Author Archives: Jessica E Jackson

About Jessica E Jackson

As a senior at NYU, I am proud to say that I have spent the last three years learning about myself, my city and my subjects of choice (journalism & English), while building the most entertaining web of friends and acquaintances. I am quite the coffee connoisseur, and while I am not at school, at the movies, or at j.crew, you can catch me in Central NJ, with my mom, dad, sister and three cats, Bob, Jasper & Odie. I hope to one day live at the beach.

Dissension from their own

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Through what has progressed of my research, writing and editing, I have come to the conclusion that the thesis of my piece is going to be that The Conservative Teen, in its inaugural glory, serves to represent all that is wrong with conservative attempts to reach out to youth.  There is a ton of information about youth voting upon which I can draw to substantiate this point.  However, I am going to focus more on the fact that the mission of the Conservative Teen magazine is completely misguided in its efforts.  I am in the process of restructuring my piece so that it is more cogently presented.

There are several great comments about The Conservative Teen which I have yet to include in my piece.  They include:

William R. Smith, TCT Publisher:  “Do you have a teenage child or grandchild? Are you concerned about their future and the kind of America they will inherit? The liberal agenda has long dominated our educational institutions, news media, and entertainment industries and so it’s imperative we counter by teaching our teen children conservative values. For just $19.95, your teen can receive 4 quarterly issues of The Conservative Teen. Written by industry professionals and leading academic experts, this unique publication is full of high-quality content emphasizing the full spectrum of conservative principles.

Our goal at The Conservative Teen is to foster the next generation of conservatives. A subscription to our magazine will ensure your teen builds honorable moral character and an in-depth understanding of all issues from the conservative perspective.”

Jordan Bloom, The Conservative Magazine:  (in regard to the message that TCT is trying to send its readers) “Woe betide ye, Millenials! Your depravity and moral rootlessness hath offended the Almighty and imperiled the American way of life! Turn away from your blogs and your cable TV! Lay waste to your RSS readers and sow conservative media commentary in its barren furrows! Smite the deceivers! Forget the lamestream news, what you really need is an article about ‘How to Draw Obama,’ and ‘Ronald Reagan: Our First Black President.’”

Wonkette:  (some criticism of the magazine) Except with The Conservative Teen, what we have is not product-touting, but idea-touting. IDEAS. Finally, some ideas. Like how to always have a baby at any time. And to never watch Glee. And of course, because the titular reader of this magazine doesn’t know anything because they are home-schooled in a patient manner, the articles in The Conservative Teen are written by grownups, who all happen to be involved with either The Heritage Foundation, Fox Business News, the Family Research Council or the Media Research Center. Fun fun fun!

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by | April 24, 2012 · 11:05 am

The Ron Paul Effect

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This week, I approached my research with the questions: what is it that I want to convey through my piece, and through what means of research and writing would I most effectively be able to do this?  I want to explore the attempts from conservatives to reach out to youth voters, and how this differs from the conservative youth’s attempts to reach out to youth voters.  From The Conservative Teen magazine, both conservative youth and curious observers were given the opportunity to view how the elder conservatives view the issues that they deem important to the youth of their party. 

What is particularly interesting for me to examine, and what I now believe will be an important facet to include in my piece is what has been dubbed, “The Ron Paul Effect.”  A January 2012 blog from former treasury secretary Robert Reich in the Huffington Post, says that in the New Hampshire primary, 47 percent of primary voters aged 18 through 29 voted for Ron Paul.  Reich’s blog also states that “No other Republican candidate has come nearly as close to winning over young voters — and the GOP desperately needs young voters. The median age of registered Republicans is rising faster than the median age of America.” 

With the popularity of such a unique and atypically Republican figure garnering the youth vote, one is inclined to ask – what is it exactly that makes Ron Paul so popular?  Is it his age, spritely nature, or his military experience? Perhaps. Or is it his knowledge of the medical profession? Maybe, as Reich proposes, it is his desire to bring America back to the gold standard.  These are all possibilities; the reasons for his popularity most likely differ from youth to youth.  Reich has a more direct belief as to why Paul is popular.  He writes, “Baloney. The young are flocking to Ron Paul because he wants to slice military spending, bring our troops home, stop government from spying on American citizens, and legalize pot.”  Now, while Reich is not the be-all, end-all on the issue of the youth vote, what he has to say hits home.  When contrasted to the issues of government debt and abstinence, as so forcefully evaluated in The Conservative Teen, it is no wonder that after a few days and many critiques, The Conservative Teen was retired.

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The Proof is Not in the Pudding: Teen Voting Trends and TCT Outreach

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This week I have been very lucky and have gotten my hands on a full PDF of Conservative Teen Magazine.  As I speculated last week, reading through the magazine has proven to be an interesting experience.  Whether the articles are warning readers against the sexual content that they will find in mainstream television, or are exclaiming the greatness of America and its ideals, this magazine is not like the rest.  Strewn throughout are cartoon comics featuring President Obama engaging in an activity that is perceived to be anti-American.  It was interesting for me to contrast the topics of articles presented by the publication and the statistics (from Tuft University) about trends in youth voting.  According to research done by Tufts University, President Obama was favored over McCain 2 to 1 by young voters.  While the Conservative Teen has a strong focus on social issues, namely sex and interpersonal relations, protection for the unborn, and liberal media bias, it does not seem that these are the issues that teens and young voters are interested in.  In fact, 59 percent think that the economy is the most important issue.

As with many readers of this magazine, I am curious as to understand the particular marketing ideas behind this product. Several people who I do not know have commented on my blog post in a similar quest to find the PDF of The Conservative Teen.  With the masthead of the magazine at my fingertips, I now plan to research the individuals responsible in the production of the magazine.  I am also looking into more statistics about the youth vote and the issues that are important to this group, as well as the best ways to approach this group of individuals. 

The report from Tufts said: “The medium is more important than the message. Partisan and nonpartisan, negative and positive messages seem to work about the same. The important factor is the degree to which the contact is personalized.”  I am going to look further into this.

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The Conservative Teen: A Disappearing Act

I am super interested in politics, and cannot wait to delve into the hubbub surrounding the existence and disappearance of “The Conservative Teen” Magazine.  I have tried to find the PDF version of the magazine, but as stated in several sources, it is no longer available in the domain to which it was originally registered.  I do have the Buzzfeed “Best Headlines,” which provides several pages of it, in addition to several articles which reference it.  I am hoping that when I e-mail the author of the BuzzFeed article, he may have a pdf copy of the magazine.  Not only would that provide potentially gut-wrenchingly hilarious reading, but it would also aid me in greater commentary about the specific content of the magazine.

In addition to this perspective, I am greatly interested in speaking with both conservative teens/young adults and liberal teens/young adults in order to gain their perspective on this interesting issue.  I will reach out to individuals I know from the College Republicans at NYU, as well as a junior I know who is heavily involved with the Occupy movement.  I will present their opinions against the opinions of NYU political science professors.  I also want to interview a media specialist who would be able to comment on it from a media angle.  I am also in the process of finding and reading as many articles on the issue as possible.  I hope to have some good news about the acquisition of The Conservative Teen PDF, and hope to be progressing well.

Let me know if anyone knows about professors, media personnel or friends who would be willing to speak on this issue.

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