Facebook Twitter

PMC in the News

Access to family planning alone won’t stop the population boom

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Access to family planning alone won’t stop the population boom
See: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-145223/access-family-planning-alone-wont-stop-population-boom

Beatrice Khalayi Shibunga is a community health worker and family planning champion, working in the slums of Korogocho in Nairobi. She goes door-to-door to offer women in her community family planning information. In her work experience, she has met women who use contraceptives but without the knowledge or consent of their husbands.

“Because some men are unco-operative, some women are forced to use contraceptives without the knowledge of their husbands,” she says.

Elizabeth Lule, director of family planning, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, confirms this: “Injectables (contraceptives) are popular because it can be used covertly because men may not give consent to their wives to use contraceptives.”

During a forum organised recently to assess the progress that Kenya has made towards expanding contraceptive access and options to its citizens, experts spoke of the need to expand access to family planning options so as to improve the lives of women and infants.

That is an excellent idea. However, from Shibunga’s revelation, it seems that the population problem is more complex than simply providing more contraceptive options.

In a speech last year at the University of Nairobi, Bill Ryerson, president of Population Media Centre in the US, said changing the current situation where married couples are still not using family planning as a means of controlling their families will take more than provision of more family planning methods.

Abraham Rugo from the Institute of Economic Affairs says up to now, many Kenyans don’t realise the connection between family size and development. He says this is so because it does not make a difference if you are poor. However, he says the government should come up with programmes that motivate people to have small families.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-145223/access-family-planning-alone-wont-stop-population-boom

East LA Homegirl Goes Hollywood

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Evangeline Ordaz is no ordinary Hollywood show runner. When she’s not teaching constitutional law or rehabbing historic buildings, she’s writing for a racy soap opera about . East Los High was a big summer success for the TV-on-demand website Hulu, and much of the credit for keeping the show real goes to its multitalented main writer.

Ordaz was born and bred in East Los Angeles — East Los, as it’s known. She still lives there, and you can hear the neighborhood cadence in her voice.

“You know, I grew up saying things like, ‘Oh, we’re going to go down her house’; ‘Al lay’ instead of ‘el lay’ [LA],” she says from her home in Highland Park. “We elongate our vowels like crazy. So it’s like, ‘Brendaaa, com’ere!’ It sounds like a whine to everybody else, but to us, it’s just the way you talk.”

Though she’s tried to lose the intonation and lingo, Ordaz used it to great effect for the dialogue she wrote for East Los High

To see the full article, click here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/09/13/218943510/east-la-homegirl-goes-hollywood

Soap Operas Can Save the World

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Pacific Standard

July 2, 2013

Meet Jessie, a shy Latina teen in East Los Angeles who just wants to survive chemistry class, help out her single mom, and escape high school still a member of what she and her best friend call “the virgins’ club.” High-school society, unfortunately, has other plans.

Jessie is at the winter ball when she steals a dance with Jacob—the super- hot quarterback of the football team. Sparks fly, and Jessie is soon caught in a tempestuous love triangle with Jacob and his queen-bee girlfriend, Vanessa. So when an iPhone sex tape of Vanessa starts circulating, who could be to blame but Jessie?

Welcome to East Los High, a soap opera for young adults that debuts this June on Hulu. Filmed in L.A. and written in a slangy mix of English and Spanish, the show follows a handful of Latino teenagers as they preen, flirt, and brawl their way through high school. Between dance-offs, drive-bys, and grinding hip-hop soundtrack, casual viewers might think they were watching MTV.

But East Los High is funded by Population Media Center, a Vermont-based non-profit that produces “pro-social” radio dramas in developing countries around the world. The shows address issues like family planning, maternal health, and HIV transmission. East Los High is Population Media’s first foray into both America and the Web. Whether the series bombs or goes viral depends on how well it weaves its do-right messages together with believable characters and compelling screenwriting.

