Democracy

Buying Your Way Into Airline "Radio News"

"The caller to Joanne Doroshow's office last month described
himself as working for Sky Radio Network, a company that
produces programming for Forbes Radio, one of the audio
channels available to passengers on American Airlines. As the executive director of the Center for Justice and
Democracy, a nonprofit organization that casts itself as a
champion of consumer rights, Ms. Doroshow was asked if she
would be interviewed for a talk show examining the issue of
tort reform. When Ms. Doroshow agreed, she said, the caller

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Killing the Messenger in Guatemala

Journalists in Guatemala have recently been attacked, one fatally, by mobs supporting former dictator Rios Montt who is campaigning to become the country's president. '"The press is the only functioning institution in this country. That is why they either have to control it or scare it,'" said Mario Antonio Sandoval, vice president of the daily Prensa Libre and president of the 6-month-old cable channel Guatevision.

No

The Iron Triangle

The Carlyle Group sits at the epicenter of the military-industrial complex that connects the Bush-Cheney administration with crony capitalism. Dan Briody, discusses The Iron Triangle, his new book about the Carlyle Group, which has recently begun to dabble in media acquisition. "We're looking at the potential for having a real controlling influence in the media," he says. "And I personally would not like to see Carlyle Group controlling the information that I receive on a daily basis."

No

Democracy Up, America Down

Throughout the world, including Muslim countries, people place a high value on freedom of expression, freedom of the press, multi-party systems and equal treatment under the law, reports a 44-nation survey of world opinion conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. Support for the United States, however, is another matter. "The speed of the war in Iraq and the prevailing belief that the Iraqi people are better off as a result have modestly improved the image of America," states the survey summary. "But in most countries, opinions of the U.S.

No

Thought Crime in New Mexico

Several high school teachers in New Mexico have been suspended or fired after refusing to enforce pro-war views in their classrooms. Geoff Barrett, a teacher at Albuquerque's Highland High School, was suspended after refusing to remove student-made artwork expressing views on the recent U.S. war against Iraq.

No

24-Hour Mideast TV To Promote "Freedom & Democracy"

The White House expects congressional funding to the tune of $64 million for the first-ever, 24-hour Arabic-language satellite television network. "The aim is to provide the Middle East's tens of millions of viewers with an alternative to their usual viewing diet of unremediated anti-American propaganda," the Hill's Melissa Seckora reports.

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PR's "Deleterious Impact on the Democratic Process"

"Every organisation that interacts with other agencies may be said to engage in public relations. Organisations by and large wish to project as good an image as they can, and often wish to communicate a particular message," Corporate Watch UK writes in the introduction to their new online report on the PR industry. "There is nothing essentially wrong in wanting to present one's own case in as effective manner as possible. However, in spite of frequent protestations to the contrary from the PR world, this is only a part of what modern PR does.

No

Anti-War Reporting Banned in UK Papers

"Sir Ray Tindle, the editor in chief of over 100 weekly newspapers across
Britain has informed all his editors that they can no longer report any
anti-war stories in their newspapers," reports Andy Rowell. Jeremy Dear of the UK's National Union of Journalists, condemned the move: " So much for the right to know, free speech and all those other rights which our forefathers fought to establish and which Sir Ray Tindle seeks to demolish at the stroke of a pen," Dear stated.

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Homefront Confidential

The Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press has issued an updated report showing "how the war on terrorism affects access to information and the public's right to know." The report includes sections on "covering the war," "military tribunals," "domestic coverage," and "the USA PATRIOT Act." The World Press Institute has just issued a similar report.

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