Media glare can enrich tennis pros yet imperil mental health

Media glare can enrich tennis pros yet imperil mental health

Tennis pros can leverage social media to win lucrative endorsements. But they can also be the target of abuse that threatens their mental health. Naomi Osaka reacts after missing a point during a tennis match in Madrid, Spain, 9 May 2019. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)...

Social media platforms, not mainstream outlets, shape how many young people see the world. Naomi Osaka, one of the world’s best and most recognizable tennis players, has skillfully leveraged social media to build a sizable and loyal fan base. When she snubbed the mainstream media at the 2021 French Open, many of her followers glimpsed only a vulnerable young woman, harassed and persecuted by the mainstream media. Rachel Roth of The Hewitt School has provided a more nuanced look at Osaka’s relationship with the press, which has both hounded and enriched her. Roth interviewed former top tennis pro Patrick McEnroe and a Columbia University professor to produce a well-rounded account of Osaka’s rocky rapport with journalists.

Exercise: Ask your students to choose a social media star from entertainment or sport and look at how the image of themselves that they cultivate on social media compares with coverage in mainstream media.

Listen: How can we curb misinformation & defend free speech?

Listen: How can we curb misinformation & defend free speech?

The world is awash in misinformation. But can we rein it in without eroding free speech? Our podcast explores this thorny issue facing our societies. News Decoder · Let's Talk About It This story won second prize in News Decoder’s 12th Storytelling...

Many young people find it difficult to write. They can struggle to convey their thoughts and can get bogged down in convoluted sentences. Our recommendation is to write as though you are explaining an issue to your family over dinner – to keep it simple. That’s one reason a podcast can offer a more natural way to examine an issue, even one as thorny as free speech. In their engaging podcast, Chloe Patricof and Anabella Paige of The Hewitt School speak naturally about a tough topic – misinformation – and turn to the managing editor of a U.S. media company to explore whether government regulation is an answer. Such a conversation can be an alluring way to delve into a knotty issue.

Exercise: Have your students pair up and record a conversation about a polarizing issue in their community, making sure to try to convey the views of all legitimate sides.

Helping LGBTQIA+ immigrants endure adversity in the U.S.

Helping LGBTQIA+ immigrants endure adversity in the U.S.

Transgender and queer immigrants can face hardship in detention and when settling in the U.S. Here’s a group that helps LGBTQIA+ migrants. Protesters at a rally jointly organized by the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project in New York on 4 July 2021. (Photo...

Relocating and integrating to a new country is difficult on its own, but individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual are even more vulnerable, particularly in immigrant detention centers. Hanna Rahman, a student at The Hewitt School in New York City, reports on one organization’s work to aid, empower and advocate for LGBTQIA+ detainees and undocumented individuals.

The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) provides health, educational, legal and emotional assistance to the LGBTQIA+ migrant community, making sure to involve the community in planning and activities. QDEP’s grassroots model and inclusive strategy inspired Rahman to consider her own perception of how community service is organized.

Exercise: Ask students to compare large aid organizations such as UNICEF or the UN High Commission for Refugees with smaller grassroots organizations like QDEP. How are they similar and how are they different? What do they think is a more effective and equitable approach to humanitarian assistance?

COVID-19 bares U.S. healthcare flaws. Is it time for reform?

COVID-19 bares U.S. healthcare flaws. Is it time for reform?

More people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. than in any other nation. Will the suffering breathe new life into efforts to reform a flawed system? Protesters in support of a single-payer healthcare system, New York City, 24 July 2017 (EPA/JUSTIN LANE) This is the...

The U.S. healthcare system is complicated. But that did not deter Maya Barr of The Hewitt School from examining the system’s shortcomings, which have been exposed during COVID-19. For her research, Barr dug into data from the Census Bureau, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pew Research Center and Johns Hopkins, as well as reports by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Hospital Association. Barr weighs the pros and cons regarding a single-payer system in her balanced, forward-looking report.

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