Sep 01 1992

Hunger in Africa — A Story Still Untold

Question: When does a drought that threatens millions of human lives become news that fits the front page of the New York Times? Answer: When animals die. That’s the rule New York Times editors apparently followed in the week of July 5-12, 1992, when they published five substantial stories in eight days on countries ravaged by drought and hunger in east and southern Africa. Times editors seem determined to re-prove the point Extra! made a year ago (cover story, 7-8/91): that the U.S. press gives “more attention to thelives of animals — featuring safari stories on elephants, rhinos and other […]

Sep 01 1992

The Anti-Democratic Convention

Corporations, the real "special interests," get little play

It was fashionable to bemoan the networks’ lack of gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Democratic conventions. ABC‘s Peter Jennings (Washington Post, 7/12/92) said it was “a little sad” that the networks were passing up “a chance to present the democratic process in the purest sense.” Of course, modern stage-managed conventions are anything but a democratic process–and the media bear a lot of the blame. Anything that resembles democracy–a debate over a contested issue, a resolution that isn’t pre-approved–is denounced as “mischief” from “special interests.” There was to be none of that this year: “Certainly the portents are brighter than they were […]