Mar 01 2013

Industry as Victim in Workers’ Deaths

Deflecting blame for Bangladesh factory fires

Child workers in Bangladesh

What should be done to prevent incidents like the January 26 fire at the Smart Fashion Export factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in which at least seven garment workers (three of them teenage girls) were killed, their escape impeded by a blocked exit and the absence of the most rudimentary fire safety equipment? The answer for many would be: whatever is necessary. But to hear elite media tell it, it’s complicated—so much so that it’s not even clear who the victims were: the women crushed to death escaping flames, or the system that exploits and endangers them. Or else why would […]

Feb 01 2013

A Passion for Job Insecurity

Targeting Europe's 'burdensome' worker protections

Ségolène Royal--Photo Credit: © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

If there’s one thing the media seem to be convinced of—or at least seem to want to convince the public of—it’s that rules that protect workers kill jobs and are therefore to blame for high European unemployment rates.

Dec 14 2012

Jane McAlevey on Michigan “Right to Work,” Mijin Cha on Jobs Crisis

michigan-rtw

A “Right to Work” law passes in Michigan– what is missing from the press coverage? Labor writer and activist Jane McAlevey has some thoughts. And is Washington’s focus on the “debt crisis” misguided? Mijin Cha thinks we’d be better off focusing on the jobs crisis.

Nov 30 2012

Scott Nova on Bangladesh factory fire, Maurice Carney on Congo

CS2

Scott Nova of the Workers Rights Consortium joins us to talk about the fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh that killed over 100 workers. “War torn, mineral rich” –that’s pretty much all Time magazine thinks you need to know about the region of eastern Congo. Maurice Carney of the group Friends of the Congo talks media.

Nov 01 2012

SoundBites

Extra! November 2012

Don’t Look to NYT  to ‘Litigate’ the Facts Margaret Sullivan, the new New York Times public editor (9/16/12), used the topic of “voter fraud” to illustrate the concept of “false balance”―when two sides are treated as equivalent even when one side has reality on its side. Despite Republican efforts to pass laws to prevent voting by the ineligible, research finds next to no examples of this problem―but coverage often treats the absence of fraudulent voting as a partisan assertion (Extra!, 10/12). While Sullivan rightly observed that “journalists need to make every effort to get beyond the spin and help readers […]

Nov 01 2012

Not for Teacher

Journalists take sides in Chicago strike

Supporter of 2012 Chicago teacher strike (cc photo: Alejandro Quinones)

Among corporate media pundits, hostility towards teachers’ unions spans the ideological spectrum (Extra!, 9/10). And in supposedly straight news reporting, the policy goals of corporate “reformers”―support for charter schools and teacher ratings based on standardized test statistical models―are treated as common sense instead of contested and controversial. So when the Chicago Teachers Union went out on strike this September, it was never in doubt which side the corporate media would take. The story of Chicago, as they framed it, was that well-paid teachers in an underperforming, cash-strapped school system wanted more money, and opposed any attempt to hold them accountable […]

Oct 12 2012

Josh Eidelson on Wal-Mart strike; Keane Bhatt on Venezuela vote

Photo: OUR Walmart

Workers at Wal-Mart walked off the job this week and that is business far from usual at the retail giant. Reporter Josh Eidelson explains why it’s a game-changer. And U.S. media were rooting against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Journalist and activist Keane Bhatt will tell us about the worst of the coverage.

Sep 14 2012

Kevin Kumashiro on Chicago teachers’ strike, Rose Aguilar on poverty reporting

Photo: firedoglakedotcom / Flickr

This week on CounterSpin: The biggest fight the striking Chicago Teachers Union face is with the school district and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. But the story has exposed, once again, that corporate media have little good to say about organized teachers. We’ll talk to Kevin Kumashiro of the University of Illinois-Chicago about what the fight in Chicago is really about. Also on CounterSpin: In a campaign in which economic issues play prominently, the issue of poverty, affecting huge numbers of Americans is almost totally ignored: A new FAIR study finds poverty has been discussed in just 0.2 percent of campaign […]