Saturday, September 09, 2006

Around the Horn: Media Coverage

The Revealer has a comment and link about a neo-Nazis bust in Europe that has "terror" written all over it but has received little attention in the press, a yawn, in fact. Bartholomew's Notes on Religion follows the news of the destruction of rather ancient carvings found in Quebec. A neo-Pentecostal Christian sect is suspected as the culprits behind the destruction on the grounds that the art has pagan origins. This too is getting little play in the press, nothing like the Taliban's distasteful destruction of the Buddhist statues. Whoever's interested in alternative energy resources will find this article in Orion a sound summary of the debate on wind power as a potential source. Next we have an interesting take on the news reporting of the recent violence in Lebanon as covered by the American press compared to the Arab press. To get a taste, here's on quote: "On American television, leading journalists, such as CNN's star presenters Anderson Cooper and John Roberts, regularly referred to Hezbollah as 'terrorists' or a 'terrorist militia,' without bothering to attribute the label to Israeli or U.S. sources. But on the news broadcasts of the Arab world's dominant all-news channels, Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, such polarizing language was rarely heard." You may go to Yale Global for the rest of the analysis. Finally you may read Columbia Journalism Review's take on the coverage of American torture. Here's a glimpse: "Reporters and news organizations deserve enormous credit for exposing the abuse and torture of detainees during the U.S. war on terror, more than other institutions or individuals. Without Carlotta Gall, The New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh, The Washington Post’s Dana Priest, and many other reporters, we might well never have learned of the abuse and torture that have occurred in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere. But just as sweeping attacks against 'the media' are too reductive, so too are plaudits. And when the record on torture coverage is examined in detail, an ambiguous picture emerges: in the post-9/11 days, some reporters offered detailed accusations and reports of abuse and torture, only to be met with skepticism by their own editors. Stories were buried, played down, or ignored — a reluctance that is much diminished but still bubbles up with regard to the culpability of policymakers."


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