Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Go Student Journalism!

As a PR intern, working on the Feminist Majority Foundations Campaign to Expose Fake Clinics, it’s always exciting to see a story about CPCs in a college paper. Not only does it assure me that all the calls I make bugging reporters and editors are not in vain, but the quality of some recent articles has really impressed me.

Being a recent graduate I remember the sleep-deprived days, permanently playing catch up with homework and revision all too well. When you’re a student, it seems, time is always your enemy, so the hours these reporters have put into their investigations deserves some recognition.

Take the recent article in MTSU’s The Sidelines for example; as well as investigating the campaigns website and asking me some great questions, reporter Rozalind Ruth took the time to interview the director of Mufreesboro Pregnancy Support Center, a nurse practitioner from MTSU’s Student Health Services and a community health educator from Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee.

I don’t know how many hours this added up to, but Ruth was clearly dedicated to an in depth study from all sides. After reading her article students would be in no doubt about the pro-life position of Mufreesboro Pregnancy Support Center and know where to go for unbiased advice.

Another great example was the article by Carly Tamborski in the University of Cincinnati’s News Record. She gives a detailed description of how to identify CPC and how to identify a genuine clinic.

Grace Pettygrove of the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald compared claims about breast cancer risks made by the local CPC with those of the National Cancer Institute. She highlighted student activism against this CPC by interviewing the director of Students for Choice at UO.

Alissa Scheller also interviewed student activists and wrote her article in American’s the Eagle, after personally attending a panel discussion hosted by AU’s Students for Choice.

It’s great when reporters highlight the work of activists. It shows that those who believe in choice are not prepared to allow deception and misinformation to obstruct this right.

As can be expected these articles have provoked in a huge response with comments from all sides of the abortion debate. This is great, the longer an article is discussed; the more students will know that CPC’s are not what they claim to be.

Women who find themselves in a situation of an unintended pregnancy, will no doubt remember reporters who took time out of their busy schedules to make sure they’d know exactly where to go and who to trust.

As the nurse practitioner Ruth interviewed said “… a lot of organizations do have a bias, and that’s not really what our patients need–they need information… (so they can) make an educated decision that’s going to best fit their life.”

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