Thursday, March 22, 2012

See You in the Funny Pages (or not)

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WORDmeister note: Reproductive rights are back in the news as states (like Texas) impose new laws on abortion, presidential candidates address contraception and right-to-life issues, and Rush Limbaugh attacks women who want contraception covered by insurance as “prostitutes.” Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau addressed the issues in Doonesbury strip that some U.S. newspapers (Oregonian, Indianapolis Star, Washington Post, Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times and others) found too graphic, adult, controversial or tasteless to run either next to Garfield on the funnies pages, or on the editorial page. The question: Where is the “appropriate” place for commentary on important social issues under consideration in the public sphere?

Comic Malpractice

“I chose the topic of compulsory sonograms because it was in the news and because of its relevance to the broader battle over women’s health currently being waged in several states. For some reason, the GOP has chosen 2012 to re-litigate reproductive freedom, an issue that was resolved decades ago. Why [Rick] Santorum, [Rush] Limbaugh, et al., thought this would be a good time to declare war on half the electorate, I cannot say. But to ignore it would have been comedy malpractice. . .

“Roe v. Wade was decided while I was still in school. Planned Parenthood was embraced by both parties. Contraception was on its way to being used by 99 percent of American women. I thought reproductive rights was a settled issue. Who knew we had turned into a nation of sluts?”

—Garry Trudeau, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist,
interview with
Michael Cavna,
“Comic Riffs,” The Washington Post, March 9, 2012

• Editorial Comment: Gotta admit—There is something funny going on.

Related:
• Romenesko: Report: Some papers won’t be running next week’s ‘Doonesbury’ strips, March 9, 2012
• Reader Supported News: Part I. Part II. Part III.

• When Reporters Lie: Did you miss yesterday’s WORDs about a fabricated “This American Life” story by Mike Daisey on Apple factories in China? Click here.

• Faculty Wanted! The JCOM Department at Utah State is taking applications for a multimedia instructor, teaching our new required multimedia class and assisting with the Aggie TV newscast classes. For full position description, click here.

News from our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café
Trenton youth pleads guilty to December robbery of convenience store, by Chris Lee
USU Eastern student journalists win 11 Utah Press awards
Aggie journalists win 17 regional SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards
Review: ‘West of Memphis’ is chilling, heart-wrenching, by Natasha Bodily
Teams vie to live healthy in Live, Love, Nutrition Challenge, by Kristi Ottley
Mendon’s GOP caucus: Record turnout, strong support for Hatch, by Josh Ruggles
Backyard beekeeping 101: Smithfield class attracts honey of a crowd, by Jessica Wilkinson
JCOM Scholarships for 2012-13. Deadline: April 2
Hard News Café March News Roundup
(March 19)
The Aggie TV News Team (March 7 edition). Bookmark ATV News

PeezPIX by Ted Pease
Catalog here






Spring Break at Houda Beach, Northern California



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