"The business of the journalists is to
destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet
of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know
it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent
John Swinton, head of New York Times editorial staff,
"We see press
headlines about 'schizo' murderers and fictional characters in film or on TV
are often no better.
Too often, characters with mental illness are the
sinister baddies waiting in the shadows, they're the ones you're supposed to be
frightened of, not empathize with.
This is particularly worrying in
light of research by Time to Change, which found that people develop their
understanding of mental illness from films, more than any other type of media."
- Rachel Hobbs
"The corporate culture came to dominate the news
business, treating news as a commodity or service no different from 'toasters,
light bulbs, or jet engines'." - Lawrence Grossman 1995
"The rhythm of the news cycle has changed so
dramatically that what's really been excluded is the time that it takes to
think." - Barry Schwartz
Most newspapers in
the early 19th century cost six cents a copy and were affordable only to the
upper classes, though a barter system often allowed readers to trade rags,
whiskey or other goods
for a subscription.
Hand-powered presses are essentially unchanged from
1810 German printer
Friedrich Koenig patents the steam-powered press.
1820 500 newspapers are being published.
1843 American Richard M. Hoe makes a further improvement
with the rotary printing
press, which arranged the material to be printed on a cylinder rather than
a flat plate, allowing a much larger volumes of material to be printed -
millions of copies in a day rather than thousands - at a lower cost available
at prices affordable to the working class.
1860 3,000 newspapers are being published with 1.5
1885 John D Rockefeller
purchases the Oil City,
William Randolf Hearst runs the following headline in the New York
Journal the day after powder storage on the US$ Maine explodes:
"HOW DO YOU LIKE
THE JOURNAL'S WAR!"
"I rather like the idea of war - not a big one -
but one that will arouse interest and give me a chance to gauge the reflex on
our circulation figures."
Joseph Pulitzer realized he needed to create a newspaper for a
broad audience who was steeped in cheap dime novels and
family story papers.
Joseph Pulitzer* pioneered the use of
images, cartoons and
lavishly and writing news in such a
way that it appealed to the
The evolution of the New York World
into a visual entertainment medium increased circulation from 15,000 to 350,000
within four years.
"The New York Graphic editor Emile Gauvreau,
with an insight not
unlike Hearst's realized that newspapers could create characters from real
people and then "star"
them in adventures that could be featured on the front page news. Once
these individuals did would be news simply by dint of their
recognizability. Thus was
the celebrity made." - Neil Gabler
"A profession once dominated by tough, streetwise
refugees from the working class is now dominated by dainty alumni from our
finest schools, people to whom poverty is not only
unpleasant and unhygienic but totally uncool." - Joe QueenanMarquette University's Department of Journalism 1992
survey of 147 editors of daily newspapers:
- 93.2% said sponsors had
"threatened to withdraw advertising from the newspaper because of the content
of the stories." (89% replied advertisers followed through on this threat)
89.9% responded that advertisers had "tried to influence the content of a news
story or feature."
- 71.4% said that "an advertiser tried to kill a
story at the newspaper."
- 55.1% revealed that they had gotten "pressure
from within the newspaper to write or tailor news stories to please
- 36.7% said that advertisers had "succeeded in
influencing news or features in the newspaper."
"From 1989 to 2005, the number of US papers
featuring weekly science-related sections shrank from ninety-five to
thirty-four." - Chris Mooney
"Most editors and newsmen on the staffs of
Life, Look, Time, Newsweek, etc., and most editors,
reporters, and commentators at NBC, CBS, and ABC take their
news and editorial cues from the New York
Technically, a great newspaper, it reports the news in
conformity with editorial
policies." - Alice Widener
Journalism of verification has ceded ground for years on talk
shows and cable to a new journalism of assertion, where information is offered
with meager attempts independently to verify the informations veracity.
The result is that stories are
sometimes true and sometimes
All this makes it easier for those who would
maniplulate public opinion.
Those who distrust corporate
news media are often heavier consumers of news outlets than those who are
This is explained by the fact that there is
so much conflicting content.
Journalists need to document their reporting
process openly so that audiences
can decide for themselves whether to trust their reports.
