2013 Exceptional Merit in Media Awards (EMMAs) Winners

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2013 Exceptional Merit in Media Awards (EMMAs) Winners

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry,
By: Helaine Olen, Portfolio/Penguin

As salaries and benefits have stagnated, people are increasingly turning to other means to increase their finances. Author Helaine Olen dispels common finance myths, such as “removing that daily latte makes your richer,” while also exposing the finance industries’ ploys and lies. In particular, she highlights how the finance industry targets women. Women are stereotyped as being predisposed to be cautious with money and spurn the more risky investment schemes which these finance industries sell. Even when the financial industry sponsors programs to improve financial knowledge among school children or adults, more often than not these programs provide only basic knowledge while promoting the sponsor’s financial products.

The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace,
By: Lynn Povich, Public Affairs

Author Lynn Povich recounts a turning point in journalism that she herself took part in: the suing of Newsweek by forty-six female employees who faced discrimination in hiring and promotion. Renowned for its cutting edge coverage of civil rights and the Sixties generation, Newsweek was where all the young journalists aspired to work. Yet women were told “If you want to be a writer, go somewhere else.” Povich details how the class action law suit inspired some of the women to come into their own, while others became lost amid the attention, pressure, and hostility that they weren’t prepared to face.

“Reproductive Rights Interactives,” By: Various Authors, Mother Jones

These “Reproductive Rights Interactive” articles were spawned from Todd Akin’s comment that the body “shuts down” to prevent pregnancy during what he terms “legitimate rape.” The authors examine how men have defined rape throughout history and combat false preconceptions on the cost of birth control. Satirical interactive flowcharts on how women are still discriminated against when it comes to sex, pregnancy, and rape add much needed levity to such a serious concern for women’s health.

“Girls 4 Sale,”
By: Geraldine Sealey, Marie Claire

Prostitution of young, underage girls is a disturbing epidemic in the United States, especially if you know where to look online. Andrea Powell is the executive director or FAIR girls, a small nonprofit in Washington D.C. that helps underage girls escape and recover from prostitution. Assisting her is Alissa (not her real name), a 24 year old girl who was once on the other side of these online prostitution ads. Together they scour Backpage.com, the go to site for online escort ads after Craigslist closed down their service. With Alissa’s knowledge of how pimps hide an underage prostitute’s age, Andrea tracks down underage girls and alerts the police.

“Why Your Food Isn't Safe,”
By: Toni Hope, Madeline Drexler, Good Housekeeping

Each year, about 48 million people, one in six Americans, get sick from foodborne illness. Of these, 128,000 end up in the hospital and 3,000 die. In January of 2011, Obama signed the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act, but it never received full funding from a newly divided Congress. Food epidemics, specifically E.Coli strain outbreaks, are slipping through the federal food-safety net until it’s too late. Attempts to fix the food-safety net are thwarted by inadequate funding, short staffing, and a highly confusing situation of 15 different government agencies with different jurisdictions where, among other things, the USDA inspects chickens while the FDA inspects eggs.

“Fractured,”
By: Toni Hope, Susuan Ince, Good Housekeeping

Middle aged women going through menopause are targeted in ads by pharmaceutical companies for osteoporosis drugs even though the majority of them don’t need it. In an unfortunate twist, the women who take the medication without needing it are now at a higher risk for bone fracture. Older women in their seventies who need bone density tests and osteoporosis drugs often don’t get the treatment they need even after suffering bone fractures. get the treatment they need even after suffering bone fractures. Author Susuan Ince provides advice on pressing concerns regarding the treatment of osteoporosis, from when to start bone density scans to exercise suggestions to improve your hip and spine resilience.

“7 Things No One Ever Tells You About Breast Cancer,”
By: Cindi Leive, Shaun Dreisbach, Glamour Magazine

Authors Cindi Leive and Shaun Dreisbach examine some common myths about breast cancer, such as the supposed necessity of self breast exams and claims that mastectomies are a women’s best option. They also highlight less common facts, such as that the lion’s share of money raised for breast cancer is spent on research for treatment, not prevention, and how some forms of breast cancer are being studied as they might be caused by a virus – which would make prevention easier.

“Why Does CEO Mean White Male?,”
By: KC Cole, University of Southern California

Imagine that a father and his son are leaving his son’s baseball game and they get into a car accident. The father dies at the scene, but the son is rushed to the hospital in critical condition. At the hospital, the doctor says, “I can’t operate on this boy. He’s my son.” Are you confused? Despite all the progress on women’s rights in the past decades, our default assumptions still hold that certain careers are usually done by men, and we don’t even realize it.

“The Boys at the Back,”
By: Christina Sommers, New York Times

A decade ago a battle cry was raised that women were lagging behind in math and science. In response, campaigns and programs across the country were implemented to give girls more support to pursue those traditionally male-dominated fields, and we achieved significant. While we witness ongoing success for girls, at the other end of the spectrum boys are now performing even worse in school, especially in their formative elementary years. With zero tolerance policies, the cutback of recess, and a sedentary school life of “sit still and listen” expected of 5 year olds, boys are starting to lag behind in grades and academic achievement. Author Christina Sommers asks whether we should allow girls to reap the advantages of a new knowledge based service economy and take the mantle from boys, or should we acknowledge the roots of feminism and strive for equal education for all?

“Face of Suffering in Pakistan,”
By: Orla Guerin, Haroon Rashid, BBC News

Last year, 900 women in Pakistan were killed in so called “honor killings.” Those who survive are often permanently maimed. Thirty-two years ago, a woman’s husband cut off her nose when she tried to flee his frequent beatings when she was a teenage mother of two. Ashamed to go out in public, she hid her disfigurement from everyone, including her children. Thankfully, just two years ago a surgeon gave her a new nose paid for by a local charity. Despite his atrocious behavior she is still relegated to live with her ex-husband, a man who still maintains that it was her fault that he cut off her nose so many years ago.

“Jenny Lawson and the Red Dress Project,” By: Jenny Lawson, Teresa Kim, “Katie” & Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam

Jenny Lawson suffered from depression. One day, her friend made a red dress and Jenny, with an unusual who-gives-a-damn attitude, took a photographer friend of hers with her to a graveyard in Texas for a photo shoot. She was surprised by how confident that dress made her feel, and her feelings were shared by a large number of readers of her blog post. So to help other women, Jenny shipped the dress to women who wanted to wear it for a day and asked others to do the same – it became the sisterhood of the traveling red dress.

“Women for Paid Sick Days,”
By: Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation

Paid sick days promote public health by allowing low-wage, sick food service workers time to recuperate (and not spread their germs on food) without the fear of losing their jobs. It also allows parents in dual income homes to stay at home with their child and prevent illnesses from spreading throughout the whole school. It is common sense reform, and hopefully our politicians, from the local to national level, will finally acknowledge it.

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