An article in The Atlantic Monthly online [theatlantic.com/issues/97may/gerbner.htm]
titled The Man Who Counts the Killings speaks of "George Gerbner
who, 30 years ago, founded the cultural indicators project which is
best known for its estimate that the average American child will have
watched 8,000 murders on television by the age of twelve."
article continues: "In addition to this message system
analysis, Gerbners researchers do cultivation analysis,
which tries to measure how much television contributes to viewers
conceptions of reality. Cultivation analysis asks, in other words,
to what extent television cultivates our understanding
of the world. Gerbner believes this to be the most important aspect
of his research. It is also the part routinely ignored by the mainstream
press and attacked by the broadcasting industry."
the 'beautiful dreamers'
This news about the news is not news to Linda McLean and Debra Roberts,
two 'beautiful dreamers' from Weaverville. They both experienced real,
night-time dreams a few years ago (before they even met) of creating
positive, empowering TV spots to counteract what is seen on mainstream
media. Together, the two of them founded Little Pearls, a non-profit
video, film and television production company.
For the last couple of years, Linda and Debra have been busy creating
a series of tiny films in the form of unique thirty and
sixty second spots for television. These public service announcements
(for lack of a better term) are revolutionary. They look like commercials,
yet the only product they provide is inspiration. They present real
people, thought-provoking ideas, and universal themes that offer positive
role models for living. In a world where beneficial, meaningful messages
can be difficult to find, their goal is to skillfully and lovingly
plant seeds of hope and change.
and Linda have been honored by an invitation* to an upcoming Media
That Matters conference. Media That Matters is a series of invitational
conferences for leading edge media professionals who are using their
talents as a positive force for community, the environment, and social
change. (See mediathatmatters.org!)*
little article is merely an introduction to Little Pearls and the
concept that being a glutton for the nightly news can be extremely
hazardous to your health, well-being, and ability to function effectively
in the world. What you let in to your life and how you interpret itchoosing
to put your attention on what inspires, uplifts, and empowersis
central to our purpose at WNC WOMAN. You'll hear more about Little
Pearls and the role of 'media that matters' in future issues. For
now, we invite you to look at mediathatmatters.org and to look at littlepearls.org and then come back to the table for discussion. When you look at their
website, we suggest you savor it, delight in it, (imagine it once
the streaming video is working!), and then write them a big fat check.
Pearls is funded by tax-deductible donations from individuals, organizations
and businesses. They are a non-profit organization, currently under
the fiscal agency of Western Carolina Coalition for Social Concerns
(WCCSC). 501(c)(3). Documents, proposals, budgets and VHS copies of
their prior work are available upon request. Donations can be made
out to WCCSC, marked Little Pearls and mailed to Little
Pearls, PO Box 8641, Asheville, North Carolina 28814.
are very proud that WNC WOMAN has also been invited to attend the
Media That Matters conference! If we get to go too, we'll report back
after the conference.
Parker is publisher and editor of WNC WOMAN (along with
Sandi Tomlin-Sutker). She is also a web designersee her website