Starting Point: More than a Game


This article originally appeared in Issue# 36

One of the challenges of publishing Media&Values is selecting an issue-theme which does not already have a significant body of literature or easily identifiable sources. Such a selection forces us to learn a lot - fast - and to reflect carefully on how organize the issue and what values-questions should be raised.

Such is this issue on sports and the media. Although almost all of us (come on now, be honest!) participate in media sports, at least occasionally, few people have actually written or researched this growing phenomenon. It was exciting, therefore, to commission several original articles and to work with our to craft a discussion of the topic that breaks new ground. We hope you'll find it a valuable tool not only for yourself, but also for your family, your students or your congregation.

You're already noticing, I'm sure, Media&Values "new look," especially our move to full text typesetting. Although the design change is not dramatic, the change in our production process was as we shifted from the traditional cut-and-paste layout system to a computerized electronic publishing program. Just press a button and enlarge a headline… or move a column of type... or even change the typeface. It's magic!

No, we don't own the system ourselves (wish we did!) but our Presbyterian connections led us to Stuart Ritter and Terry Bloomer-Ritter of The Abington Group who have invested early in this exciting new industry. With their help, you're reading a more attractive magazine, and we're saving money as well.

Another new partner in our redesign process is Damien Ramirez, a student at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, who has been awarded our second Internship in Values Communication. Funded by a grant from United Methodist Communications, the art director internship was established to provide a learning opportunity for a talented minority student. As you can see, Damien has plenty of talent. We're happy to give him an opportunity to express it.

We continue to seek funding for additional internships. Not only are we proud to offer students a chance to work in an environment where justice issues in the media are stressed but interns, with their creativity and enthusiasm, provide essential help to a project whose budget allows only limited funding for outside professional consultants. Do contact us if you'd like to help set up future internship opportunities.

Still another exciting development for us is the opening of a Media&Values "desk" in Canada! The Communications Division of the United Church of Canada has graciously offered to serve as a liaison between our many Canadian subscribers and our Los Angeles office. Our neighbors to the north may now use Canadian funds to subscribe or renew, order back copies, binders or quantity copies of special issues. Many thanks to Rev. Randy Naylor and his staff for this significant contribution to Media&Values growth.

Author Bio: 

Elizabeth Thoman, a pioneering leader in the U.S. media literacy field, founded Media&Values magazine in 1977 and the Center for Media Literacy in 1989. She is a graduate of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and continues her leadership through this website, consulting, speaking and as a founding board member of the Alliance for a Media Literate America (AMLA).