Corporate Media Focus on "Infotainment" Undermines Democracy
Interview with Jeff Cohen, media critic and author, conducted by Scott Harris
With the highest monthly death toll in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. invasion, a bloody resurgence of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, a fragile cease-fire in Lebanon and a federal judge's ruling that President Bush's domestic surveillance program is unconstitutional -- the biggest news story in American media is the questionable confession of a man in a 10-year-old murder case.
A media riot followed reports that John Mark Karr, an American living in Thailand had confessed to the 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey, a 6-year-old beauty queen living in Boulder, Colo. After the story broke, television news, especially cable news channels, broadcast almost round-the-clock coverage of the case, virtually blocking out all other critical news stories in the U.S. and from around the world.
Television executives argue that they're only giving American TV viewers what they want, but media critics assert that journalism has long ago lost out to the entertainment value of scandal and sensationalism which is cheap to produce and inoffensive to those in power. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jeff Cohen, founder of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. Cohen, author of the book, "Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media," discusses his insiders' view of how media corporations decide the time devoted and viewpoints presented in covering news stories.
Free Press www.freepress.net
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting www.fair.org
Professor Robert McChesney, author of the book "Rich Media, Poor Democracy": www.robertmcchesney.com
LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories & interviews with activists & journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national & regional political, economic & social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics & to check out our text archive listing topics & guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET & Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April & October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link & weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to email@example.com
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2006 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.