Category Archives: Media File Articles

Articles From the MA Publication MediaFile

METHODS OF MEDIA MANIPULATION, by Michael Parenti

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

We are told by media people that some news bias is unavoidable. Distortions are caused by deadline pressures, human misjudgment, budgetary restraints, and the difficulty of reducing a complex story into a concise report. Furthermore, the argument goes, no communication system can hope to report everything. Selectivity is needed.

I would argue that the media’s misrepresentations are not all the result of innocent error and everyday production problems, though such problems certainly exist. True, the press has to be selective–but what principle of selectivity is involved? Media bias does not occur in a random fashion; rather it moves in the same overall direction again and again, favoring management over labor, corporations over corporate critics, affluent Whites over low-income minorities, officialdom over protesters, the two-party monopoly over leftist third parties, privatization and free market “reforms” over public-sector development, U.S. corporate dominance of the Third World over revolutionary social change, and conservative commentators and columnists like Rush Limbaugh and George Will over progressive or populist ones like Jim Hightower and Ralph Nader (not to mention more radical ones). Continue reading METHODS OF MEDIA MANIPULATION, by Michael Parenti

Facebooktwitter

INFORMATION WARRIORS: PENTAGON’S MINISTRY OF TRUTH SHAPES WAR COVERAGE. by Danny Schechter, MediaChannel.org

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

The Pentagon has set out to win at least three wars, the one on the battlefield of the moment, the so-called war for hearts and minds in the countries under attack and “the media war.” To translate further, we rely on blunt diplobully Richard Holbrooke, a Balkans negotiator and former UN ambassador, who, true to form, doesn’t mince words. “Call it public diplomacy or public affairs, or psychological warfare or,” he pauses, to cut through this fog, “if you really want to be blunt–propaganda.” Continue reading INFORMATION WARRIORS: PENTAGON’S MINISTRY OF TRUTH SHAPES WAR COVERAGE. by Danny Schechter, MediaChannel.org

Facebooktwitter

JUSTICE JOURNALISM: JOURNALIST AS AGENT OF SOCIAL CHANGE. by Terry Messman.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

Many forms of politically engaged journalism have arisen to fight social injustices in the course of U.S. history: the radical pamphlets by Thomas Paine that helped incite a revolutionary uprising against British rule; the muckraking reporting of Upton Sinclair that exposed inhumane conditions in the Chicago stockyards; the investigation of the Standard Oil Company by Ida Tarbell; Dorothy Day’s prophetic reporting on the injustice of poverty in her groundbreaking Catholic Worker newspaper; the attacks on municipal corruption by Lincoln Steffens; the exposé of the profiteering funeral industry by Jessica Mitford; the no-holds-barred struggle with the war machine waged by the underground press of the 1960s. These and other crusading journalists have left us an inspiring historic legacy of morally charged, politically engaged reporting. They were all socially conscious writers who, in varying ways, practiced “justice journalism.” Continue reading JUSTICE JOURNALISM: JOURNALIST AS AGENT OF SOCIAL CHANGE. by Terry Messman.

Facebooktwitter

MEDIA RACISM. By Salim Muwakkil.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

We seem to be in the midst of some kind of paradigm shift in the way that news is produced, packaged, and consumed. Increasing numbers of news shops are beginning to display their ideologies in their windows. They continue to give lip service to those cherished journalistic ideals of objectivity and impartiality, but the actual news product is shot through with bias.

Mind you, it was ever thus; but now, many news organizations are less reverential about the dogma of objectivity. For this we can thank right-wing media moguls like Rupert Murdoch, Conrad Black, and Sun Myung Moon, who took over ailing U.S. publications (New York Post, Chicago Sun-Times, and Washington Times) and transformed them into vehicles of ideological cant. This new posture was on grand display during the controversial 2000 presidential election. The mainstream media (with the notable exception of the New York Times and the Washington Post) resolutely ignored charges of vote suppression that were flying fast and furious from Florida’s black community. Continue reading MEDIA RACISM. By Salim Muwakkil.

Facebooktwitter

ANTI-IMMIGRANT RACISM AND THE MEDIA. by Arnoldo Garcia.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

September 11. After an 18-hour flight from Johannesburg, where I had attended the World Conference Against Racism, I was seated in a San Francisco-bound United Airlines jet plane at JFK International Airport in New York, when the captain announced that a hijacked plane had been crashed into the World Trade Center (WTC). Continue reading ANTI-IMMIGRANT RACISM AND THE MEDIA. by Arnoldo Garcia.

Facebooktwitter

MEDIA LOCKOUT: PRISONS AND JOURNALISTS, by Helene Vosters

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

The prison industrial complex–one of America’s costliest public institutions, fueled by billions in tax dollars and millions of devastated lives–operates largely without public scrutiny. While mainstream news outlets flood us with sensational crime reporting, they pay comparatively little attention to the brutal conditions within U.S. prisons. Continue reading MEDIA LOCKOUT: PRISONS AND JOURNALISTS, by Helene Vosters

Facebooktwitter

MEDIA, OIL, AND POLITICS: ANATOMY OF THE VENEZUELAN COUP. by Eric Quezada.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

“Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator.” [Chavez] “stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader.” New York Times Editorial, April 13, 2002

The April 2002 attempted coup against president Hugo Chavez in Venezuela was widely applauded in U.S. corporate media editorials the day after the coup. In Venezuela itself, the mainstream media helped mobilize the anti-Chavez demonstrations which were used as the coup pretext. But a people’s movement, with information and support from online and alternative news sources, ended up reversing the coup. In the months since, evidence is mounting of direct U.S. participation. Continue reading MEDIA, OIL, AND POLITICS: ANATOMY OF THE VENEZUELAN COUP. by Eric Quezada.

Facebooktwitter

YOUTH MEDIA: THE POLITICS OF SELF-EXPRESSION. by Twilight Greenaway.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

 

Much of today’s youth media stems from a long tradition of DIY (Do-it-Yourself). Look at the zines of the 1980s and ’90s. These self-published, cut-and-paste tracts took young people’s sense of expression to a new level. With names like Bamboo Girl, Dishwasher Pete, and Ben is Dead, zines were a fast way to tell your story and organize with other young people in ways that were often decidedly feminist, pacifist, vegan, or anti-corporate. Today, the Internet has eclipsed print versions of all but the most die-hard zines. It’s clear, though, that print zines have influenced other, newer forms of youth-for-youth media, many of which utilize radio, video, and the Internet and happen in conjunction with youth development programs around the nation. Continue reading YOUTH MEDIA: THE POLITICS OF SELF-EXPRESSION. by Twilight Greenaway.

Facebooktwitter