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This Just In: March 18 - 25

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Tattoo You -- Everybody Else

Summary: Despite a weak economy, more adults are getting inked. Station: Jon Delano, KDKA Channel 2 Airtime: 2 minutes, 54 seconds on March 10 Highlights: * When anchor Ken Rice announces, "Recession has hurt a lot of business-owners over the past two years, but one business is booming, and it's spurring growth in another business and it may surprise you." * When Delano, live from the news desk, reports that "70 years ago, only 6 percent of Americans had a tattoo. By the end of the 20th century, it had become the sixth-fastest growing retail business in America. But just as more Americans were getting tattooed, along comes laser surgery to remove unwanted tattoos. Now both industries seem to be going gangbusters!" * When Delano narrates, in the prerecorded portion of the story, "Just look around: Tattoos have become a growth industry, especially among women, who make up more than 60 percent of the business. ... Four years ago, 1 out of 4 American adults under 50 had a tattoo. That number has grown." * When we're shown a Brookline woman who has 58 tattoos -- none of which are shown on camera. * When Veronica Delaney of South Side Tattoo estimates, "We probably have 50 percent over the age of 40 and 50 percent under the age of 40." * When a 22-year-old man in the process of being tattooed reveals, "I got my first tattoo when I was 18, and I wasn't too pleased with it, so I decided to get it covered up and this is sorta what I ended up with." * When Delano discloses that "20 percent of those tattooed get them removed -- because of bad art, changing lifestyles, wrong names and even job requirements. [This doctor] uses lasers at her growing business, but removing tattoos is not that easy." * When the female doctor remarks that most of her patients are female, and "The easiest colors to remove are black and red. ... Blues and greens can be removed with more difficulty." * When Delano, back at the news desk, says, "Now, it's painful to get a tattoo and painful to remove one, although a local anesthesia is used to numb the skin for the removal. And while a tattoo is more accepted today, many employers do not want them visible on the work site." What We Learned: Tattoos aren't just for sailors anymore! Unanswered Question: So ... who at KDKA has a tattoo? News Value: 7. At first glance, I thought, "This isn't new." But in addition to documenting the well-established mainstreaming of tattoos, Delano examines the flip side, laser-surgery removal, and manages to find a bright (ink) spot in the recession.

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