In CNN.com’s “Labels urged for foods that can choke kids,” writer Shelby Lin Erdman relays a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which found that certain common foods, like hot dogs, kill nearly 100 million children every year. The Academy is pushing government policies that will mandate putting warning labels on risky foods, so countless lives of children will be saved. Erdman quotes Dr. Gary Smith, a leading proponent of this reform and pediatrician, who reasoned, “For many years, the U.S. has protected children from choking on toys. […] But we don’t have a consistent set of measures that have been put together for prevention of choking on food.” The article also lists some safety tips the Academy put on its website, such as cutting hot dogs into strips lengthwise before feeding them to children.
Let’s face it, children are cute and precious. If you’re not a parent in America, you’re an uncle, aunt, cousin, sibling or mentor to a small child. To think about his or her harm or death is as painful as if they actually were hurt. This universal sentiment for the epitomes of innocence is what makes this piece so compelling and relevant in American culture and dialogue. If there are any who couldn’t care less for such a topic, they’re either heartless or dead.
Read it HERE.
In “Apologetic Toyota vows safety improvements,” Nobuhiro Kubo and John Crawley report on the recent statements and hearings revolving around the popular car maker’s gas pedal problems and subsequent recalls. The reason for the sticky gas pedals is uncertain, since there are several factors contributing to the problem, said Jim Lentz, Toyota‘s U.S. sales chief. President Akio Toyoda apologized for his cars’ accelerator issues and proposed a list of changes necessary to fix the problem.
When 8.1 million people are affected by anything, it must make news. Not only will owners of recalled vehicles want to know the procedures of returning their cars, but nearly all Toyota owners will be weary of using their cars, since their automaker is at fault. Also, the world of media will closely examine Toyota’s ensuing steps, as its case is a PR disaster; the moves they make must now be thoughtful and shrewd. With the right people being quoted and all sides being presented, the article proves to be well-researched and clearly articulated..
Read it HERE.
“The Weight Debate: Is It OK to Be Fat?” details the emerging fat-acceptance movement and highlights ABC‘s “Nightline: Face-Off: Is it okay to be fat?” — a debate in ABC’s “Face-Off” series, a program that invites opposing sides of controversial issues to duke it out on national television. Featuring experts on both sides of the obesity debate, the article includes quotes from anti-fat Kim Bensen (“I couldn’t breath when I was obese”) to pro-fat Crystal Renn (“I actually suffered from an eating disorder, anorexia, for three years, and it nearly took my life”). The central pro-fat argument is that being fat isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but the culture has said this so much people have begun to believe it. Anti-fatters contend that losing weight is strenuous, yes, but worth it.
The public loves controversy, and eccentric, out-of-the-ordinary controversy must especially be covered by the press. With the emergence of shows like “Biggest Loser,” their being a fat-acceptance movement comes as a surprise to most listeners, who, as pro-fatters argue, believe being fat is wrong because the culture says so. The argument has shock value. The article is also intriguing from an editor’s standpoint because it’s genius: ABC is making its own news with its “Faceoff” series. There will seldom be such issues covered by the media; not even YouTube flaunts such compelling debates, but ABC has found a way to attract droves to its empire; well done.