Nov
01
2008

The Food Crisis and the Fear of Scarcity

Media binders blind us to real food solutions

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Mike_tn

The rising cost of food was all over the news in the spring of 2008, from Fox News (“Food Prices Soaring World-wide,” 3/24/08) to CNN (“Rising Food Prices and Rising Concerns,” 4/21/08) to CBS (“Price of Rice Skyrockets,” 4/23/08). Everyone was covering the story. Many will never forget news clips of desperate Haitians rioting in anger and even forced to eat dirt to stave off hunger. Then in September came the grim U.N. assessment: The number of hungry people worldwide had shot up in one year by 75 million people—reaching 925 million at the beginning of 2008, declared Jacques Diouf […]

Nov
01
2008

As Usual, NYT Ignores Iraqi Opinion

Anecdotes trump polls on withdrawal

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/The U.S. Army

The New York Times failed spectacularly in its coverage of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, helping lead the country into war and only much later (5/26/04) publishing a half-hearted mea culpa. As the near-apology acknowledged, the paper's failure resulted in large part from its lack of skepticism regarding its sources, most notably exiled Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi. Despite the mea culpa, though, the Times continues to mislead on Iraq, particularly on the issue of whether or not Iraqis want the U.S. military to exit their country. Once again, that journalistic failure seems to be rooted in the same fundamental […]

Oct
01
2008

Top Troubling Tropes of Campaign '08

The media-created narratives that derail election coverage

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Image Editor

I mean, there are a lot of narratives that the press bought into in this campaign. Don't forget the inevitability of the Rudy Giuliani campaign and Fred Thompson's great appeal.... I think the number of times we've been wrong in this campaign is far greater than the number of times we've been right.--Time's Karen Tumulty (CNN's Reliable Sources, 5/11/08) Corporate media coverage of election 2008 has fallen into the well-documented pattern (Extra!, 5-6/08) of reporting on the election as if it were a horse-race rather than a democratic process in which real issues were at stake. Not only do journalists […]