Media Literacy/Bias

Mideast papers on Gaza

BBC Monitoring

Commentators in the West Bank-based Palestinian press are united in dismay at the Israeli operation in Gaza, condemning it as an "ugly massacre".

Some also voice their fury at what they see as the inaction of the region's Arab states and the West's support for Israel, while one commentator fears the operation will only drive more of Gaza's young men into the arms of radical Islamists.

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Attack on Gaza - US media provides little balance compared to Israeli media

Greg Mitchell, Editor and Publisher

In the usual process, the U.S. government -- and media here -- are playing down questions about whether Israel overreacted in its massive air strikes on Gaza, while the foreign press, and even Haaretz in Israel, carries more balanced accounts. The early reports on Sunday already reveal the bombing of a TV station and mosque and preparations for an invasion.

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The Death of News?

Benjamin Adair, Weekend America

In light of the Tribune Company bankruptcy and the massive loan the New York Times just leveraged on its own building, the future of daily journalism looks to be on life support. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Weekend America's Ben Adair debunks the top three myths of the media meltdown and tells us why reports of newspapers' demise have been severely exaggerated.

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The T-Man has gone too far, too often

Robert Jamieson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

RADIO SHOCK JOCKS don't get better with age, just older and more crass.

Case in point: Rob Tepper, one of Seattle's most recognizable radio personalities -- the T-Man of KUBE 93.

Smarmy, garrulous and sometimes funny, this less polished version of loudmouth Howard Stern consistently reaches the bulk of area listeners between 18 and 34. On his FM morning show, Tepper and an in-studio circus skewer politicians and celebrities, and jabber about dating and sex.

But when he crosses the line -- and he's done so more than once -- the antics go beyond juvenile. They make you wonder what his bosses at Clear Channel are waiting for to pull the plug.

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Faced with economic turmoil, media conservatives turn to class warfare

J.H. & S.S.M., Media Matters

Even though the crises facing the financial and automotive industries were born primarily of the actions (or inaction) of those in positions of power in private industry and in government, many conservative media figures have assigned blame to specific groups of less wealthy or less influential people -- the poor, minorities, undocumented immigrants, and union members, among others -- disregarding the facts that belie such assignments of blame.

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Report ties children’s use of media to their health

BRIAN STELTER, New York Times

The National Institutes of Health and a nonprofit advocacy group, Common Sense Media, have another reason for President-elect Barack Obama to keep urging parents to “turn off the TV.”

In what researchers call the first report of its kind, a review of 173 studies about the effects of media consumption on children asserts that a strong correlation exists between greater exposure and adverse health outcomes.

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Public radio host fails to disclose industry endorsements, payments

GARDINER HARRIS, New York Times

An influential psychiatrist who was the host of the popular public radio program “The Infinite Mind” earned at least $1.3 million from 2000 to 2007 giving marketing lectures for drugmakers, income not mentioned on the program.

The psychiatrist and radio host, Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin, is the latest in a series of doctors and researchers whose ties to drugmakers have been uncovered by Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa. Dr. Goodwin, a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is the first news media figure to be investigated.

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Former broadcaster sues Univision over slanting news

Meg James, LA Times

A television news director who was fired by Univision Communications Inc. last year for allegedly slanting the news fired back Monday, contending in a lawsuit that company executives shaped stories to woo advertisers.

Jorge Mettey served for five years as the influential news director of Univision's flagship KMEX-TV Channel 34, which is Los Angeles' top-rated station. He was ousted in April 2007 after the company determined that he breached ethics policies in directing news coverage.

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Adelstein backs investigating Arbitron ratings

Amy Schatz, Wall Street Journal

A Democratic Federal Communications Commission member called Tuesday for the agency to launch a formal investigation of Arbitron Inc.'s new electronic radio-ratings system, raising the odds that the agency will look into the matter this year or early next year.

An FCC investigation would add significant pressure on Arbitron, which is already being investigated by the attorneys general in New York and New Jersey about the ratings system.

Minority broadcasters and interest groups say Arbitron's Portable People Meter system significantly undercounts minority listenership.

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Huffington Post mutes women's voices

Jessica Wakeman, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Women's voices have long been lacking in corporate media. As Internet outlets compete more and more with traditional media as a source for news and opinion, will women's voices be heard there more frequently than in print publications? If the Huffington Post, one of the most prominent and successful blogs today, is an accurate barometer, the answer is no.

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