Study of health messages and North Philadelphia Latinos

“Interpretations of Health Messages among North Philadelphia Latinos,” a study of how Philadelphia Puerto Ricans interpret media messages about smoking, was recently concluded. This project was also called “Speaking of Health/Hablando de Salud.” It was funded through a Pennsylvania Department of Health grant to Temple from the money that the tobacco industry is paying states to settle health-related lawsuits. The study was directed by BTMM (now MSP) faculty member Nancy Morris, as Principal Investigator, with BTMM professor Renee Hobbs as Co-Principal Investigator. Over the course of the four-year project, SCT graduate students Dawn Gilpin, Melissa Lenos, Suman Mishra, Pamela Poe, Tom Polcari, and Silvia Valkova also participated in this research.

Interpretations of Health Messages

among North Philadelphia Latinos

This research project examined North Philadelphia Latino residents’ perceptions of media messages about smoking and tobacco.

We examined interpretations by family members aged 9 and up of various media messages about smoking: two magazine ads for cigarettes, a smoking scene from a Hollywood movie, and a television Public Service Announcement discouraging cigarette sales to minors.

This study focused on Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community. The Puerto Rican population on the U.S. Mainland presents particular issues concerning smoking. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control (2004), the percentage of Puerto Ricans who smoke is greater than that of any other Latino group.

This project is funded, in part, under a grant with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department specifically disclaims responsibility for any analyses, interpretations or conclusions.

Research Design


  • To examine the relationship between smoking behaviors/attitudes and media use of North Philadelphia Puerto Ricans
  • To examine how media messages about smoking are interpreted by North Philadelphia Puerto Ricans

Method: In-home Interviews

  • Interviewing took place between April and August 2005.
  • Individual questionnaires gathered demographic data and quantifiable views about smoking prevalence and behaviors of each family member.
  • Family focus group interviews gathered qualitative data on interpretations of media materials concerning smoking.


Availability sample of 36 Latino families (141 individuals) recruited from the area of Philadelphia with the greatest concentration of Latinos. See map below.

Map of Philadelphia's Latino population

Useful Links

Taller Puertorriqueño
Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations (Concilio)
National Latino Council on Alcohol & Tobacco Prevention

Center for Media Literacy
American Legacy Foundation


Key Preliminary Findings

  • All study participants were aware of the health risks of smoking
  • Participants had exaggerated perceptions of smoking prevalence in the general population
  • Children seem more likely to transmit anti-smoking messages to parents than the reverse
  • Subgroup differences among various Latino populations play a role in smoking perceptions
  • Some participants did not notice or misinterpreted the Surgeon General’s warning label in print cigarette advertisements

Dissemination of Findings

Click on the links below for explanations of the findings.

Dissemination of findings to the local community

Dissemination of findings to the academic community


Project Personnel

  • Principal investigator: Nancy Morris, PhD, Temple University Assoc. Professor of Broadcasting, Telecommunications & Mass Media
  • Co-principal investigator: Renee Hobbs, EdD, Temple University Professor of Broadcasting, Telecommunications & Mass Media
  • Project manager: Sobeida Salomon, PhD
  • Interviewers: Miguel Hernández, Maria Boswell, Sara Serrano, Teresa Sicard Archambeault

Community Advisory Board

The purpose of this group was to help us ensure that the process and results of the study were responsive to community needs and served to benefit the community. The Community Advisory Board was consulted by project researchers throughout the study.

Members of the Community Advisory Board

Louis M. Bonilla, M.A., M.P.A.
Assistant Director, Office of School Health Services, School District Of Philadelphia

Lucy Feria

Regional Superintendent, Central East Region, School District of Philadelphia

Jaime Figueras

Program Director, Concilio (Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations)

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SMC journey begins at annual school meeting

The first freshman class of the School of Media and Communication gathered Aug. 24 in Mitten Hall for the annual school meeting.

