Media Literacy/Bias

Panels to discuss newspapers' future

Dan Richman, Post-Intelligencer

Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata is scheduled to hold a panel discussion Wednesday on the importance of daily newspapers and maintaining multiple media outlets.

The meeting will not focus directly on preserving the Seattle P-I, whose owner, The Hearst Corp., put it up for sale this month. But it will address how other cities have moved to save their papers.

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With Gaza, journalists fail again

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel's callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press. There were no major newspapers, television networks or radio stations that challenged Israel's fabricated version of events that led to the Gaza attack or the daily lies Israel used to justify the unjustifiable. Nearly all reporters were, as during the buildup to the Iraq war, pliant stenographers and echo chambers. If we as journalists have a product to sell, it is credibility. Take that credibility away and we become little more than propagandists and advertisers. By refusing to expose lies we destroy, in the end, ourselves.

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The Peoria plan for saving local dailies

Bill Richards, Crosscut

With the fate of the Post-Intelligencer seemingly sealed at least as a newspaper, and the Seattle Times teetering on the financial edge, the Seattle City Council will wade into the crisis Wednesday at 2 pm. Nick Licata’s “Culture, Civil Rights, Health and Personnel” Committee plans to spend two hours with a panel of news professionals, exploring possible ways to save Seattle’s disappearing newspapers. (Disclosure here: Crosscut’s publisher, David Brewster, will be one of the panel members.)

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Sarkozy pledges €600m to troubled French newspaper industry

Angelique Chrisafis, Guardian UK

nThe French president Nicolas Sarkozy today announced €600m (£565m) in emergency aid for his country's troubled newspaper industry and declared that every 18-year-old in France would get a year's free subscription to the paper of their choice to boost reading habits.

The crisis-hit French press is among the least profitable in Europe, stifled by rigid communist print unions, a lack of kiosks selling papers and a declining readership far below that of the UK or Germany.

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Audience atomization overcome: why the Internet weakens the authority of the press

Jay Rosen, PressThink

In the age of mass media, the press was able to define the sphere of legitimate debate with relative ease because the people on the receiving end were atomized-- connected "up" to Big Media but not across to each other. And now that authority is eroding. I will try to explain why.

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Power of the press can spark war - and peace

Nastassja Hoffet, IPS

In 2003, two journalists from Radio-Télévision Libre des Milles Collines were convicted of war crimes in the Rwanda genocide -- illustrating the dangerous role media can play by relaying hate speech or rumours during times of violent conflict.

RTLM, which broadcast from July 1993 to July 1994, was found to have "fanned the flames of hate and genocide in Rwanda". It was the first such conviction since that of Julius Streicher at Nuremberg for his anti-Semitic publication Der Stürmer.

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Media bias endangers peace in Gaza

Terry Ahwal, Detroit Free Press

In the media coverage of the violence in Gaza, the voices of Palestinians are, as usual, absent.

The voices of the Israelis have proclaimed defense. Ehud Barak, Israel defense Minister was quoted as saying“There is time for calm and time to fight.” Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated on NBC news that Israel has the right to defend itself from Hamas and has the right as a sovereign country to defend itself. Outgoing U.S.resident George Bush told the Israeli government that the U.S. will stand by Israel. Our incoming President Barak Obama is refraining from taking a stand at this time, but when the commentator on this subject pressed his aid David Axelrod, he responded that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Am I surprised?

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Iran demands end to Gaza media blackout

Press TV

Iran has officially requested that Arab media outlets provide responsible coverage of the developments in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The head of Iran's national broadcaster Ezzatollah Zarghami spoke to the management of Qatar's Al-Jazeera, Lebanon's Al-Menar, Turkey's TRT and Iraq's Afaq TV in separate telephone conversations on Tuesday, requesting more informative coverage of the Israel-Palestinian crisis and developments in Gaza.

According to Zarghami, the Israeli policies and attacks on Gaza amount to a "holocaust".

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Who is Amira Haas? Israeli journalist decries civilian casualties in Gaza

Greg Mitchell, Editor and Publisher

A powerful column appears today in the Jerusalem daily Haaretz, written by one of its top correspondents, Amira Hass, reporting on Gaza, which opens: "This isn't the time to speak of ethics, but of precise intelligence. Whoever gave the instructions to send 100 of our planes, piloted by the best of our boys, to bomb and strafe enemy targets in Gaza is familiar with the many schools adjacent to those targets -- especially police stations. He also knew that at exactly 11:30 A.M.

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Rather lawsuit likely to deal Bush legacy a new blow

Christopher Goodwin, The Observer

As George W Bush prepares to leave the White House, at least one unpleasant episode from his unpopular presidency is threatening to follow him into retirement.

A $70m lawsuit filed by Dan Rather, the veteran former newsreader for CBS Evening News, against his old network is reopening the debate over alleged favourable treatment that Bush received when he served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war. Bush had hoped that this controversy had been dealt with once and for all during the 2004 election.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey