Magazine article Media Report to Women

FAIR Analysis: Abortion Restrictions Up, Abortion News Coverage Down

Magazine article Media Report to Women

FAIR Analysis: Abortion Restrictions Up, Abortion News Coverage Down

Article excerpt

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's Julie Hollar has compared the Guttmacher Institute's tracking of increased restrictions on abortions in the U.S. with abortion coverage in the nation's two most prominent newspapers of record, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

The Guttmacher Institute said 22 states enacted 70 abortion restrictions during 2013, making 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year. Looked at over a longer term, Guttmacher said 205 restrictions were enacted during 2011-2013, but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade.

Writing in FAIR'S Extra! Magazine (February 2014) Hollar analyzed Times and Post coverage of abortion by searching the Nexis news media database and found that coverage of abortion in "the papers with the most influence on national political debates had been trending downward since 2001."

Hollar says that 2011, which Guttmacher singled out as the busiest year for abortion restrictions, "had the least coverage of abortion in the New York Times in the last 13 years, and the second least in the Washington Post." She notes that coverage in 2012 actually increased, attributing that to its being an election year and political debates about "the war on women."

Hollar allows that economic pressures on both newspapers that make for smaller news holes could be at least partly to blame for the decline. But she doesn't let editors who set content space priorities off the hook, citing another Extra! contributor's analysis: "As Sara McCloskey pointed out her survey of 2013 abortion coverage, media priorities acre clear: During the week and a half in which North Dakota passed some of the most restrictive abortion legislation in the country, national media mentioned the bills 207 times, and March Madness basketball 1,407 times."

More about FAIR'S work can be found at

Sexting Study Raises Alarms for Parents of Middle-Schoolers

If you're concerned about a young teen who may be sexting, a study in Pediatrics confirms you may have good reason to be.

"Sexting and Sexual Behavior in At-Risk Adolescents," in the February 2014 Pediatrics gathered information from 410 children ages 12 to 14 about whether they had texted or emailed a sexual picture or message within the last six months, and about their sexual risk behaviors and intentions. The study found 22 percent of at-risk seventh graders participated in sexting, with 17 percent sending texts only and 5 percent sending texts and photos.

Adolescents who engaged in sexting reported more physical maturity and were more likely to engage in other sexual behaviors. This group also reported higher perceptions of approval for sexual behavior from parents, peers and the media, higher intentions to engage in sexual behavior, lower emotional awareness, and lower emotional self-efficacy. At-risk teenagers who had sexted were 4 to 7 times more likely to engage in a variety of sexual behaviors. Although any sexting appeared to be a marker for sexual risk, sending photos was associated with even greater likelihood of early sexual activity.

Alarmingly, the authors said that sending pictures was endorsed significantly more by girls and by Latinos. Sending photos was associated with higher rates of sexual activity than sending text messages only.

The study authors conclude that as early as middle school, attention should be paid to teens' electronic communication because sexting may be a marker for sexual risk behaviors that can have significant consequences, including pregnancy or disease. The full report is available at http:// early/2014/01/01/peds.2013-1157.abstract

Global Media Monitoring Project Introduces International Ambassadors

The fifth Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), scheduled for 2015, will inaugurate the concept of "International GMMP Ambassadors," who will represent the regions in which the GMMP is taking place. …

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