It’s a tradition that gathers all incoming students prior to the University Convocation to allow them to meet with faculty from their majors and listen to advice from a current student and a recent graduate.

story continues below photo gallery

Communications major Jaimee Swift told the class of 2016 the person standing before them is a completely different person than the one who attended convocation three years ago.

She said Temple assisted her in becoming confident and determined and “proud of who I am.”

“Each of you will go on your own unique and distinctive journey,” she said. “This is your story.”

Charisma Williams, COMM ’06, said she almost never went to college and was accepted into Temple just 72 hours before her first class.

She told the incoming students to realize their abnormalities and see them as gifts. “Abnormality helps you to see the world differently.”

Williams expressed how profound she thinks the areas of study within SMC truly are. As an example, she told the future journalists and broadcasters that their “words etch the present in stone.” Those in public relations, advertising or social media will help influence the way people think, she added.

But she let the students know that the journey to learn how to wield that power is not an easy one.

“This may have been the hardest thing that you have ever done. Do it anyway,” Williams said.

The students seem ready for the task at hand.

Luke Harrington, a journalism major from Delaware County, Pa., said he loves writing and always wants to know what’s going on around him, so being a journalist feels like a great fit. “I can’t wait to get out of college and get a job and start out working in the real world,” he said, and an SMC education is “the next important stepping stone on the way to that goal.”

Media Studies and Production major Akasha Maples of Jersey City, N.J., hopes to enter the world of sports broadcasting and break down gender barriers along the way.

“I want to be that one girl to change the game.”


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SMC students, alumni up for Mid-Atlantic Emmy awards

Several alumni and students from Temple University’s School of Media and Communication have been nominated for a 2012 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award. The 30th annual awards gala is set for Sept. 22 at the Philadelphia Hilton.

SMC nominees include:

Newscast – Evening- Medium Markets (markets 39 & smaller) 
“CBS 21 News: Remembering Joe Paterno”- WHP CBS21
Pamela Kemp, RTF ’85, director

“69 News at 10:30”- WFMZ-TV
Wendy Davis, RTF ’94, anchor

Investigative Report-Single Story or Series

“Check In At Your Own Risk”- CBS3
Andrea Korff, RTF ’82, photographer

Feature News Report-Serious Feature

“Baby Stolen Online?”- NBC Philadelphia
Edward Dress, JOUR ’82, investigative producer
Michael Hickey, BTMM ’03, video editor

“Venomous Snakes for Sale”- FOX29
Sean Bernard, RTF ’97, photographer/editor

Feature News Report- Series

“Gift Receipt Rip-Off”- CBS3
Jennifer Coleman, RTF ’95, producer
Andrea Korff, RTF ’82, photographer

Sports- Program Feature/Segment
“Temple TUFF: Behind the Scenes with Temple Football”- 20/20 Visual Media
Robert Czyzewicz, BTMM ’10, executive producer
Patrick Rosenbaum, BTMM ’11, executive producer

Sports- Program Series
“Temple Basketball: Above the Rim”- 20/20 Visual Media
Robert Czyzewicz, BTMM ’10, executive producer
Patrick Rosenbaum, BTMM ’11, executive producer

“Temple TUFF: Behind the Scenes with Temple Football”- 20/20 Visual Media
Robert Czyzewicz, BTMM ’10, executive producer
Patrick Rosenbaum, BTMM ’11, executive producer

Photographer- Program
Robert Czyzewicz, BTMM ’10/Patrick Rosenbaum, BTMM ’11- 20/20 Visual Media

College Production Newscast
“Temple Update Spring 2012- Show 6”- Temple University
Isabel Garcia, JOUR, executive producer
Kristina Leon, JOUR, supervising producer

College Production- News: General Assignment
“Mayor Nutter Reelection- Temple Update”- Temple University
Megan McNerney, JOUR, reporter

College Production- Sports
“From Temple to the NBA”- Temple University
Lindsey Bitler, BTMM ’12, producer

College Student Production-  Long Form: Fiction/Non-Fiction
“Study Away: South Africa”- Temple University
Lauren Hertzler, JOUR, producer

Click here for more information.

