Greg Poschman

This year the Deseret News shifted its focus to six core areas of editorial emphasis: the family, financial responsibility, care for the poor and needy, education, values in the media and faith. Today we look back on ten of the 10 best stories we did this year about the world of media. » Read best of: The family Financial responsibility Care for the poor Education Faith

10 No Limits
Greg Poschman

In 2004, a ski accident on Aspen Mountain rendered Rick Finkelstein paralyzed. For years thereafter, he shied away from returning to the slopes and the sport he loved dearly. But in the motion picture "The Movement," up-and-coming filmmaker Kurt Miller set out to inspire people to action by showing the emotional rehabilitation of Finkelstein.

"The Movement" is about how people with physical disabilities are not nearly as limited as some might assume, and about a movement to erase stereotypes and tear down barriers that exist in reality and in the mind. For example, in the film Miller takes Finkelstein back to the same mountain where he was paralyzed and teaches him to ski all over again — in five days.

Read the full report here: No Limits

9 Soul Surfer
Mike Coots

A balance of surfing, competition, family and faith, the motion picture "Soul Surfer" tells the story of 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton as she struggles with a life-changing attack that cost her an arm. Amazing as it sounds in retrospect, this story very nearly didn't make it onto the silver screen.

For quite some time the Hamilton family couldn't a script that prominently depicted their family's strong religious beliefs. And even when they did finally settle on the right screenplay, differing opinions from the film's 17 producers threatened to pull the story off message. But in the end, the Hamiltons remained so adamant about including their Christian faith in the movie that filmmakers eventually ceded to their wishes.

Read the full report here: Soul Surfer

8 From 'I Love Lucy' to the 'Playboy Club'
Deseret News archives

Sex scenes, even sleeping in the same bed, were once verboten on any hour of network television — but they are now everywhere, even during prime time when many children are watching. It goes without saying that the slippery slope of prime time morality is alarming concerned parents everywhere.

A mountain of objective data proves the phenomenon is real. Recently a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that the number of sex scenes on TV has nearly doubled from 1998 to 2005. Similarly, a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics discovered that "more than 75 percent of prime-time programs contain sexual content." And studies indicate that the more teens watch sexual content on TV, the more likely they are to be involved in risky behavior.

Read the full report here: From 'I Love Lucy' to the 'Playboy Club'

7 Gay marriage issue, national elections lead to civility fight

Mark DeMoss, a conservative, was disappointed over the way he thought Mormons were treated during the 2008 presidential campaign and in the aftermath of California's Proposition 8 vote.

He started the "Civility Project "with liberal Lanny Davis who had been President Bill Clinton's special counsel.

Read the full report here: Gay marriage issue, national elections lead to civility fight

6 Hollywood vs. Religion
Deseret News archives

Nearly every faith — even the idea of religion in general — has been shown in an unflattering or erroneous light by Hollywood producers and directors who are admittedly less religious than the general population, says Brett H. Latimer, who teaches American Heritage at the BYU Salt Lake Center.

Even when a specific faith isn't mentioned, the religious character often turns out to be the bad guy. Either that, or the faith element is ignored entirely.

Read the full report here: Hollywood vs. Religion

5 Where Have All the PG Movies Gone?
Deseret News archives

From 1995 to 2011, more than 4,300 PG-13 and R-rated movies made an average of $29 million. Contrast that with almost 1,200 PG and G flicks that made an average of $38.4 million per show.

If fewer PG and G movies make more money, why not produce more family-friendly films?

Read the full report here: Where Have All the PG Movies Gone?

4 Cool toons

Since joining PBS in 2003, Linda Simensky has been making sure that the PBS Kids lineup lives at the intersection of entertaining and educational. If you’ve ever turned on the television and sat your kids down to watch a PBS Kids program like "Curious George," "Super Why," "Dinosaur Train" or "Sid the Science Kid," you probably owe a debt of thanks to the "double life" of Simensky, because her fingerprints are all over those shows.

Read the full report here: Cool toons

3 Finding Faith
Photo illustration by Aaron Thorup

It is hard to find major news stories that don't have a hidden religious or moral angle. Liz Tenety, editor of On Faith said, "Many times the human element, the moral element, is left out of news stories, and yet that's so central to the human response." Ironically, stories that have a religious angle are often very popular with readers. Several news outlets and organizations are trying to take advantage of this interest. CNN has its Belief Blog, the Huffington Post has a religion section. PBS has the "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" TV show and there is the Religion News Service (RNS) distributing religion stories to other media outlets.

Read the full report here: Finding Faith

2 The Road Less Travelled
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Founded in 2001, Walden Media differs from traditional movie studios because it produces family-friendly films that president Micheal Flaherty describes as "entertaining but (that) also demonstrate the rewards of knowledge and virtue." Simply put, Flaherty insists on turning value-driven stories — the kind children can learn from — into movies.

Read the full report here: The Road Less Travelled

1 The End of Innocence
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Children ages 2 to 11 average 32 hours of television-watching a week, while kids 12 to 17 average 23 hours. During those hours, they’ll drink in ads for hair products and teen-siren TV shows, makeup and technology, much of it couched as "hot" or "sexy." Even seemingly innocent sports video games often play out against a backdrop of sexually suggestive cheerleaders. From an early age, children are inundated with sexual images every single day.

Read the full report here: The End of Innocence