not receiving enough oxygen,” said environmental health expert Henry Gong.
Differences in ethnic cultures, peer pressure, affect teens’ tobacco use habits
Peer pressure can affect a youth’s smoking habits and can be dramatically different between ethnic cultures, according to a study in the June 12 Reuters Health wire service. “Most teens smoke because their friends are doing it,” said tobacco researcher Jennifer Unger. “However, teens from more collectivistic, family-oriented cultures may be less influenced by their friends’ behavior, compared with whites.”
Study highlights the diversity of city-core neighborhoods
A comprehensive study of seven distinctive ethnic neighborhoods within 10 miles of Los Angeles Civic Center by communication technologies and community expert Sandra Ball-Rokeach and communication graduate students was featured in the June 13 Los Angeles Times. Ball-Rokeach said “the results are significant because storytelling and the sense of belonging are crucial in a sprawling place like Los Angeles, where newcomers, as well as some natives, have trouble putting down roots,” the article said. The study was also featured in the Pasadena Star News and on KNX-AM radio and KCOP-TV.
Politicians put forth an armada of proposals but paddle in different directions
“With polls showing increasing voter impatience with Sacramento’s response to California’s continuing energy crisis, Democrats and Republicans are scurrying to inoculate themselves against electoral defeat by launching an armada of proposals to remedy the state’s electricity woes,” wrote political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe in a June 17 Los Angeles Times op-ed. “Almost every politician in Sacramento has put an oar in the water, and almost no one is paddling in the same direction.” Bebitch indicted politicians for playing it safe in the piece, “Desperately Seeking Political Protection.” She also warned that “the 2002 general election will likely be a referendum on whether and how [Gov. Gray] Davis and the Democratic Legislature craft an energy solution.”
The unmasking of phony accolades for films goes on
Last month it was fake quotations by a phony film critic. Now Colombia Pictures’ use of two unidentified employees posing as moviegoers to praise one of its movies during a purported televised interview ad was shameless, media expert Bryce Nelson said during a June 15 CNN interview about aggressive hyping of movies. “The movie studios may even make the auto companies look like saints,” Nelson said.
“With polls showing increasing voter impatience with Sacramento’s response to California’s continuing energy crisis, Democrats and Republicans are scurrying to inoculate themselves against electoral defeat by launching an armada of proposals to remedy the state’s electricity woes,” wrote political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe in the Sunday Opinion section of the June 17 Los Angeles Times. “Almost every politician in Sacramento has put an oar in the water, and almost no one is paddling in the same direction.” Bebitch indicted politicians for playing it safe in the piece, “Desperately Seeking Political Protection.” She also warned that “the 2002 general election will likely be a referendum on whether and how [Gov. Gray] Davis and the Democratic Legislature craft an energy solution.”
New poet laureate says he revels in “the screwball aspects of poetry”
A June 22 Los Angeles Times article on new U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins describes him as very different from previous holders of the honor. Collins may write on such subjects as chopping parsley, barking dogs, or the poignancy of turning 10, things ordinary people can relate to. Creative writing expert Carol Muske-Dukes said: “I think he does what great poets do – bring a sense of urgency and humor and profundity to poetry and make it available to people in their own lives.” Muske-Dukes called Collins an academic and “an astonishing teacher.”
Sure, hold those taxes. But what about the country’s problems?
Despite pronouncements from the Bush administration, a tax cut in lieu of attacking the country’s problems is not in the best interest of the nation, culture critic Neal Gabler wrote in a June 24 Los Angeles Times op-ed. “There is no national interest anymore – save maybe protecting the U.S. from North Korean missiles – other than providing people with more money so they can better pursue their own interests,” Gabler wrote. “To believe in a national interest, one must believe in sacrifice, in forgoing one’s immediate gratification. As much as ‘national interest’ has become the administration’s mantra in dealing with the world, seldom has the idea of a national interest seemed so attenuated at home.”
Lobbyists from all sides use TV to spread their messages
Using television to transmit what academics call pro-social messages is almost as old as the medium, entertainment and political communication expert Martin Kaplan said in a June 26 New York Times article. Lobbyists for causes like environmentalism and gun control “spend time going from show to show saying, `I’ve got some fabulous material you might like to use,'” Kaplan said. In a June 13 interview on PRI‘s “Marketplace,” Kaplan talked about how television shows influence the economy.
More stories about: Commencement 2001