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MEDIA EDUCATION

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Event: Root Causes, Our Cures: Women's Activism for Media Justice and Reform, an interactive workshop at the WAM!2005: Women, Action & Media conference in Cambridge, Mass.

Inja Coates, director of the Philadelphia-based media justice group Media Tank, uses the "problem tree" model to explain the connections between media content and the structural and institutional forces that govern media production. To complete the tree, Inja’s cofacilitators Jennifer L. Pozner and Liza Dichter (shown in the picture above) placed feedback from attendees about problems they see in contemporary media content — such as sexist images of women's bodies in entertainment, lack of critical analysis of government and business, women's perspectives underrepresented or invisible in news, overly consumerist — on the "leaves" of the problem tree.

Inja discussed how these "leaves" are mapped to the "trunk" of the tree, which represent structural forces guiding media production, such as media consolidation, corporate ownership, limiting of broadcast spectrum our of hands of public interest operators, etc., and how both the "leaves" and the "trunk" of the tree are ultimately connected through the tree's "roots," such as the cozy relationship between media corporations and the politicians and governmental bodies that are supposed to regulate media production.

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