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A story of Olympic proportions

A team of Temple University students and alumni will bring the experience surrounding the London Olympics into the homes of Philadelphians through TUTV, and TUTV’s social media sites.

Five students from the School of Media and Communication and the Center for the Arts will be among the legions of reporters documenting one of the world’s biggest events. But instead of focusing on the sporting events and the medal count, the students will do stories on the impact the Olympics has on the city as part of the “London Olympics Television Workshop,” a course supported by the Kal and Lucille Rudman Media Production Center.

They will create content for a 30-minute television program that begins July 26 and will air each Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. on TUTV throughout the Olympics. The show, “Temple @ the London Olympics,” will be hosted from inside Annenberg Hall’s TV studio 3 by a team of students and alumni. The crew in London will file their stories in advance, but join the in-studio crew live via Skype.

“What I’m looking forward to most is being back in Studio 3 with my peers, because this time it feels like it is on a much larger scale,” says Lindsay Keeler, MSP ’12, who will be one of the in-studio anchors. “Being able to put on a show centered around the Olympics, one of the most watched events on television, and having it air in the fourth largest television market in the country is an opportunity that for someone my age is a dream come true.”

Two of the students on the ground in London, Film and Media Arts majors Jake Rasmussen and Ryan Geffert, are getting their first taste of practical journalism through this workshop experience.

“I have never made a journalism-type news piece, so this will be a challenge for me. However, it is a challenge I am willing to take,” Rasmussen says. “It can improve my editing skills and expand my knowledge of video making.”

The team members, who are supervised in London by Assistant Professor William Mooney, have been working since May to plan the details of their project, from story ideas to equipment needs. Before their departure, they recorded stories with Temple and local connections. Journalism students Hope Janelle Berninghausen and Isabel Garcia spent a day at the equestrian Olympic trials in Devon.

“Preparing for London has been very exciting. We have been out shooting some stories and making contacts for while we are in London,” Berninghausen said. “I am looking forward to just being there and the hustle and bustle of all the people and news organizations.”

Paul Gluck, associate professor of Media Studies and Production and general manager of TUTV, says the students’ time in London will be invaluable.

“This experience will help them cultivate strategies, tactics and techniques that will serve them will for the rest of their professional lives,” Gluck said. “The sheer scale of the story will capture their imaginations, while offering an incredible challenge.”

The Crew

It takes dozen of people to produce a show like this on TUTV. Here are all of the people who have been an important part of the process:

Quinton Bosman
Isabel Garcia
Hope Janelle Berninghausen
Ryan Geffert
Jake Rasmussen

Lindsey Bitler, MSP ‘12
Lindsay Keeler, MSP ‘12
Keaton Nichols

Rob Czyzewicz, MSP ‘10
Kevin Downs
Francis Hilario
Elizabeth Iezzi, COMM ‘12
Derrick Q. Lewis
Kevin Manley
Aria Niayz, MSP ‘12
Ankit Patel
Matt Repino

Professor Jack Klotz
Vince Leonard

Professor Amy Caples
Jeff Cronin
George Cummings
Assistant Dean Don Heller
Bruce Byker James
Jack McCarthy
Professor Patrick Murphy
Bella Pezzati
Rob Velez

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Seven new faculty members join SMC’s ranks

You might see a few unfamiliar faces around the School of Media and Communication this year, as SMC welcomes seven new professors to the faculty. Here’s your chance to learn a little bit about them before the first day of class.

