"A journey through the TV and radio channels and the pages of the newspapers exposes a huge and embarrassing gap between what is reported to us and what is seen, heard, and read in the world - not only in the commentaries and analytical pieces, but also in the reporting of the dry facts," writes Aviv Lavie in the Israeli newspapeer Ha'aretz.
The Society of Professional Journalists is asking the government of Israel to stop the harassment of journalists trying to cover the conflict in the West Bank. "SPJ is deeply concerned that the Government of Israel is worsening the grave situation in the Occupied Territories by injuring and intimidating journalists who are attempting to report the biggest story in the world today," said SPJ President Al Cross in a letter delivered to the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
"As Israelis and Palestinians ratchet up the violence, dimming prospects for Middle East peace, their supporters in the United States are conducting an ever more frenetic public relations battle," reports Reuters correspondent Christian Wiessner. But Palestinians trying to win support for their side in the U.S.
Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now reports: "Yesterday [Monday], Democracy Now saw a CNN news zipper announcing that the Ramallah offices of CNN, Fox and other networks had been raided by the Israeli military. It also said that the news organizations had been told to run their reports by the Israeli authorities. But after scouring the internet and wires last night, we could find no other reports of this, aside from a sentence buried in a CNN story confirming that 'Israeli forces raided the offices of several news organizations and one U.S.
Though President Bush says he envisions a world that settles disputes with "reason and good will," he is deepening U.S. ties with countries that commit human-rights abuses. "But Bush's coalition against terrorism is deepening U.S. military ties with countries that ... commit human-rights abuses that are well documented by the State Department," writes Frida Berrigan. "Last month, the department released its annual 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.' It lists 52 countries that are receiving U.S. military training or weapons as having 'poor' or 'very poor' human-rights records."
"The Israeli army has taken harsh action in recent days against news media covering its campaign in the West Bank, employing intimidation and other drastic measures to keep journalists away from its largest offensive in a generation," reports MSNBC.
As of April first, 130,000 hectares of rainforests have been added to New Zealand's National Parks and conservation reserves, thanks to the the unravelling and demise of a devious pro-logging PR campaign run by a government-owned company, Timberlands, and its PR adviser, Shandwick New Zealand. In 1999 a whistleblower leaked hundreds of pages of internal Shandwick documents which formed the basis for the shocking exposé Secrets and Lies: The Anatomy of an Anti-Environmental PR Campaign by Nicky Hager and Bob Burton.
Thanks to Saudi Arabia's generous willingness to sell oil to the United States, politicians generally turn a blind eye to its repressive government and frequent anti-Semitism, which surfaced again recently when Al-Riyadh, the Saudi government's daily newspaper, published an article claiming that Jews celebrate the holiday of Purim by eating special pastries filled with "the blood of Christian and Muslim children under the age of 10" extracted using slow torture with sharp needles --
"Ethiopia spent a whopping $5.6 million in lobbying fees/expenses at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand during the firm's recent six-month reporting period," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "For Ethiopia, VLBM&H provided advice on the peace treaty with Eritrea, and explored commercial opportunities for Ethiopian businesses in the U.S." During that period VLBM&H also represented India, Cyprus, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Mexico, China, Montenegro and Slovenia. "On the downside," O'Dwyer's writes, "VLBM&H was terminated by Yemen's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Saudi Arabia is paying Qorvis Communications a $200,000 monthly retainer, according to Scott Warner, spokesman for the Washington, D.C., firm that is affiliated with Patton Boggs," O'Dwyer's PR reports. "The firm is handling PA [public affairs] and media relations for the Kingdom, which has stepped into the spotlight following release of its so-called Middle East peace plan that Crown Prince Abdullah announced to New York Times foreign affairs op-ed writer Tom Friedman in February."