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Local "news?"

Well, having read here about the demonstrations and other actions about time here, and only here,
I proceeded (as an experiment) to check the local "news" broadcasts, to see what their take was on what was/had happened in Stumptown today. Nothing. Absolutely fucking NOTHING happened in Portland today. So, they had to fill the time with a review of Chronicles of Narnia (Again!), and weather. No interest in those protesting, those arrested, or the reasons for such actions. No "in depth" look at the issues surrounding wearing dead animals to highlight your personal shallowness, or World Trade, or Solidarity. Nothing about the woman who was assaulted by a cop, or the others who were arrested for the crime of being in the area. No fuckin news today.

Does anyone here STILL turn to the corporate infotainment tube to learn the truth of what is happening? It will rot your brain.

Oh, and don't bother telling them, THEY KNOW. I spent hours talking with several "reporters," who readilly admit that they come here to get their news, and sometimes they are able to run some of it past their corporate masters.
What is wrong with Portland mainstream media?!?! 10.Dec.2005 18:21

Scotty B.

So I moved here a few months ago from Boise, ID, an extremely conservative city in an extremely conservative state. A crazy extreme right-wing activist who's main platform was putting Ten Commandment displays all over public places just gained 30% of the vote in the last city council election there.

However, in Boise, there was still a devouted group of educated activists who tackled the issues and held protests and events, same as they do here. We had a protest when Bush/Cheney came to town that drew a good 600 or 700 people - not as many as the protests in Portland when Bush visited, but good for it's size.

The thing that is absolutely mindboggling to me is this - in Boise, if we had an anti-war protest that drew 500 people, the mainstream newschannels covered. If there was any kind of notable community action at all, the media would cover it, both the newschannels and (somewhat more sparingly), the Idaho Statesman mainstream paper.

In fact, last summer about a dozen people I knew from Amnesty International in high school got together and we held a public fast in order to draw attention to the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and try to educate people about the problem. There was only about 12 of us involved, and in all honesty we we're as successful as we'd hoped in drawing visitors to our informational booth, but guess what? 2 out of the 3 main newschannels covered our fast and talked about how people in Boise were concerned about the situation in Darfur.

In Portland, 2000-2500 people march down the streets of downtown against the WTO, the police officers assault someone, and what does the media cover? The lurking "problem" of prostitution in SE Portland. Wow. And someone jumped off the Sellwood bridge after a police chase. How exciting! 2500 people may have marched downtown, people were arrested trying to stand up for labor rights, and...that's more important? What is wrong with these people?!!??!

I agree that local mainstream media EVERYWHERE is pretty crappy and useless, but Portland seems to be especially especially bad in comparison to Boise. I don't quite get it. I can honestly say that the media in Portland, OR, is far more conservative than the media in Idaho.

Local "news" is owned by a megacorp 10.Dec.2005 18:52

Juan Sagin

We do not have any local corp news, or corp stations. Like "Public" broadcasting, they have been sold to the highest bidder. Keep the action here. Soon, everyone will discover it, and the word can be disseminated to everyone from a real source.

Got a good accounting of today's events by several reporters here on this site, the one above by a Videoista is pretty damning.

Please, please, please don't... 11.Dec.2005 00:01


Please, please, please don't call the local media's
presentations "news" or "journalism".
It's INFO-TAINMENT, pure and simple (and quite obvious).

They are most decidedly NOT in the journalism business.
They are in the ENTERTAINMENT business.

Original, hard hitting investigative news gathering is
extremely expensive and makes very little (if any) money.

Repeating the government and police press releases almost
verbatim like trained parrots is inexpensive and highly profitable.
They let the govenment do the "work" for them (at our expense),
accept it at face value, and rarely question the party line unless
public opinion demands it. And even then often they don't, in fear
of losing their cushy relationship with those in power
and those precious advertising dollars by rocking the boat.

When's the last time you saw an investigative story done
on any local new car dealer's shady sales practices?
We all know anecdotally of consumers being ripped-off
and mis-led in order to get that sale. That doesn't happen
in the Portland metro area? Were in a glass bubble here?