To see the full article, click here: http://www.psmag.com/culture/soap-operas-can-save-the-world-58992/

‘East Los High’: Not Just Another Teen Soap

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


July 11, 2013

Despite the fact that it’s been generating a lot of buzz, Devious Maids is just not that interesting. Five Latina maids — is it a landmark for Latina actresses or another example of how the media stereotype Latinos? Either way, the relationship between hypersexualized domestic workers and their pretentious employers does not make for compelling television.

I was surprised to find that East Los High, a show that is garnering just a fraction of the attention, is actually much better.

The show — the first English language series with an all-Latino cast, exclusively broadcast on Hulu — is set in a gritty East Los Angeles neighborhood where calling another woman naca (ghetto) is the ultimate insult. It features a fictional group of L.A. teenagers fighting for status and trying not to get burned.

Its creators, Carlos Portugal and Kathleen Bedoya, wanted to create a realistic depiction of teen pregnancy among Latinas. But despite its after-school-special roots, East Lost High feels surprisingly real.

To see the full article, click here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/07/11/200730330/East-Los-High-Not-Just-Another-Teen-Soap

‘East Los High’ On Hulu Is First English Language Show With All Latino Cast

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Huffington Post

June 6, 2013

The video service Hulu is making history with the first English-language show with an all-Latino cast — the just premiered dramatic series “East Los High” about Hispanic students in a Los Angeles high school.

With Hollywood quickly acknowledging the potentially lucrative Latino entertainment market, the 24-episode scripted drama marks Hulu’s entry into the Hispanic viewer war – while throwing out old industry typecast notions about Latinos.

Producer/director Carlos Portugal has specifically given his writers three “no’s” for the series.

“The cast of “East Los High” will have no gardeners, no gang members and no maids,” says Portugal.

The series follows the lives of Latino teens and Hulu promises “there’s no shortage of drama.”

To see the full article, click here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/east-los-high-hulu_n_3395762.html

LatinoBuzz: EAST LOS HIGH a TV Series! Exclusive Interviews!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Indie Wire

May 7, 2013

Last week, ‘East Los High’ (ELH), a project we’ve been tracking since last year announced that they had signed a deal to exclusively premiere the show on Hulu.com, making it the first English language show with an all Latino cast on the site. In a reality where the market has become saturated with projects that lack originality and heart, writer/director Carlos Portugal set out to create a show that realistically reflected the lives of teenagers from East L.A. that was to be told from an American Latino perspective. Portugal and his team of writers engaged organizations such as Advocates for Youth, Voto Latino and the California Family Health Council in developing this 26 episode series. Now that it’s ready to premiere on June 3rd, with new episodes dropping weeknights, LatinoBuzz caught up with Carlos and actors Alicia Sixtos, Janine Larina and Jorge Diaz and invited them to share their experiences in the making of ELH.

To see the full article, please click here: http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine/latinobuzz-east-los-high-a-web-series-exclusive-interviews

Saliwansai Radio Drama

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Soul Beat Africa

January 23, 2013

In February 2012, Population Media Centre (PMC), with funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), started production on a 208-episode radio drama in Sierra Leone to promote family planning. The programme, called Saliwansai, addresses such issues as preventing and repairing obstetric fistula, ending female genital mutilation, stopping gender-based violence, and preventing HIV infection.

Communication Strategies:

Saliwansai, which literally means puppet on a string, was chosen as the name for the drama because the characters, like puppets, can easily be pulled one way or the other. According to PMC, as the stories unfold, the audience is meant to feel ‘the pulls of the string’ or in other words, the pressures and challenges of life that the characters face, and be on the edge of their seats as the characters try to find their way. The 208 episodes of Saliwansai will run twice a week for a period of 2 years on the following radio stations: Citizen Radio FM 103.7, Radio Kiss 104 FM, Radio Mankneh FM 95.1, and Eastern Radio.

