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Sexual Orientation Issues in the News
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What We're Doing

Training Future Journalists · Creating a Dynamic Resource Center · Holding Workshops · Conducting Research

Training Future Journalists

In September 1999, Professor Aarons began teaching his unique course, “Sexual Orientation Issues in the News.” (See Journalism 468M: A Model Course.) In January 2001, the University of Southern California accepted it as a permanent part of the journalism curriculum and designated it as one of a select group of classes that fulfill USC’s multicultural requirement. The course is now titled, “The American Press and Issues of Sexual Diversity” and is being taught in fall 2001 by Assistant Professor Laura Castañeda.

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Creating a Dynamic Resource Center

Ever changing, ever informative, this SOIN website is a resource for those seeking to understand sexual-diversity issues and integrate them into class curricula. Browse this site to find details of USC’s model course; a student-produced video; a gay-events timeline; downloadable SOIN research; details on the upcoming workshop; and up-to-the-minute examples of media stories that exemplify the spectrum of social, political and cultural issues that are part of the journalism landscape.

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Holding Workshops

In Washington, D.C., in August 2001 we convene a national roundtable to develop ways to align journalism instruction with the needs of the profession in this area. The results of the roundtable will be available in the fall on this site. We will announce other workshops as we schedule them. You can find more information about all workshops on this site.

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Conducting Research

In the summer of 1999 a team of researchers, headed by Associate Professor Sheila Murphy of Annenberg’s Communications School, launched two major research projects:

  1. A national survey of gay and lesbian journalists’ perceptions of coverage of sexual-orientation issues. The complete survey is available on this site.

  2. A content audit of newspaper coverage in four cities to assess quantity, depth and balance. In addition, focus groups in those cities compared reader perception with actual presence of coverage. A preliminary draft of the study is available on this site.

You can find more information under the research section of this site.

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