Murali Balaji, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Media Studies and Production

Specializing in critical media studies, namely political economy and the study of masculinity, Balaji spent the previous three years at Lincoln University, including two as the chair of the mass communications program. A former award-winning journalist, Balaji has written the critically acclaimed The Professor and The Pupil (Nation Books, 2011), which examines the lives of W.E.B Du Bois and Paul Robeson, and has co-edited two others, Desi Rap (Lexington/Rowman & Littlefield, 2008) and Global Masculinities and Manhood (University of Illinois, 2011). He is the co-founder and former executive director of The Voices of Philadelphia, a media education organization dedicated to citizen journalism and media fluency training among marginalized populations within the city.

Guillermo Caliendo, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Strategic Communication

Receiving an MA in communication studies from California State University, Los Angeles, and a PhD in rhetoric with a concentration in media studies from the University of Pittsburgh, Caliendo’s research focuses on discourse analysis dealing with race/ethnicity and gender/sexuality. Besides serving in various editorial boards, he has published numerous book reviews and chapter contributions. Most recently, his article “MLK Boulevard: Material Forms of Memory and the Social Contestation of Race Signification” appeared in the Journal of Black Studies. He is currently working on “Disciplining Sexuality: Milk, Cultural Amnesia, and the Rhetoric of Sexual Containment.” At Temple, he will teach Persuasion, Rhetorical Theory and Political Communication

Joseph Glennon, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Advertising

For the last 15 years, Glennon has been a highly sought after copywriter and creative consultant working with both advertising agencies and directly with clients. He has taught courses in a range of advertising topics, specializing in the art of copywriting. His professional writing career began as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, working with the producers of Cheers, Frasier, Home Improvement and other comedies. His work also included feature films. Glennon is a native of Boston and an unapologetic member of the Red Sox nation.

Stacey Harpster, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Advertising

Since receiving her MBA in marketing from the Temple University Fox School of Business and Management and her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising from the Temple University School of Media and Communication, Harpster has served a diverse list of clients in industries including: automotive, hospitality and tourism, consumer goods, homeopathy, fashion, higher education, finance and technology. She began her career at the Temple University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), where she founded and led the SBDC Creative Department. After the SBDC, she moved on to hold senior level account management positions in various Philadelphia firms, including Kanter International (now Finch Brands) and Brownstein Group.

Adrienne Shaw, Assistant Professor

Department of Media Studies and Production

Since receiving her PhD in communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Shaw has held postdoctoral posts at the Mudra Institute for Communication Ahmedabad, the University of Pittsburgh and Colorado State University. Her research focuses on popular culture, the politics of representation, cultural production and qualitative audience research. Her primary areas of interest are video games, gaming culture, representations of gender and sexuality and the construction of identity and communities in relation to media consumption.

Kristine Weatherston, Assistant Professor (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Media Studies and Production

Weatherston is a PhD candidate in the interdisciplinary Media, Art and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her interests combine theory and practice in areas of video production including genre studies, screenwriting and literary adaptation, documentary and nonfiction, producing and directing for film and television, as well as editing and post-production design.

Laura Zaylea, Assistant Professor, (Teaching/Instructional)

Department of Media Studies and Production

Since receiving her MFA in film from the San Francisco Art Institute, Zaylea has served as a film lecturer in the Department of Communication at Georgia State University. Zaylea has written/directed a feature film, has created many short films and media art installations and is currently converting her award-winning screenplay into a multimedia digital novel. Her research and creative production interests include experimental film making and media production, LGBTQ media and the process of adapting traditional media into new media forms and formats. Her feature film Hold The Sun was awarded Best Avant-garde Film from the 2010 Amsterdam Film Festival and her screenplay Closer Than Rust was one of the winners of the 2012 Atlanta International Film Festival Screenplay Competition.


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Professor Morris to study Chilean protest music through Fulbright award

Professor Nancy Morris, MSP, has received a Fulbright Scholar Award to continue her study of Chilean New Song music, a genre that became the soundtrack to 1960s social movements in the South American country.

“The story of New Song has yet to be told, and there is a need to collect oral histories of key participants before it is too late,” Morris said.

