Dec 2 2013

Climate Change Is Not the Future

Reporting needed on present-day impacts of global warming

Tuvalu (cc photo: Lily-Anne Homasi/DFAT)

Making climate change an A-section story means ceasing to think of it as something that “might happen”; it’s here now.

Dec 1 2013

Weather—Without Climate

TV news seldom connects extreme weather and global warming


A new FAIR study shows that even when covering weather events that scientists suggest are linked to climate change, the news rarely mentions the changing climate. Out of 450 TV news segments about extreme weather, just 16 even mentioned climate change.

Dec 1 2013

SoundBites December 2013

the supposed "UFO"

Drones Aren’t News—But UFOs Are Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both issued reports in October that examined civilian deaths caused by US drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Among their findings: Two attacks in Pakistan killed 19 civilians, and most of the drone deaths in Yemen were noncombatants. The reports made the front page of the New York Times (10/21/13) but weren’t mentioned on the nightly network newscasts. That evening, ABC, CBS and NBC all covered the new Apple product announcements. NBC had a long report about family farm tourist destinations, as well as a report about construction at […]

Dec 1 2013

Seeing What They Want to See in Malala

Media amplify Yousafzai’s criticisms of Taliban, not US drones

Obama meeting with Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafai’s remarks portraying the US government as anything but heroic were ignored by most major US media outlets—particularly her insistence that the US government and the Taliban are both obstacles to women’s rights in the tribal regions of Pakistan, a sentiment she bravely expressed to President Obama when she met with him in the Oval Office on October 11.

Dec 1 2013

Why Media Should Play ‘Blame Game’

Responsibility for shutdown is a crucial journalistic question

PBS's Judy Woodruff referred to "the president's healthcare law" - as if the ACA hadn't been passed by both houses of Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court.

Media like to dismiss the partisan “blame game,” but accurately placing blame can be a crucial journalistic function. After all, nothing promotes political irresponsibility more than the knowledge that whatever you do, media will blame both sides equally.

Dec 1 2013

Immigration’s Imaginary ‘Open Sesame’

Right-wing media’s incredible fear of asylum seekers

Mexican soldiers (cc photo: LWY)

According to right-wing media outlets, the latest immigration threat comes in the form of a “flood” of asylum seekers at the US/Mexico border.

Dec 1 2013

The Other Education Crisis

Panic over testing feeds drop in creativity

Students boycotting standardized testing at Garfield High School in Washington state.

The monomania for testing rests on a belief, ingrained in the media, that American education is “in crisis” and the surest way to catch up with international competitors is to listen to big data.

Dec 1 2013

‘The Real Story Is It’s Incredibly Hard to Qualify’

Rebecca Vallas on 60 Minutes and disability insurance

Steve Croft on 60 Minutes

CounterSpin Interview   We’re used to media scaremongering over Social Security retirement insurance, claiming that benefits must be cut because the program is about to run out of money (Extra!, 10/10). But lately media have pushed a different Social Security story, claiming that there has been an alarming and suspicious explosion in the number of people getting Social Security disability benefits. After that message was sent loud and clear by a recent CBS 60 Minutes broadcast (10/6/13), CounterSpin’s Peter Hart spoke about the reality of disability insurance with Rebecca Vallas, deputy director of government affairs at the National Organization of […]