New Civilization News: Media Reform    
 Media Reform6 comments
picture10 Jul 2007 @ 00:38, by Unknown

The view of Michael Copps, like FCC fellow commissioner, Jonathan Adelstein, is that "Democracy is premised on giving people sufficient depth and breadth of information that they'll generally make intelligent decisions" for their own good or "for the good of the country."

"We are skating perilously close to denying folks that kind of information, in no small degree because of media consolidation," Copps says.

The two fervently believes in the need for vigorous, vigilant media and take seriously their agency's mandate to promote localism, diversity, and competition. Which is why, in the past four years, they've fought so hard against media consolidation.

"We have a lot of important issues in this country right now: issues of peace and war, finding a job and keeping a job, educating your kids--the list goes on," Copps says. "Maybe one of those is your number one issue, but media consolidation probably ought to be your number two issue. Because the only way the American people hear about your number one issue is largely how it's funneled through the filter of big media."

The commissioners refer to this crusade for the public interest as a fight for "media democracy." Activists prefer the moniker "media reform"...

More here on the Jul/Aug 2007 issue of Utne Reader: Big Media Meets Its Match

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10 Jul 2007 @ 23:21 by i2i : Looks like Rupert Murdoch
has been experiencing some pushing back, too. Sierra Club is launching some kind of a civic action sort of a thing under the form of a petition to Home Depot (and possibly other advertisers too) demanding in essence that they stop advertising on Fox, on the ground that the network "consistently spreads misinformation about and denies the existence of global warming" in an unfair and unbalance kind of a way. And they have a video to make their case too: {link:|youtube video}.  

11 Jul 2007 @ 00:02 by Hanae @ : Freedom of Expression

Tough call, and a touching issue, there, to be sure. Rupert Murdoch or Fox have, in my opinion, every right, I suppose, to deny "the existence of global warming" if they so choose, the question is one of volume and the drowning out (and/or smearing) of all other voices. And "disinformation" is certainly a serious issue, let alone the fact that there would also be something there to be said about the obvious one-sidedness of a network who prides itself in its being "fair and balanced." The interesting thing to me is that despite it all the Fox network is doing rather well, indeed. As a matter of facts, one of those flat screen TV has recently appeared above the counter at the diner next door to me and Fox is the only thing that those folks ever show - and I don't even live in a red sate. So, maybe, there is something there. Is Fox really "disinforming" people, or is the network telling people what it is that they really want to hear?  

11 Jul 2007 @ 00:29 by i2i : Disinformation
Disinformation is the deliberate dissemination of false information. I don't think it is relevant whether it does support or not what people "want to believe," it is still disinformation. If the "disinformation" supports what people "want to believe," however, it does also bear another name, in that case it's called demagoguery: a political strategy for obtaining and gaining popularity and influence by appealing to the popular prejudices, fears and expectations of the public — typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda, and often using nationalist or populist themes.  

11 Jul 2007 @ 01:14 by Hanae @ : ASNE Statement of Principles

ASNE's Statement of Principles was originally adopted in 1922 as the "Canons of Journalism." The document was revised and renamed "Statement of Principles" in 1975.

PREAMBLE. The First Amendment, protecting freedom of expression from abridgment by any law, guarantees to the people through their press a constitutional right, and thereby places on newspaper people a particular responsibility. Thus journalism demands of its practitioners not only industry and knowledge but also the pursuit of a standard of integrity proportionate to the journalist's singular obligation. To this end the American Society of Newspaper Editors sets forth this Statement of Principles as a standard encouraging the highest ethical and professional performance.

I - RESPONSIBILITY: The primary purpose of gathering and distributing news and opinion is to serve the general welfare by informing the people and enabling them to make judgments on the issues of the time. Newspapermen and women who abuse the power of their professional role for selfish motives or unworthy purposes are faithless to that public trust. The American press was made free not just to inform or just to serve as a forum for debate but also to bring an independent scrutiny to bear on the forces of power in the society, including the conduct of official power at all levels of government.

II - FREEDOM OF THE PRESS: Freedom of the press belongs to the people. It must be defended against encroachment or assault from any quarter, public or private. Journalists must be constantly alert to see that the public's business is conducted in public. They must be vigilant against all who would exploit the press for selfish purposes.

III - INDEPENDENCE: Journalists must avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety as well as any conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict. They should neither accept anything nor pursue any activity that might compromise or seem to compromise their integrity.