She will spend the fall semester in Chile (where she will also teach at the University of Chile) and then return to Philadelphia in the spring to write up her research.

“The musicians’ claims that they were combating cultural imperialism piqued my interest and led ultimately to my academic specialization in international media,” she said.

Why does music unite?

With 50 years of history to examine, Morris has decided to focus on the music’s ability to unite people more closely behind a cause.

“The genre reflects and interacts with Chilean political events of the past 40 years,” she says. It has pervaded, “a Marxist presidency, a military coup d’etat and subsequent 18-year dictatorship, the return to democracy and the ongoing massive student protests of the past year.”

This fall, she plans to speak with the musicians, promoters and producers of New Song, including some of the people she interviewed while studying abroad in Chile in 1983.

“I expect these interviews to be fruitful, as these are thoughtful and articulate artists whose vocation is to express their ideas,” she said. “The founders of New Song have been involved with this music for over 40 years, and those younger musicians who allied with this musical current did so with conscious motivations. In all cases, their perspectives have matured, allowing a degree of reflection that simply was not feasible in decades past.”

Watch New Song in action at this 2011 demonstration for greater government support for education.

Click here to view the embedded video.

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The Hunger Games symposium discusses the messages behind the cultural phenomenon

Osei Alleyne encouraged the devoted fans of The Hunger Games who gathered May 23 at Temple University Center City to “put your three-sign up.”

They all responded appropriately by mimicking the sign of defiance and unity that Katniss Everdeen, the main character in the hit book and film, uses to communicate with the people of Panem. The audience enjoyed taking its turn flashing the symbol they saw as a sign of their hero taking power from her oppressive government.

photos by Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

Then Alleyne, an anthropology PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania, showed the photo of Olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their black-gloved fists during a medal ceremony in Mexico City in 1968. The similarity was immediately apparent.

“Put your three-sign up again,” said Alleyne. “It feels a bit different, doesn’t it?”

This moment of connection between the themes of The Hunger Games and the real world was one of many revealed at “Our the Odds in Our Favor?: The Hunger Games on Fame, Fashion and the Future of Humanity,” a symposium co-hosted by Center for Media and Information Literacy at Temple’s School of Media and Communication  and the Center for Media and Destiny.

The Hunger Games is already true,” said Associate Professor Barry Vacker, MSP.

Alleyne and Vacker were joined by Assistant Professor Sherri Hope Culver, MSP, as well as Leah Wilson, editor of The Girl Who Was On Fire and Angela Cirucci, MMC, an adjunct professor at Lincoln University.

During her turn at the podium, Cirucci compared Katniss to Kim Kardashian. She said both have to appeal to the public for success, both need to keep their sponsors happy and both keep their relationships – whether real or staged – in the spotlight.

Culver said The Hunger Games is so popular because people sense something familiar in the story – “a comfortable, secure, paradigm-affirming familiarity” of the worst things we watch on the news and reality television.

As director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy, Culver is well-versed in the relationship children have with media. She takes pause when she hears that young girls aspire to be Katniss.

“They picture themselves as the teen hero; the savior of their towns,” she said, an ignore the horrors of her fight to the death. “As a mom, I’m simply concerned.”

But she admits that the element of danger is vital to the story’s success. “Danger is actually an attraction in itself. So we read and we watch.”


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Professor Morris, MSP, MMC, presents conference paper in Uruguay

Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Nancy Morris presented “De lo normativo a lo practico: Nuevas direcciones para a investigacion en comunicacion participativa” (“From the normative to the practical: New directions for research in participatory communication”), co-authored with Silvio Waisbord, at the conference of the Latin American Association of Communication Researchers (ALAIC), May 9-11 in Montevideo, Uruguay (details about the conference are here). While in Montevideo, Morris was also an invited participant in a public roundtable discussion, sponsored by a Uruguyan think tank, on the role of communciation in development processes (details here).

