Jan 01 2012

Jobs Are at Stake When Profits Are at Stake

Lobbyists help media pay attention to employment

Lobbyists help media pay attention to employmentWhen debate heated up in November over the Keystone XL pipeline—a 1,700-mile-long structure that would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands deposits to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast—reporters soon found themselves chasing the answer to a question: How many jobs would be lost if the pipeline didn’t happen? Wall Street Journal senior editor Mary Anastasia O’Grady suggested on Fox News (10/28/11) that the pipeline would create “118,000 indirect jobs” from “feeding and housing all of these people who are going to work on the pipeline,” a number that her Journal editorial board colleague […]

Jan 01 2012

Journalism Under Arrest

Clamping down on reporters at Occupy crackdowns

Former FAIR intern John Knefel arrested for being a journalist at OWS--Photo Credit: Salon

Clamping down on reporters at Occupy crackdownsResponding to a report in the online publication the Awl (11/17/11) about 26 journalists who had been arrested around the country at Occupy protests, New York City mayoral spokesperson Stu Loeser declared in a note to the press (New York Observer, 11/17/17), “You can imagine my surprise when we found that only five of the 26 arrested reporters actually have valid NYPD-issued press credentials.” Since the Awl story was tallying arrests nationwide, it’s not surprising that few of the journalists had credentials issued by New York’s police—who are notoriously reluctant to issue such credentials […]

Jan 01 2012

It’s All of Us; Except the 1 Percent

Frances Fox Piven on poverty and Occupy Wall Street

Frances Fox Piven on poverty and Occupy Wall StreetThe Occupy movement has garnered, if not the respect, at least the acknowledgement of a corporate press corps inclined for any number of reasons to ignore it. Still, coverage is centered on the protesters themselves, without necessarily engaging their ideas or allowing those ideas to shape reporting. It’s entirely possible for media to say these ideas matter and still not act as though they do. How, for example, does media’s interest in the 99 Percent affect their understanding of how poverty is defined? Or whose perspectives should be included in news on […]

Jan 01 2012

Super Cuts!

Military budget, not social spending, prompts media concern

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/alsokaizen

Military budget, not social spending, prompts media concernThe failure of the Congressional “supercommittee” to come up with a $1.2 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction plan means that automatic “trigger” cuts might take place in discretionary spending—roughly half of which is supposed to come from the military budget. Corporate media have given extensive time to panicked warnings about the dangerous impact of military cuts, but made little mention of the effects of cutting other spending. Under the “trigger” plan, the military budget is supposed to be reduced by almost $600 billion over the next decade—a move Republican politicians have vowed to block. […]