IV - TRUTH AND ACCURACY: Good faith with the reader is the foundation of good journalism. Every effort must be made to assure that the news content is accurate, free from bias and in context, and that all sides are presented fairly. Editorials, analytical articles and commentary should be held to the same standards of accuracy with respect to facts as news reports. Significant errors of fact, as well as errors of omission, should be corrected promptly and prominently.

V - IMPARTIALITY: To be impartial does not require the press to be unquestioning or to refrain from editorial expression. Sound practice, however, demands a clear distinction for the reader between news reports and opinion. Articles that contain opinion or personal interpretation should be clearly identified.

VI - FAIR PLAY: Journalists should respect the rights of people involved in the news, observe the common standards of decency and stand accountable to the public for the fairness and accuracy of their news reports. Persons publicly accused should be given the earliest opportunity to respond. Pledges of confidentiality to news sources must be honored at all costs, and therefore should not be given lightly. Unless there is clear and pressing need to maintain confidences, sources of information should be identified.

These principles are intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the bond of trust and respect between American journalists and the American people, a bond that is essential to sustain the grant of freedom entrusted to both by the nation's founders.  

11 Jul 2007 @ 01:19 by Hanae @ : And this is the SPJ Code of Ethics

The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of
writers, editors and other news professionals. The present version of
the code was adopted by the 1996 SPJ National Convention, after months
of study and debate among the Society's members.

Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society's principles and standards of practice.


Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:

— Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
— Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing.
— Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
— Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
— Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.
— Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
— Avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events. If re-enactment is necessary to tell a story, label it.
— Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story
— Never plagiarize.
— Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
— Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
— Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
— Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
— Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.
— Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.
— Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.


Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.

Journalists should:

— Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
— Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
— Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
— Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
— Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
— Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
— Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
— Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.


Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.

Journalists should:

—Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
— Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
— Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
— Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.


Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

Journalists should:

— Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
— Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
— Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
— Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
— Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.  

5 Oct 2007 @ 19:51 by googie : Victim of abuse in Cuba - his comments
Speaking of disinformation ~ This British/middle eastern guy from Cuba recently listed as abuses; rock & roll music played loudly, the name-calling, spiting, veiled threats, as if these were brutality toward prisoners, to get the truth from him. Then he proceeded to challenge that the abusers used stupid and "even naieve tactics". Does this not sound like he had more information than they were able to get from him? He had been detained because he was an Al Queda sympathizer. What did he mean naieve?
"In psy-ops it's their job to panic the enemy, to blunt his will to fight. They must know his customs, habits & fears to determine vunerability of the enemy. Inside and out, they must fill him with fear - & beyond fear". from movie, "The Generals Daughter"

Regarding recent representation of "American's dialoging" with Mahmud Amadenijab; how did this man - a President of Columbia U! with his personal openion of what was imperative to discuss get the floor on National news? Then a student who acusses Amadinijab of provoking us was the next to speak. This a puclic debasing of our honor to other countries, just as the obsession with a dead starlet for weeks in the media, men tapping each others shoes under the bathroom booths stories, these thousands of things that do not represent the best of mankind. How is it the blind are leading the views of perception to the world for the rest of us? Thank goodness the Vice President of Iran spoke in clarifying terms the next day.

Over emphasizing our collective unconscience becomes morbid, and under emphasizing it leads to ________________ I have to look up this quote and get back. It is so right on.

"Learning from our past allows us to make better choices for our future. Human beings are aggressive animals...there will always be evil. That's why we construct religions. If evils, they must have a God - (a God who puts everything right). There will always be evils - there will always be wars." Ken Burns series, WAR. Trying to comprehend a world without war - a natural global leadership...seems to lack reality as well as momentum. So it shows up in our media which is supposed to be an eye to our soul. Can we summon this natural flow of will - this natural leadership prevailing once again before it's too late from America? We have to keep our eye fixed to where the trail meets the sky.
Or will we be like Barry Sonnenfeld of Pushing Daisies, who said "my motto is live in fear...except on Tuesday and then it's cling to the wreckage...that's when I'm having a good day."  

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Other entries in
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9 Mar 2008 @ 14:01: What Will It Take?
24 Dec 2007 @ 21:41: X-Mas In NOLA
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26 Oct 2007 @ 05:20: Thought Crime Law
1 Oct 2007 @ 18:49: The Adoption of the Nazi State, with silence.
16 Sep 2007 @ 09:19: AMERIKAN DEMOCRACY DEAD
14 Sep 2007 @ 06:17: SURRENDER

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