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BTMMies honor best in broadcasting, web, more

The Department of Media Studies and Production held its annual student awards ceremony, the BTMMies, in Annenberg Hall’s Studio 1 on May 2. Here are a list of winners with links (when available) to the winning entries.

Best Sports Package

1st place – Luis Cruz, John Petrini and Adam DeLucia – Sterling Makes Champions

2nd place – Johnny Mehler and Ankit Patel – Anthony Lee Profile

3rd place – Lindsey Bitler and Paul Bruno – Rollouts & Temple Traditions


Best Audio Production

1st place – Regina Medeiros and Samuel Higgins – All in All, It’s Just…

2nd place – Todd Shaeffer – PSA: Strangers

3rd place – Mihir Patel – Ambler Commercial


Best Website

1st place – Kevin Otte –

2nd place – Brett Statman –

3rd place – Zach Fedor –


Best Research Paper

1st place – Kaitlin Lavinder – Product Placement is Old News

2nd place – Zach Fedor – Intellectual Property Defined: The Problem with Modern Copyright and Patent Laws


Best Feature/News Package

1st place – Lindsay Keeler and Matt Repino – Battle for the Budget

[vimeo 39381814 w=550 h=406]

2nd place – Megan McNerney – Philadelphia Mayoral Election

3rd place – Alexandra Gallo and Ankit Patel – Touchdown Toss


Best Music Production

1st place – Kara Koser – Novacaine

2nd place – Jeff Sarafinas – Call You Mine

3rd place – Matt Pasquinucci – Bridges by Mr. Surgeon General


Best Studio/On Location Production

1st place – OwlSports Update (produced by Lauren Dowd and Stanley Wielosik)

2nd place – Temple Update (produced by Isabel Garcia, Matt Repino, Megan McNerney, Luis Cruz, Dana Stemrich, Antoine Hall, Charnee Smith and Noelle Roby


3rd place – 4 Girls and a Gay Guy (produced by Dana Stemrich, Abigail Camilo, Jenise Ortiz, Steph Hudson, Syketa Harris, Matthew Palmer and Taylor Shields)


Best Web Production

1st place – Lindsey Bitler – Flyers Kids Day


Best Video Editing

1st place – Kerrin Simmons – Amelie Music Montage

[vimeo 38662412 w=550 h=413]

2nd place – Russell Lash – Hero

3rd place – Seth Wozniak – The Game of Clue


Best Media Analysis/Critique

1st place – Julie Zeglen – “Vogue: Content, Advertisements and the Key to Fantastic”

2nd place – Lindsey Bitler – “Sports Are Twittering Away”

3rd place – Julie Zeglen – Class, Gender and “Waldorf Salad”


Best Script

1st place – Dominique Spooner – “See No Evil”

2nd place – Alyssa Mericle – “Love Kills”

3rd place – Lindsey Bitler & Paul Bruno – Rollouts and A Temple Tradition


Best Critical Video

1st place – Sam Rothermel – Into the Hyper Real Byway of Self-Surveillance

2nd place – Tim Saunders, Charles Abel, Adam Reicherter –Memes by Rebecca Black

3rd place – Amy Evans, Tony Boehm, Mary Theresa Martin – Facedeath: The Consequences of Social Media


Best Business Plan

1st place – Riley Loula – Company: Emergent Media Solutions

2nd place – Jessica Smith – Company: The Social Network, LLC


Best Long Form

1st place – Russell Lash – Glamp: The Movie

2nd place – Jake Rasmussen – The Grog Show

3rd place – Riley Loula – Bird’s Eye View

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After a life in TV, Lew Klein donates papers to Temple – Philadelphia Inquirer

When Lew Klein started working in broadcasting, television was not yet a household word. After a career that has run the gamut, Klein has donated his papers to Temple Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center. Margery Sly, director of the SCRC, said many of the 10,000 items would be digitized and posted online. Klein and his wife worked closely with Temple archivists for about two years to gather the material.

Click here to read the full story.

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