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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 27, 1997)
V . • ! _ - ' ••
Court decision ‘cuffs
media’s ability to report
Fwm llteDaity Orange, Syracuse University
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (U-WIRE) — Out of
order: The watchdog of society pay be in
trouble with restrictions on news-gathering
Wednesday was a //_
sad day for the Ameri
A federal jury in
awarded a supermarket
chain $5.5 million in
punitive damages from
an ABC expose about
the poor quality of its
The chain, Food
Lion Inc., accused ABC
of fraud, contesting that
fake resumes to get un
dercover jobs in food
services for the “Prime
Time Live” report.
The story showed
Food Lion employees
selling expired meats
and washing poultry
with bleach to destroy
is an issue
to be de
Although ABC pro
ducers did indeed use questionable ethics in
reporting this story, this verdict is an affront
to the entire free press and the American S§
Regardless of how ABC obtained the
information, the report was true. Food Lion
did not pursue a libel case.
ABC was fulfilling one of the most im
portant roles of a news organization in a free
press — that of a watchdog.
If Food Lion was getting away with sell
ing hazardous meat products to consumers,
the public has a right to know.
And when the Food and Drug Adminis
tration did not do its job, ABC stepped in.
While ABC did commit acts of fraud,
the criminal fines for any average person
would amount to a mere $1,400, which ABC
paid in December.
This case has serious and disturbing
implications for a press that seems to have
completed a public service.
Ethics in journalism is an issue that
needs to be debated, but not through fiivo
) lous civil lawsuits. Food Lion was deserv
ing of defamation, and it should not be com
pensated for losses from the stoiy. Restric-1
tions such as these are nothing less than con
ABC News President Roone Arledge
could not have said it better:
“If large corporations were allowed to
stop hard-hitting investigative journalism,
the American people would be the losers.”
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the
Spring 1997 Daily Nebraskan. They do not
necessarily reflect the views of the Univer
' sity of Nebraska-Lincoln, its employees, its
student body or the University of Nebraska
Board of Regents. A column is soley the
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policy is set by the Daily Nebraskan Edito
rial Board. The UNL Publications Board,
established by the regents, supervises the
production of the paper. According to policy
set by die regents, responsibility for the edi
torial content of the newspaper lies solely
in the hands of its student employees.
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Looking in the mirror
Please don it buy into the beauty, self-image culture
I saw a really interesting com
mercial on television last week. No,
it didn’t feature stunning special
effects or a punch line that made me
It was simple — a camera shot of
a young woman’s back. She had
long red hair, but that was about all
you could really see.
As the camera zooms in on her
head, you hear her say: “Do you
want to see me? Would that make
you think I’m beautiful?”
The commercial then shifts to a
man who says: “We make products
that make you lode beautiftil on the
outside, but we never forget that true
beauty lies on the inside... ”
And the commercial ends.
I can’t remember the name of the
company that made the commercial,
as it was on television for only a few
Maybe it wasn't producing
enough sales. Maybe the company
had made its point Maybe, maybe,
But have we gotten the point?
We’re living in a society where
beauty is on the face of a magazine
cover, in the eyes of a famous
Hollywood actress or in the walk of
a runway model.
The same society where the
content of your average woman’s
magazine is 75 percent beauty and *
clothing ads, where Barbie is a little
girl’s best friend, and more Ameri
cans say they need a hair dryer more
than a personal computer (Parade
Magazine, Dec. 29,1996).
We’re in a society where beauty is
an industry and most of us have
bought into it.
Yet too often we’re trying to
achieve a beauty we were never
meant to achieve.
Now I’U be talking mainly about
the female side of beauty — hon
estly, we guys aren’t as concerned
Sure, we guys want to look our
best — but we don’t spend nearly as
much time and effort as women do
to achieve it.
Which brings forth another
question: should women be ex
tremely concerned with the way they
look and are perceived?
Now coming from a family with
three sisters, I’ve heard all the
arguments for beauty — the most
common being, “we do it for you
If you’re driving yourself to look
slim, toned, well-dressed, funny,
sexy, intelligent or beautiful for
guys’ attention, you might be
changing yourself for the wrong
Guys will cane and guys will go
— but the one who stays will do it
because he loves you. Na because he
loves the color of your eye shadow
or because you ate Slim Fast shakes
He will stay with you because
he’s in love with the beauty, within.
Whether it be the way you make
him smile, the way he can tell you all
his problems or the way the two of you
. can just talk for hours — never run
ning out of things to laugh about.
He’ll love you for you—na
what you’ve become.
Which lyings us to guys. We’re
just as’guilty when it comes to
judging beauty — only for different
We tend to look no farther than
Argue what you will, but when was
the last time a guy ever asked out a
girl because she’s “funny” or has a
Sure, those qualities may have
been a few of the things that were
attractive, but they weren’t the main
ones. You looked at the girl and
liked what you saw.
And that might very well be the
problem with beauty these days.
It’s a typical Dick and Jane
world. Jane sees Dick. Dick sees
Jane. Dick and Jane like what they
see. Dick asks Jane out. Dick and
Jane go out. Dick discovers Jane has
multiple personalities, and Jane
discovers that Dick is a serial killer.
Dick and Jane decide a second date
is not necessary...
OK, so maybe it’s not your
typical example, but if two people
take a little time to get to know one
another, thejAvould have discovered
their differences a little earlier.
Yet I’m not in the position to say
beauty is either right or wrong —
there comes a time when both
people will discover the right answer
Ask yourself a simple .question
when it comes to beauty.
Should I really change — or be
the person God intended me to be?
Kerber is a sophomore news
editorial major and a Daily
C \a/i ebraskan,34 Nebraska Union, 1400 "R" St, Lincoln,
* _zzJ to .(40$) 472-1761. or e-maiL<fetterseunhffi.unl.edu:
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