Saliwansai follows the lives of four main characters: Abu, Hingah, Gibo, and Wara, all with their own unique stories, yet over time it is revealed how each of their lives intersect. Abu is a school dropout who is being pressured to marry and have lots of children. Hingah attends the university and is very studious, however, all is threatened by his new relationship with Monica who introduces him to various temptations he would otherwise avoid. Gibo is an impressionable young man who looks up to his abusive older brother. Wara is a young girl who is determined to find her mother and the truth behind her disappearance.

According to PMC, the project is designed to spread knowledge around population and reproductive health issues through entertainment-education. This begins with formative research to design the long-running radio drama followed by quantitative and qualitative research to measure and evaluate the social effects of the drama.

To see the full article, please click here: http://www.comminit.com/africa/content/saliwansai-radio-drama

Population Media Center Offers Solution to Unsustainable Population Growth in New Environmental Book

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

The San Francisco Chronicle

January 15, 2013

Rapid population growth on a planet already suffering from human induced climate change, species extinctions and ocean acidification is not helpful. In a new environmental book, Life on The Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation, Bill Ryerson, founder of the non-profit organization Population Media Center, explains how population growth can be slowed using human-rights enhancing, progressive strategies of entertainment-education.

Founder and President of Population Media Center, Bill Ryerson, is a featured author in a new book, Life on The Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation (University of Georgia, 2012).

The book, an edited anthology, aspires to reignite a robust discussion of population issues among environmentalists, environmental studies scholars, policymakers, and the general public. Some of the leading voices in the American environmental movement restate the case that population growth is a major force behind many of our most serious ecological problems, including global climate change, habitat loss and species extinctions, air and water pollution, and food and water scarcity.

Ryerson’s chapter is titled “How Do We Solve the Population Problem?” It explains that the major barriers to contraceptive use around the world include traditional desires for large families, religious opposition and unwarranted fear of health side-effects. This conclusion contrasts with the more common idea that contraceptive use remains low in developing countries primarily due to supply chain constraints.

“Of course, high-quality supply chains for contraceptives are crucial, but Demographic and Health Surveys carried out in numerous developing countries reveal that lack of access is infrequently cited as a reason for non-use of contraception,” says Ryerson. “Rather, the major obstacles are cultural and informational barriers.”

Currently, global population is expanding by an estimated 231,000 people per day — the net result of approximately 385,000 births minus 154,000 deaths. In turn, this results in over 84 million additional people on Earth per year. This annual population growth is equal to the total current population sizes of France, Libya, Singapore, Rwanda and Qatar.

“Such rapid population growth on a planet already suffering from human induced climate change, species extinctions and ocean acidification is not helpful. Global population stabilization should be a priority for international sustainable development programs and initiatives,” says Ryerson.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Population-Media-Center-Offers-Solution-to-4195270.php

Overgrowth? Undergrowth? A Vermont Paper of Record Decides to Ask

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Thanks to George Plumb for pointing out that the Burlington Free Press has tackled the population issue, as of December 16th, 2012, with a set of 7 articles. Below is the link to the main article, from which you can access the remaining six — including an interview with PMC President, Bill Ryerson.

Overgrowth? Undergrowth?
Chittenden County mulls an influx of humans
By Joel Banner, Burlington Free Press

See: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20121216/GREEN/312160005/Overgrowth-Undergrowth-Chittenden-County-mulls-an-influx-humans?nclick_check=1

Brace yourselves for less elbow room. Or, conversely, prepare to celebrate yet another population growth spurt in Chittenden County.

How should we welcome the prediction of 50,000 more humans in our midst during the next 25 years?

Carefully and with optimism, advises the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, which recently published projections of population increase in its wide-ranging study of regional growth.

Economically and culturally, the county stands to benefit from a jolt of fresh blood, according to the commission’s Environment, Community, Opportunity and Sustainability (ECOS) project.

