Jul 03 2015

James Loewen on Racism and US History

Teaching What Really Happened

The Fourth of July weekend will doubtless feature media chatter about what America “stands for,” and how our history has shaped us. But much of the talk will bear little relationship to the country’s actual history, which is roughly a million times more complicated and conflict-riddled than the image we are usually presented.

Jun 26 2015

Travis Dixon on ‘Terrorism’ Labels, Seth Freed Wessler on Immigration Prison Uprising

Amanda and Jerad Miller, right-wing terrorists

When do journalists choose to unleash the weaponized language of “terrorism”—and what effect does that have on public opinion and policy? University of Illinois professor Travis Dixon has researched media patterns on the issue.

Jun 19 2015

Kevin Zeese on Fast Track Activism, Wenonah Hauter on Fracking Study

Stop the TPP (photo: John Zangas)

It hasn’t been probing media coverage that’s roughened the road for the corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership; public interest activism is the missing piece in much top-down media coverage. Plus: To hear media tell it, the EPA found that fracking doesn’t pose any widespread harm to drinking water. Is that really what the science said?

Jun 12 2015

Jessa Wilcox on Solitary Confinement, Cheryl Cooky on Women’s Sports Coverage

Solitary confinement cell at Alcatraz (cc photo: Justin Ennis)

Solitary confinement is discussed so matter-of-factly in US media that you wouldn’t guess that many people in the world consider it to be torture. Plus: Despite ever-growing popularity, women’s sports just don’t seem to garner big-time media interest.

Jun 05 2015

Sue Udry on USA Freedom Act, Barbara Briggs on Workplace Disasters

NSA (cc photo: Trevor Paglen)

Proponents say the USA Freedom Act, while not perfect, at least means the end of NSA collection of US citizens’ phone records. Is that really true? Also: What’s being done to prevent disasters like the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapses?

May 29 2015

Bartlett Naylor on Bank Crimes, Coleen Rowley on Whistleblowers

Bank crime scene. Photo: WashingtonsBlog

Are media dangerously indifferent to questions of criminal banks? Plus: whistleblowers on the front line of the conflict between powerful institutions’ desire to keep secrets and democracy’s requirement that people be well-informed.

May 22 2015

Alice Slater on Nuclear Abolition, Tim Karr on Internet.org

Mark Zuckerberg

When the topic is eliminating nuclear weapons, media could hardly care less. Plus: Internet.org, the Facebook mogul’s new application intended to provide limited free internet access in the developing world, is meeting strong resistance.

May 15 2015

Tiffany Finck-Haynes on Bee Collapse, Michelle Chen on Nail Salon Workers

Honeybees

Are pesticide-makers’ PR efforts affecting government research into massive bee die-offs? And are occasional blockbuster stories like the NYT piece on labor conditions in nail salons the best media can do for workers rights issues?