Three Summaries of News Accounts related to
Art Madsen, M.Ed.
I. "Health Horizons: Environment, A Crowded Planet"
Joseph Alper, Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1992
Apler, a free-lance contributor to the Times, is an extremely dynamic writer. His population explosion report, appearing in the Special Section of the paper on page 13, under the rubric "View Desk", is highly opinionated and, in fact, would be classified by most readers as an editorialized position paper. This seven page single-spaced article is a comprehensive overview of spiraling international population growth. Apler, writing almost a decade ago, focuses on the disproportionate wastage of planetary resources by the United States, a nation that consumes well over 25% of the world’s energy, and produces mountains of garbage. His powerful logic is quite convincing and this report should be read by all astute and informed citizens desiring compelling information about the disturbing demographic trends we are all, even a decade later, confronting.
This Minnesota-based free-lancer builds his pro-control perspective gradually but convincingly toward a crescendo of evidence that leaves the reader gasping for breath. Anti-abortion and population control groups in the early 1990s, he states, were futilely striving to compensate for the colossal errors of Ronald Reagan, who actively opposed efforts to stem growth in the United States. If the demographic trends of the 80s and 90 continue, he asserts, not only will ozone be depleted, but vital space for all of us will be compromised, with predictable results, such as global warfare (he implies) to secure survival for the victors’ citizens.
Alper’s viewpoint seems quite frightening to me, but is one that I support. The world must learn to control population growth or face dire consequences. His editorialized article contains facts that seem validly supported and I have no concerns about the integrity or truthfulness of his sources.
II. "AD RIPS GROWING AMERICA CITY GROUP, ENCOURAGES A NO-IMMIGRANT POLICY", New York Daily News, Leslie Casimir, October 12, 2000
In the New York Daily News, Leslie Casimir published a detailed report concerning a massive Project USA billboard, the fifth in a series of similar billboards, that has been erected along a prominent New York City freeway. It is visible to millions of drivers and claims in bold wording that current U.S. immigration trends are straining American resources beyond the breaking point. The new billboard is offensive to a large number of New Yorkers and Casimir’s article describes the broad outlines of the polemical debate that cropped up in October of last year.
This article appeared in the Suburban Section of the Daily News on page 2, a fairly prominent spot and could be easily read by those interested who were undoubtedly immigrants with strong opinions about the issues portrayed on the billboard. Government Officials from the Department of the Interior and INS Immigration Directors should have read this article, even though it was clearly aimed at the informed public in general.
Casimir presents a two-sided approach to this article. The reader learns first about Project USA anti-immigration data that seem quite alarming. The President of this group is Craig Nelson who has clearly done his homework. Subsequently, credible rebuttals are offered from various New York City planning officials who claim the opposite, stating that without immigrants New York City would shrink like Saint Louis or Detroit.
Personally, this article seems fairly objective and depicts a deeply divided population on the issue of immigration and socio-demographic tensions. It seems to me that Casimir has weighted her article more heavily in favor of the NYC planner’s opinions, because she seems to favor demographic expansion. Casimir’s tone and choice of wording also slant the reader in the direction of welcoming more immigrants.
III. "Spanish Names Prominent in Area’s History"
The Riverside Press-Enterprise, Tom Patterson, April 30, 1993
After citing the 1.18 million people, one third of whom are Hispanic, living in Riverside County, California, Patterson paints with broad sweeps of his pen the early Spanish settlement patterns in Southern California with specific reference to Riverside County. This article is clearly not a news report in the formal sense, but is instead an academic exercise in historical research. Patterson goes on to trace the socio-demographic growth of the Moreno Valley and does so with a tone of relative detachment. This lengthy account, fitted out with precise topographic and population growth data at its conclusion, appeared in the Local Section of the paper on page B05, presumably the fifth page. It doubtless failed to get, in that position, the exposure it may have received if it had been more prominently featured.
Only those interested in the development of Hispanic culture in the Riverside area would be truly intrigued by the details offered. Yet, the research Patterson seems to have done is impressive in its scope and objectivity. He does not fail to point out that Hispanics were relegated to low-status positions for many decades, and he does tend to compare Euro-American populations to Hispanic fairly frequently, leading to the possibility of subtle bias in his approach. His description of the Bracero worker program, however, is objective and the reader comes away with a sense of impartiality on balance.
There seems some tendency on the part of Patterson to emphasize negative aspects of the Hispanic presence in Riverside County particularly when he refers to chaotic practices in hiring and immigration regulations. This might well be expected from a writer with a non-Hispanic name, and his more astute readers will doubtless take this into consideration when assessing Patterson’s otherwise well-researched article.