The Council on Contemporary Families (CCF) is pleased to present its Tenth Annual Media Awards on Friday, April 27, at the CCF Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. The awards honor outstanding journalism that contributes to the public understanding of contemporary family issues. Awards will be presented at a 5 p.m. reception at the Crowne Plaza Metro Chicago Hotel, where the conference is located. Award recipients will speak briefly about their work and the ways in which scholars and practitioners can help them advance the conversation about the needs of American families today.
A 2012 Award for Print Coverage of Family Issues goes to journalist, Deborah Skolnik for “The New Normal” (in Parenting Magazine), a balanced introduction to the rewards and challenges faced by three very different American families: A married gay couple with a daughter born through surrogacy, a single mother with an adopted two-year-old., and a married couple with a stay-at-home dad. Jurors felt Skolnick’s use of narratives (and photos) documenting both the uniqueness of these families and their daily challenges forging lives together highlighted the similarities in experiences of many contemporary American families.
A second 2012 Award for Print Coverage of Family Issues goes to journalists Lois M. Collins and Sara Lenz for “Losing Innocence: The Cost of Sexualizing Teens,” a series that appeared in the Salt Lake City Deseret News. The articles document the pervasive and insidious ways in which media images hypersexualize young women and the effects on young people’s self-image, with consequences that include depression, disordered eating, anxiety, shame, and substance abuse. Interviews with media experts and local families punctuate data from national surveys and compelling analysis of this trend. Jurors appreciated the lively writing, the depth and breadth of the research, and the suggestions of ways in which experts and families can counteract the negative effect of media images on tweens and teens.
The 2012 Award for Broadcast Coverage of Family Issues goes to journalist Kate Schermerhorn’s video documentary, “After Happily Ever After”, about the quest for a long and happy marriage. Schermerhorn documents her own quest for a successful marriage, interviewing diverse couples who married until “death does us part” as well as experts from the fields of psychology, history, biology, and economics. Jurors appreciated the message that marriage takes a lot of work and that there is not a “one size fits all” recipe that results in happily ever after.
About the CCF Media Awards
The CCF media awards were established in 2002 as part of the Council’s commitment to enhancing the public understanding of trends in American family life. “All too often, changes in U.S. family patterns are painted in stark, better-or-worse terms that ignore the nuanced and complex realities of family life today. The Awards Committee looked for articles that put individual family issues in larger social context. This kind of coverage offers the public a balanced picture of the trade-offs, strengths and weaknesses in many different family arrangements and structures,” explained Stephanie Coontz, CCF’s Co-Chair and Director of Research and Public Education. The CCF media awards committee will call for nominations for the 2012 awards in the fall. For information about past media award recipients, please visit http://contemporaryfamilies.org/media-awards/.
CCF’s April 27-28, 2012, Conference in Chicago
The Council on Contemporary Families15th annual conference puts challenging issues related to child well-being under the microscope in a two-day event, Crossing Boundaries: Public and Private Roles in Assuring Child Well-Being, on Friday April 27 and Saturday April 28, 2012 in Chicago at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Hotel. Visit CCF’s website for a detailed program. Topics include:
- Poverty doesn’t necessarily mean neglect.Panelists will report on how poverty leads families to come to the attention of child protective services and how states might better addressing families’ underlying needs, rather than simply opening investigations for neglect.
- Child abuse varies by race and ethnicity, and so should responses.Another panel will examine racial-ethnic disparities in reports of child abuse and neglect, along with strategies for addressing these disparities
- Public attitudes towards children differ from public perceptions of social responsibilityfor child well-being.Speakers review public perceptions of child well-being and assess sources of the disconnect of these perceptions from reality.
- Children above the poverty line-and those in middle class families-are seeing their resources and opportunities dwindle. Participants will examine the differential impact of the downturn on low-wage but not impoverished families and on middle class families as well.
The CCF 2012 conference is co-sponsored with the University-Based Child and Family Policy Consortium. To receive a complimentary press pass to the conference or get future CCF briefing papers, contact Stephanie Coontz, CCF’s Co-Chair and Director of Research and Public Education: email@example.com.
The Council on Contemporary Families is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of family researchers, mental health and social practitioners, and clinicians, dedicated to providing the press and public with the latest research and best practice findings about American families. Founded in 1996 and based at the University of Miami, the Council’s mission is to enhance the national understanding of how and why contemporary families are changing, what needs and challenges they face, and how these needs can best be met.