On NPR, Please Follow the Script

"Last week I found out that National Public Radio wants the opinions of antiwar activists -- as long as we follow the right script," writes University of Texas journalism professor and co-founder of the Nowar Collective Robert Jensen. "After the first question, it was clear [NPR's Scott] Simon expected me to follow a script that would go something like this: Yes, I'm against this war, but I know that Saddam Hussein is such a monster that nothing short of war can deal with him.


Media Conglomerate Funds Pro-War Rallies

"These demonstrators wore shorts
and ball caps, pushed strollers and carried American flags,
but what most set them apart was the support they displayed ... for the
American-led war in Iraq. ... It was meant as ... an
angry protest against the antiwar sentiment that has been
more visible elsewhere, particularly in large cities. 'Don't let these peace protesters confuse you,' Glenn Beck,
a conservative radio host from Philadelphia, told the crowd


Media Allowed Bush to Mislead the Public Into War

"Critics of the war ... blame the
news media, asserting that they failed to challenge the
administration aggressively enough as it made a shaky case
for war. In an interview, Eric Alterman ... argued,
'Support for this war is in part a reflection that the
media has allowed the Bush administration to get away with
misleading the American people.' ... The strongest indictment of the press, many of these
critics argue, are recent polls that suggest many Americans


Courting Al-Jazeera

"Bush administration officials once referred to Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite network based here, as 'All Osama All the Time' for its regular showings of Al Qaeda video tapes and frequent appearances by anti-American commentators," write Jane Perlez and Jim Rutenberg. Last week, however, several U.S. officials accepted an invitation to a barbecue in at the home of Al-Jazeera's news director.


A Call For Independent Community Media

"The new US war on Iraq has begun: arguably the greatest moral tragedy of a generation, an unprecedented failure of diplomacy and international order, and a profound crime against the principles of democracy," the Independent Media Center wrote in a statement calling on citizens to seek out news from and create news stories for their nearest IMC.


Media Watchdogs Caught Napping

In the run up to war in Iraq, foreign news websites are seeing large
volumes of traffic from America, as U.S. citizens increasingly seek news
coverage about the coming war. "Given how timid most U.S. news organizations have been in challenging the White House position on Iraq, I'm not surprised if Americans are turning to foreign news services for a perspective on the conflict that goes beyond freedom fries," said Deborah Branscom, a Newsweek contributing editor, who keeps a weblog devoted to media issues.


TV Networks Continue to Ban Ads for Peace

"MTV has refused to accept a commercial opposing a war in
Iraq, citing a policy against advocacy spots that it says
protects the channel from having to run ads from any
cash-rich interest group whose cause may be loathsome. ... 'It is irresponsible for news organizations not to accept
ads that are controversial on serious issues, assuming they
are not scurrilous or in bad taste,' said Alex Jones,
director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press,
Politics and Public Policy at Harvard. 'In the world we


US-Funded Radio Sawa Big Hit In Middle East

Within six months of going on the air Radio Sawa -- Sawa is the Arabic word for "coming together" -- has more listeners than BBC and local stations in Jordan according to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the U.S. government agency that oversees Radio Sawa and the Voice of America. The station broadcasts 24 hours-a-day from seven transmitters throughout the Middle East and features a mix of Arabic and Western pop music with news headlines every half-hour.


US Radio Station Alter Playlists for War on Iraq

"After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, listeners denounced
many radio stations for playing songs insensitive to a
nation in mourning. Now, program directors are planning to
adjust their playlists if the United States goes to war
with Iraq. Expect to hear more patriotic tunes, and songs that appear right for the moment. ... Music stations will also increase their news reports if war
breaks out. Because radio has become so segmented in the
last 15 years, news had vanished from many music stations.



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