What about XXX Corporation in Portland laying off 400 employees?
Does Channel 2/6/8/12 also mention their CEO was just given
a $100,000 raise last quarter, and that he was already making
an outrageous number of times what the average hourly person was?
Is there any mention of the additional strain that will be placed
on already over-burdened social services?
Of course not. The story usually ends with the news anchors conjuring up
a little phony empathy. Perhaps they hang their heads for a moment.
It's all too predictable.
Then on to the weather, the traffic report or countless nauseating minutes
devoted to those god-damned "feel-good" stories.

Did you know that the FCC grants broadcast media their licenses on the condition
that they operate "in the public interest"? How's all of this crap they
spew out "in the public interest"? Just before the renewal of their licenses,
the FCC invites public comment whether or not they should be re-newed and why.
I send my comments, DO YOU? The broadcast media's under the impression
their licenses are for eternity. Perhaps with enough input to the FCC,
they may have to re-think their impressions.
(At least that's the way it's supposed to work)

I long for the day KGW/Belo, KATU/Fisher, KOIN/Emmis,
KPTV/Meredith each announce layoffs due to declining
TV news ratings. THEY ALL SUCK!

YEP! corporate news black-out 11.Dec.2005 13:04


I have double-checked for the impression we have of a corporate news black-out. Google News and Yahoo News searches show NOTHING about the Portland anti-WTO demos or any other local demos in the U.S. EXCEPT that Yahoo News search takes me to the Beta Blog search, which lists Indymedia links, mostly Portland Indymedia! (I tried many combinations like "WTO demonstrations San Francisco" and others.)

Even about the Hong Kong demonstations, the news sources are almost entirely via Agence France Presse and Reuters. Coverage by CNN, however. Also, some coverage from investor-oriented news sources, like Bloomberg. (When their money is involved, investors want facts, not propaganda!) You would think that the U.S., ever (hypo)critical of China on human rights, would make a big issue out of that the Animal Farm rulers of China have banned 300 people - on a SECRET list, so you wouldn't even know if you are banned - from Hong Kong during the WTO conference. (Or maybe not, considering that the technique is all too familiar to US.)

Even about the fact that the WTO conference appears doomed to be a big flop - as far as reaching the goals that global capital has set since before Cancun - even that is mostly available only via such sources as Agence France Presse and the International Herald Tribune.

It appears, however, that the exception to the intellectual property provisions - to bring the price of essential drugs for HIV/AIDS, malaria, etc., to where poor countries/populations can afford them - will be approved by this conference.

Mia Culpa? 12.Dec.2005 08:37

Juan Segin

It seems that I may have been in error. I attempted to check all the news stations in those torturous hours from five to seven (ten is my bed time), and for the life of me, could not find one, even ONE mention of any of the demos in P town. Perhaps, my surfing fingers were not fast enough? Fact Checker, on another string, indicates that channel six DID have a pretty good vid and sound bite in re/ the story, but I cannot find it on their web site. Has anyone else seen such a story? It would be good to know if one of the stations actually DID run a story that was not in lock step with all the others. It would be a break with tradition, but I would hate to be denigrating them all with the same brush, if one has actually looked out their window.

Get ready to be arrested 13.Dec.2005 10:58

Lawrence Maushard

unfortunately, marchers in the streets of Stumptown are no longer news. if you want to get on the tube or in the papers, demonstrators will have to be willing to do a lot of civil disobedience work,

like blocking intersections,
shutting down highways,
blocking bridges,
sit-ins at federal buildings, etc.

that's the only way Portland media will cover us for here on out.

otherwise, we are being ignored.

Media Coverage 13.Dec.2005 15:28

fact checker

I couldn't find it on the KOIN 6 website, but the story definitely aired twice on Sunday. I have the videotape if anyone really needs to see it. I also heard that Channel 8 covered it, but have not been able to confirm that.

It's too bad that such inaccurate stories about the media coverage are being featured on Indymedia. We should definitely critique the corporate media, but basing our arguments on stuff that is just plain wrong is not going to get us anywhere.