PBS have a different range of concerns from those who watch cable, where
entertainment and celebrity are the agenda.
"I thought news briefings were meant to inform
Fox News, journalists offer their own opinions, without attribution to any
reporting, in seven out of ten stories. That happens in less than one story out
of ten on CNN, and in
fewer than three stories out of ten on MSNBC.
Fox news stories are more
deeply sourced than those of its cable rivals, but are also more one-sided.
PBS's NewsHour, however, is noticeably even more thorough in its
"News organizations often willingly collude with efforts to
censor because media owners
are members of the political
elite themselves and therefore share the goals and outcomes of government
leaders. Profit ranks higher than
truth telling in the minds of media owners and many of their employees." -
2004 7% of all newspaper
stories, and 13% of front-page stories, contain anonymous sources.
Among the largest newspapers, 12% of all 2004 coverage contained
anonymous sources, compared to just 3% at the smallest newspapers and 6% at
Magazines, the growth area in publications, focus
53% of all network television stories contain anonymous
On the morning television programs the figure rose to 79%.
The use of anonymous sources was rare on cable television news.
Just 9% of the stories overall contained any anonymous sources.
Online 19% of the stories studied contained anonymous
The long term trend is toward investing fewer resources in
investment and effort is in
repackaging, reformulating, redacting, reenacting and re-presenting previously
presented "information" in
ways, not in gathering it.
Americans are more likely to see the
same images across multiple television channels, read the same wire story in
different publications and observe the crosspollination the various media
outlets such as a television advertisement
that is also played on the radio and, as well, is
into a billboard and print ads venues than they were a generation ago.
A wave of high-profile scandals involving plagiarism and
fabrication at the most
established news institutions
confirm what people already thought.
People have long considered the
press sensational, rude, pushy,
"In the early 1980s, consumers
of news began to see the press as inaccurate, less professional and caring
about the interests of ordinary Americans.
Statistical changes of
opinion about 'news' between 1985 and 2002:
highly professional -
decline from 72% to 49%;
moral - decline from 54% to
accurate - decline from 55% to 35%;
mistakes - increase from 13% to
politically biased - increase from 45% to 59%.
trust in news sources is down.
English language newspaper circulation
declined 11% since 1990 and network evening news ratings are down 34% over the
The percentage of people who believe what they read in
newspapers has declined from 80% in 1985 to 59% in 2003, and the percentage who
give high grades in credibility to network news dropped from 74% in 1996 , to
65% in 2002.
Americans resent the lack of independence,
the lack of altruistic
aspiration and the sense of
professional ethics that defined the quality journalism of the past." -
Project for Excellence
News Distortion Rule
"An unconditional right to say what one pleases
about public affairs is
what I consider to be the minimum guarantee of the
Hugo L. Black, Baptist, Mason, KKK, Supreme Court
Goldman Environmental Prize, known as the "Nobel Prize for grass roots
work," bestowed on former Fox television network reporters Jane Akre and Steve
The two investigative reporters lost their jobs when they
refused to change a news report that had displeased
reporters have visited regional dairies and had discovered that Monsanto's
bovine growth hormone was being injected into cows.
The chemical was
present in the state's milk supply despite commitments by Florida's
supermarkets not to sell milk
tainted by bovine growth
In various studies Monsanto's
rBGH bovine growth hormone
has been linked to cancer and is
banned by many countries, including Canada,
New Zealand, and the entire
Jane Akre and Steve Wilson's report said that
Monsanto has been accused of
scientific fraud in
connection with information it has provided to the EPA concerning food safety
and attempted to bribe public officials in Canada.
Jane Akre and Steve
Wilson testify that the local Fox television network station manager, David
Boylan, carefully reviewed the investigative reports for factual accuracy, find
no errors, and schedule them to run the following week.
a powerful law firm before the show ran and threatened to sue Fox television
network if the report was run.
The station offered Monsanto
an opportunity to appear on the show and
respond but Monsanto
declined the offer.
