research by King's College, London showing that 11-year-olds measured
in cognitive tests were "on average between
two and three years behind where they were 15 years ago" a number of
leading academics, child experts and authors have made a strong attack
on the combination of junk food, marketing, over-competitive schooling
and electronic entertainment.
In a 110 signature letter to the Daily Telegraph, which includes Philip Pullman, author of the soon to be major film His Dark Materials,
Wilson, the children's laureate, her predecessor Michael Morpurgo,
Baroness Greenfield, the director of the Royal Institution and Dr
Penelope Leach, the child care expert, they claim the combination is a
major contributing factor for a significant increase in childhood
depression and behavioural problems.
Caoimhe Butterly, an Irish social justice activist and one of Time Magazine's Heroes of 2003
is heading to the Lebanon next week. She is aiming to get more
impartial and unbiased reportage from the ground of the desperate
situation in the country, amidst western indifference and what she
describes as 'sanitised' reporting in the mainstream media.
Having spoken with people she had met in Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut and the South of
Lebanon last year over the past few days, she has listened with "growing frustration to
their accounts of the disparity between what they are witnessing as the
Israeli bombardment of Lebanon intensifies, and the mainstream media's
sanitised, biased reporting of the situation". The Guardian reports
that Caoimhe has regularly stood in the line of fire between Israeli
tanks, and Palestinian civilians. In November 2002 she was hit by an
Israeli bullet as she tried to lead a group of Palestinian children to
Edinburgh's Filmhouse Cinema is showing a short season of films to coincide with the International Press Institute's World Congress taking place in Scotland's capital city. The cinema will screen four films showing the inside world of journalism and its ability to stand up to corrupt politicians and expose the truth. The IPI's World Congress is being held between May 27 and May 30.