Other voices sound a more cautious note. Population experts and wildlife scientists predict that another significant uptick in humanity will almost certainly compromise the county’s much-vaunted “quality of life” — for people and other, less vocal species.

Hard evidence supports both viewpoints. And a single, exasperating piece of the puzzle remains missing: the “carrying capacity” for humans on this part of the Earth.

In the absence of an elegant formula, our guests in this issue wrestle with questions: How might we determine an optimal population? How many is too many? What’s “sustainable?”

Scientists seem to be able to compute the figure for deer and moose herds. We likewise quantify our tolerance for invasive “nuisance” species such as Dutch elm disease and Asian longhorn beetles.

Common knowledge: Every plant, animal, fungus and virus seeks growth. Less appealing, but also true: That expansive quest typically results in decline and fall.

Cycles of emergence, dominance and collapse (interspersed with periods of relative balance and stability) are embedded in the fossil record.

Census records track a narrower but telling trajectory of human settlement in Chittenden County. From 1960 to 2000, our population about doubled, to 146,500.

The county now is home to about 156,500 residents — a quarter of the state’s total of about 626,000. Its growth rate will continue to outstrip that of Vermont, according to ECOS projections.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20121216/GREEN/312160005/Overgrowth-Undergrowth-Chittenden-County-mulls-an-influx-humans?nclick_check=1

MTV Latin America, Population Media Center And The United Nations Population Fund Launch Multiplatform Campaign SexySex To Empower Young People On Sexual Health And Violence Prevention

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Innovative Campaign reinforces “Ultimo Ano’s” objective of creating awareness around unprotected sex and domestic violence through celebrity-driven PSAs and a Digital Destination That Provides Methods of Prevention and Local Counseling Services across Lat

By MTV Latin America

MIAMI, Dec. 3, 2012 –

MIAMI, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – MTV Latin America, Population Media Center and the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) expand the social efforts of the network’s new novela, “Ultimo Ano” with the launch of the SexySex campaign. The new initiative encourages young people to get informed on the issues of sexual health and domestic violence, while providing a call-to-action. The multi-faceted campaign includes PSA’s featuring cast leads, sexual health trivia powered by StayTeen.org and an engaging digital destination that includes video clips and exclusive photos from the novela along with available methods of prevention and accessible counseling services throughout Latin America.

“Ultimo Ano” introduces a first-ever initiative for MTV Latin America, uniting network writers and researchers from Population Media Center (PMC) to produce entertainment-education content, where characters were developed to evolve into role models for the audience, encouraging the adoption of healthier behaviors to benefit individuals and their societies. The new campaign aims to reduce the alarming statistics around teen pregnancy, sexual health, STDs and HIV/AIDS, domestic violence and child abuse among Latin American youth.

“Social responsibility is always at the forefront of our brand, and our content continues to serve as a credible and valuable space to engage, educate and help shift the mindset of Latin American Youth,” said Mario Cader-Frech, VP of Public Affairs  for Viacom International Media Network’s – The Americas. “In Colombia, women are experiencing domestic violence at a rapid rate and 1 in 5 births are a result of teen pregnancy – it’s our duty to empower young people with the right tools and resources to experience a more positive adolescence.”

“Population Media Center is excited about the success of ‘Ultimo Ano,’ and this unique private-public partnership with MTV, to create a telenovela and website that not only engages viewers but also brings real social issues to the center of the conversation between characters and audiences alike. ‘Ulitmo Ano’ has brought important issues like domestic violence, teen pregnancy, STD prevention, safe sex, healthy relationships, and cyberbullying to the surface, and our accompanying website SexySex provides audiences with real life information and resources on the issues addressed in the novela.  Audience’s throughout Latin America are commenting and writing about the impact and relevance of the social issues raised in the novela.” Katie Elmore Mota, Vice President for Communications and Programs, Population Media Center. 


Read the full press release here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/03/v-fullstory/3124767/mtv-latin-america-population-media.html