Covering Sex, Race, and Gender in the American Military Services

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Presents studies concerning press coverage of sensitive equal opportunity issues in the American military services during the close of the 20th century. After discussing the role of the mass media, the book deals with press coverage of sexual harassment, media coverage of reports on equal opportunity issues and race relations, and the press’s handling of gender-integrated training in the military services. The final chapter includes discussion of embedded reporters, coverage of Private First Class Jessica Lynch, and media credibility and responsibility.


"Using informal content analysis, Murray (communication, Grambling State Univ.) examines how the media covers sex, race, and gender issues in the US military and investigates the perceptions of future equal opportunity advisors. After a perfunctory overview of US media roles and a somewhat indiscriminate endorsement of media social responsibility theory, Murray presents his research in three related chapters. The first focuses on the extensive media coverage of sexual harassment in the military and finds that equal opportunity advisors are concerned with the negative impact on recruitment, and that African American equal opportunity advisors are more likely to believe that racism is involved in sexual harassment. The second deals with equal opportunity and officer progression, and finds that media coverage of two Department of Defense reports was generally balanced, with a tendency to emphasize stories about minority encounters with racism. The third examines press coverage of gender-integrated training and finds most columnists writing in favor of the practice. The survey research finds that male and female equal opportunity advisors favor such training, although females were more likely to agree that double-standards were applied during training. Media scholars and researchers with an interest in equal opportunity issues will find this book useful. Summing Up: Recommended. Most academic collections." - CHOICE

“…unique studies which provide an appraisal of the media coverage of different events and milestones in the development of equal opportunity in the military….It adds new insights to coverage of critical social issues by certain print media in the United States. Thus, the results deserve wider distribution for understanding both the issues and the way the media covers such issues.” – Dr. Wallace B. Eberhard, Professor Emeritus, Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia

“…perhaps the first thorough investigation in this area. It should be a useful resource for anyone – especially faculty, students, and practicing journalists – wanting to learn about these topics in more detail….The meat of the books comes in its examination of media coverage of three key topics – sexual harassment, racial/ethnic issues and gender-integrated training – as they relate to the military. Murray devotes a chapter to each of these significant issues, complementing the examination of racial/ethnic matters with information about a study of advancement of women and minorities in military careers…. a significant contribution to the literature in this field.” – Dr. Eddie Blick, Associate Professor of Journalism, Louisiana Tech University

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (main headings):
Preface; Foreword; Introduction
1. The Role of the American Press
2. Capturing Headlines: Newspaper Coverage of Sexual Harassment in the Military Services
3. Shades of Black, White and Gray: News Media Coverage of the Race/Ethnic and Pipeline Studies
4. Together or Separate? Newspaper Coverage of Gender-Integrated Training, 1997-2000
5. Conclusion and Comments: Sexual Harassment; Race/Ethnic Survey and Career Progression; Gender-integrated Training; since the Studies; Former Prisoner of War and Times Reporter; Embedded Reporters; Press Credibility
Bibliography; Index

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