Jane Akre and Steve Wilson testified that the
local Fox television network station manager, David Boylan, then ordered the
reporters to edit the show in a way that was favorable to Monsanto and
Declining to coöperate in the deception both reporters
were given a 'special assignment' with full salaries for their contract period
provided they agreed to
sign a confidentiality agreement and provide a report acceptable to
For nine months they worked on
83 different drafts of the
story - none of which satisfied Monsanto.
"For every fact we
intended to broadcast, we had documentation six weeks from Sunday. The
station's lawyer told us, 'You don't get it. It doesn't matter what the facts
are, we don't want to be spending money to defend a lawsuit.'" - Steve
Jane Akre testified that the station had tried to force her to
say that Monsanto's rBGH
milk was safe and no different from milk without Monsanto's rBGH, despite
abundant studies that proved otherwise.
"We told them to go ahead and
kill the story," Steve Wilson says, "just don't make us lie."
fired. They sued. They won on whistleblower statute law. Overturned on appeal.
The 50 year old FCC News Distortion Rule which
prohibits broadcast of false reports was
declared to not qualify under the whistleblower statute since it had been
decided over the years in
judicial decisions and was never promulgated in a rule creation
2006 Monsanto agrees to pay $100 million
to the University of California for patent infringement of the rBGH bovine
news room culture
of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
"The reality is that it is increasingly less
realistic to expect commercial broadcast outlets to effectively serve two
masters: the student and the corporate bottom line." -
"What were once legitimate news programs now fill
our minds with stories about criminals.
Dateline NBC and 48-Hours are
prime examples." - John Kozy
"Most of what we, the audience, thinks is news is
just PR that is pitched to program producers by the publicity department of an
entity with a vested interest in seeing that person or
idea promoted." - Nancy Snow
Television news is driven by questions such as,
"Can we get good video of this?" "Is it dramatic?" "Will it draw an audience?"
It's not impossible to produce serious, quality journalism when those
conditions are always on your mind, but it's difficult. The reality is that
people in the US get most of their information about politics and policy from
television, and they get fed a lot of propaganda in the process." - Sheldon
Traditional journalistic news room culture
determines the basic nature of
a story before
investigating events, interviewing witness' and
As theorists develop
a working hypothesis
before collecting data, journalists formulate the frame of a story before
finding out what actually
"A young reporter writes an expose, but the editor says,
"I don't think we're going to run that." The second time the reporter goes to
her editor, the editor says, " I don't think that's a good idea." She doesn't
research and write the story. The third time the reporter has an idea. But she
doesn't go to her editor. The fourth time she doesn't get the idea." - Nicholas
Johnson, formerly FCC commissioner
The changing economic structure of
the television networks has eroded newsroom values. Where once a culture
committed to great journalism flourished, a culture dominated by MBAs and
financial accountability has taken its place.
One of the many byproducts
of news consultancy on the news industry has been the decreased time spent by
news programs on each story.
This emphasis on condensation and brevity
is a very subtle, but very real form of censorship in that only accepted
will be broadcast.
Accountability to shareholders has replaced
accountability to democracy and the citizens it serves.
of journalism don't involve just facts, for if they did, computers would
replace journalists. Journalism always involves choices choices among
subjects, treatment, words. As a result, the claim of objective reporting
functions simply to camouflage what is in fact a value laden activity. It is
not only the readers who are misled by the claim. The journalists too can be
blinded by their own cover." -
Vladimir Vladimirovich Pozner, Soviet propagandist and son of Vladimir
(Vladimir Aleksandrovich Pozner was chief
engineer of the European branch of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Paris in 1938 and in
1943 headed the Russian Section of the film department of the US War
Department. Vladimir Aleksandrovich Pozner was identified as a Soviet spy by
the Venona Project and corroborated by the Mitrokhin Archives after the fall of
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author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has
forged a populace unable to discern
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develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer through the pursuit
of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing the spiritual corruption that
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responsible for the collapse of morals, the elevation of
self-centered behavior and the destruction
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Coöperation does not occur at the point of a gun.
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in the ability to deceive the populace in general through corporate media by
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through prior mass media psychological operations. The results have been the
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that further consolidates their power and which further their purposes.
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