Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Do I Make You Randy, Baby?

ARE YOU PEOPLE obsessed with sex or something?

The Temple News editors seem to think you are. In this week's issue, there are at least five stories dedicated to having safe sex, not having sex at all or dating multiple people.

The image of condoms above is actually on the front of the paper, above the fold.

Oh, and they have a sub-headline on one story that reads: A tour of South Street's best sex shops and their whips, lubes and lingerie.

I know it's Valentine's Day and all, but are the editors giving you what you want or are they publishing what they think will get your attention?

20 comments:

Ben said...

The editors obviously know what college students want to read. I think they need to find the balance between what we actually want and need to know versus what will capture the attention of a bunch of horny young adults.

mattyw said...

the age old "sex sells."

An-chan said...

Sure it's what we want but at the same time it's not what you are looking to learn about in your newspaper.

Jessica said...

Maybe it's not what people are looking to learn about in their newspaper, but learning about safer sex practices is very important; especially in a college setting where booty calls are prevalent.

-Jessica Grimm
J1111 former student

Kevin Cook said...

I love sex. I would assume most students do. But it is getting a little more coverage in the Temple News than you'd expect....Valentine's isn't even a holiday.

I work for the TTN, but I do feel like it was a bit overdone when I saw all the stories this week. I think it's more abbout getting my attention. These stories are written by students just like me, they don't know anything more or less about sex, safe sex, multiple partners, etc than I do.

Becca said...

Geo,
I'm not sure if you're aware, but this week is national sexual responsibility week. That's why TTN is doing a feature on sex. So it has nothing to do with us "people being obsessed with sex". And not to take a step out of my boundaries, but the editors aim to cover as many aspects of college life as possible, and as the statistics show, sex is one of them. I know us journalists like to stir up controversial discussions, but this one may have hit a little too close to home for some of your students.

Bryan Leddy said...

while this may be a little over the top, i think that if the news can talk about murder, rape, and drugs why is it considered crazy to talk about sex; something that almost everyone likes? I think in this case maybe Temple news could have been a little more modest and not printed condoms on the front page.

Geo said...

Yo Becca,

Don't ever worry about stepping over the line with me. I'm all about dialogue. You can't offend me.

But you did just fail the class.

Just kidding.

To be honest, I've been wanting to pose this question to students for a long time. Sex and sex columns have become staples at university newspapers in recent years. Harvard students actually publish a pseudo porn mag called Boink (recently made into a book too!).

After Sex & the City started, nearly every major newspaper across the country started writing about sex on a regular basis (the Inquirer has a Monday sex column).

My question is more than just about the Temple News this week. My question is this: is all this sex talk a recognition of our Puritan boundaries coming down and a greater dialogue being created about sexuality?

Or do people write about sex because it sells?

And on a more fundamental level, should you provide the info that people want (sex!) or the info that people need (public policy, civic affairs, etc)?

- George (the vengeful teacher!)

donnie said...

I was a former student, got hit up with an e-mail, come to take a look, and I could honestly not stop laughing. I mean come on. I can understand one story, maybe two, but five is just ridiculous. It almost seems like a fixation (no offense). And no matter how much it sells, I do not see how sex (maybe scandals) can be called "news."

If your that worried, pick up a book devoted to the subject, not the daily paper.

Becca said...

Well I can't fail, because I took the class last semester. My attention was drawn to the blog because my roommate wrote one of the articles, and she found it a little strange that here was an attack on the publication that many of your students go on to write for.

As you taught us in class, "Journalism is a business". And it sucks. But info about sex is info that we need as well. Not all of it obviously...the one from Sex and the City that you speak of was similar to this blog, in that it posed questions for us to consider about our lives, sexual and otherwise. But it's true that the word "sex" sparks interest. And you can't say that's just with college students...how many adults choose People over the Philadelphia Inquirer? Plenty.

All I'm saying is: sure, sex sells. Other things sell, too. Maybe "our Puritan boundaries" are coming down, but that's hardly a bad thing. No one would know about safe sex if it weren't for the media. And that's something to write about.

Becca said...

Oh and Donnie...please read the articles in question and previous posts before you comment. The newspaper makes it a point to touch upon events such as Black History month and the like, so why shouldn't they use National Sexual Awareness Week to inform college students about safe sex? When you don't read what you're commenting on, you come out sounding uninformed.

MoNiCaS said...

We are college students. College students are constantly engaged in sexual activity, so why not provide them with the safe sex information that they need to hear. I know that it seems a bit overdone and shoved in our faces, but it's definitely a must. They are publishing what the reader needs to know and see, even if it could be used to attract even more readers by putting a condom on the cover. It serves a legitimate purpose. Everyone needs to know about this stuff. I think the editors are giving us what we need to know and what we want to read about and because we want to read about sex- we are ultimately attracted to a picture of a condom and sexual headlines. It's normal and it is great news for a college paper.

caramelstar813 said...

The cover image was very creative, I must say... This story was interesting AND a must for us college studensts... The practice of safe sex can never be stressed too much...

Donnie said...

Becca,

I did read the stories and the comments. But the fact remains this isn't knews. It is just some filler. Allow me to cite Kevin in that "they don't know anything more or less about sex, safe sex, multiple partners, etc than I do." The horoscope is kinda cute. Safe sex story is nothing amazing. Not having sex I thought was worth having there because its a voice to a stance that many ppl dont understand or cant appreciate. And the multiple dating story can hardly be called anything but "a story" as it lacks real research besides someone basically talkin about themselves and their opinion.

I have no issue about them using National Sexual Awareness Week to run these stories. Hell, I wouldn't care if Valentine's was the excuse or simply because sex sells. But you still need to maintain som kind of quality. Now, I'll admit I don't know the fifth story, but of the four I read, only two of them had any real quality, and horoscopes aren't "news" even if it was entertaining.

I stand by my original point. This isn't news.

Nick Stackhouse said...

I thought they were just writing these articles because it's Valentine's Day and they wanted people to be safe.

Anonymous said...

This got quite a giggle out of me and then reading the comments. Classic.

Anywho, it doesn't shock me that sex dominated Temple News for the Valentine's Day week. I mean who would pick up a newspaper with an elderly couple and their tale of real love? Love, hm, who uses that to get eyeballs??

"Sex sells" was repeated several times in the previous comments, and that is absolutely correct. Its a shame with all the REAL stories out lurking in the air, waiting for some attention and acknowledgement that sex, Ms. Spears, and the night's sports get the spotlight. Excuse me, running into a whole different subject matter.

Whatever audience the world of journalism is trying to get to watch them to obtain money will be the source of its demise. Somewhere down the line somebody is going to have to be brave enough to stand up and not follow the trends of today.

-Myriam; J1111 veteran

Anonymous said...

David Hall

Almost a week old now but I still want to comment. I think tht because its Temple's newspaper that there should be some leway for them to do interesting things like this. Although I know its a serious publication its good that we can put condomns on the front of a paper and talk about it.

On a further note I feel like sex makes for great conversation so why not write about. How do you do it? How often? Was it good? Its obvious that sex is excepted more in society as something we can talk about. Unlike the days of our parents when babies just happened and no one wanted to admit that mom and dad pulled an all nighter. If you ask me I dnt care its great were in school lets talk about sex...I'm available for discussion anytime.

Geo said...

You're available anytime?

Are you trolling for dates on our class blog?

That's awesome. Let me know if it works.

- George (the teacher/ love connector)

David Hall (Im begining to enjoy this) said...

Looking for love in all the wrong places. (Isnt that a song?)

Anonymous said...

This was great.
Thanks for the entertainment.
SS