Search Results for: Karen Charman

May 1 2004

A ‘Glitch’ in Democracy

Coverage of computer voting problems too little, too late?

If mainstream media outlets had devoted as much ink and airtime to electronic voting machines as they had to O.J. Simpson, Monicagate or even Janet Jackson’s breast, the outcome of our next presidential election might not depend on machines that can be programmed to favor one candidate over another without anyone ever knowing. As it is, nearly one-third of the American electorate will cast their votes on one of the more than 150,000 electronic voting machines whose integrity is in doubt. The manufacturers of touch-screen computerized voting machines—specifically, direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines—claim to be able to “do the […]

Jan 1 2004

Extra! January/February 2004

Articles in the print edition Total Eclipse By Bruce Fuller Too Much Heat, Too Little Light By Karen Charman Saddam’s “Bluff” By Peter Hart Pontificating Without Listening By Jim Naureckas “We’re Smarter About Things Than We Were in Vietnam” CounterSpin transcript with Daniel Hallin Making Rags Out of Riches By Richard L. Zweigenhaft The Watergate Myth By Kristian Williams

Nov 1 2002

Destroying the Forests to Save Them

Media myths fuel Bush wildfire plan

Forest fires last summer provided the media with dramatic images of walls of flames and smoke-choked skies, soundbites from terrified and frustrated citizens, and tales of fearless firefighters. The overarching message of such news reports: Forest fires are a terrible disaster, something to be fought at all costs. These stories, in turn, provided fuel for a campaign by timber industry lobbyists, Republican lawmakers and the Bush administration to persuade citizens that good forest policy requires cutting many more trees—and repealing environmental regulations that allow public input into the management of national forests. But before we give the timber industry our […]

Jul 1 2002

Recasting the Web

Information commons to cash cow

If the Bush administration lets large media conglomerates and local telephone companies have their way, the Internet as we know it—that free-flowing, democratic, uncensored information superhighway—could soon be a thing of the past. The Internet itself is not going away. Rather, technological advances, changes to the rules governing its use and the continued consolidation of media empires are combining to turn it into a conduit of commerce, booby-trapped with barriers and incentives designed to keep users where dollars can be wrung from them. As a result, a lot of freely accessible information and websites may become difficult or impossible to […]

Jul 1 2001

Nuclear Power Gets Media Makeover

Energy crisis sparks atomic hype

“Nuclear Follies,” a February 11, 1985 cover story in Forbes, declared U.S. nuclear power “the largest managerial disaster in business history.” With $125 billion invested, the magazine wrote, “only the blind, or the biased, can now think that most of the money has been well spent. It is a defeat for the U.S. consumer and for the competitiveness of U.S. industry, for the utilities that undertook the program and for the private enterprise system that made it possible.” Pretty strong words. But now, a mere 16 years later, nuclear power is being widely reported in the mainstream media as not […]

Nov 1 2000

West Nile Attack

Media foment fear of virus and obscure pesticide concerns

With the emergence of the West Nile Virus in New York and several other Eastern states, media coverage of pesticide issues has sunk to a dangerous new low. The outbreak, the first in the Western Hemisphere, began in New York City last year and has triggered a massive spraying campaign that has significantly increased pesticide exposures to more than 15 million people in the New York metropolitan area, surrounding counties and communities between Boston and Maryland. Most media reports have painted a picture of a galloping mosquito-borne killer virus that can only be stopped by blanketing areas with pesticides where […]

May 1 2000

Genetic Gambling

Media fail to present real issues of bioengineering

If the mainstream media had been doing their job, most Americans would not have been eating genetically engineered food every day for the last six years without their knowledge or consent. Nor would we have allowed 70 million acres of our nation’s farmland to be planted in bioengineered crops without significant public debate and honest scientific and regulatory scrutiny of their environmental impact. But they haven’t, and so we did. Ricarda Steinbrecher, a geneticist with the Women’s Environmental Network in the United Kingdom, points out in a forthcoming book chapter from Zed Books that scientists actually know very little about […]