After months of railing against the secrecy necessitated by Wisconsin's dark money criminal investigation, Wisconsin Club for Growth (WCFG) is now fighting to keep hundreds of documents in the probe secret.
In one of the first cases to rely on the U.S. Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision, a federal judge just tried to open the door to new levels of corruption in Wisconsin elections.
Despite a full-court press defending the supposed benefits of genetically engineered "golden rice," it has never entered production. According to Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News, the science media has utterly failed to report accurately on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- on their failures and criticisms rather than just their potential successes. A transgenic high-protein cassava, a type of starchy edible root, was lauded in the scientific press but fizzled not long after. So did a supposedly virus-resistant sweet potato that was widely hailed in the media. According to Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News, these and others are just a few examples of what he says is the utter failure of the science media to report accurately and critically on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) -- on their failures rather than just their touted successes.
by Dylan Brogan
At the height of the collective bargaining protests, when nearly all the doors at the Capitol were locked and guarded by police officers from every corner of the state, Dick Wheeler -- the unquestioned leader of the Wisconsin Capitol press corps -- ensured that members of the media were not denied access to the building.
Manufacturers of flame retardant chemicals, an industry that got a boost from Big Tobacco's shadow money decades ago, are being exposed to increased public scrutiny. In the fallout, a front group formed by the three biggest manufacturers, calling itself "Citizens for Fire Safety," has been shuttered.
A downer cow at a California dairy was recently found to be infected with an "atypical" strain of "bovine spongiform encephalopathy" (BSE), or "mad cow" disease. There has been some significant media coverage of the case, and the USDA wants the media to know they are not pleased.
The Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College has selected the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) for its annual "Izzy Award," which recognizes outstanding achievement in independent media. CMD was recognized for its ALEC Exposed project, and shares this year's award with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who was recognized for his exceptional reporting from Tahir Square. The award is named for the legendary I.F. Stone, the maverick investigative journalist who challenged Joe McCarthy's scare campaign and was the first to question the Gulf of Tonkin hoax.
President Obama visited Wisconsin today to speak at Master Lock, a union firm that that has brought 100 manufacturing jobs back from China to the United States. Because it was the President's first visit to the state since the historic fight over collective bargaining broke out over one year ago, everyone was watching to see if he would address the controversy or signal his support. Some saw signals where none were intended.
Documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, recently unsealed as part of a major lawsuit against Syngenta, reveal how the global chemical company's PR team investigated the press and spent millions to spin news coverage and public perceptions in the face of growing concerns about potential health risks from the widely used weed-killer "atrazine."
Corporate spinmeisters may take note of a new study out this month by University of Missouri and University of Singapore researchers. They studied readers' reaction to various news articles and found that the subtle way in which journalists report on crises -- like oil spills, plane crashes or product recalls -- can affect the public's attitude towards the corporation involved in the crisis. Not surprisingly, the public tends to respond more favorably towards a corporation if the story is given a "sadness-frame," meaning if it centers around the plight of the victims and how relief is being delivered. By contrast, if a story focuses on the corporation's contribution to the crisis, including laws that were potentially broken and possible punishment, it elicits a more negative attitudes towards the corporation. The research may prove useful to corporate criminals as well as accident-prone industries. "It is important for corporations to put on a human face during crises," Cameron said. "If a corporation can focus on the well-being of the victims and how the corporation will improve following the crisis, they have a better chance of influencing 'sadness-frame' news coverage as opposed to 'anger-frame' coverage. If the news coverage remains 'sadness-framed,' public perception will stay more positive." Watch for this spin in your local news and keep us informed at PRWatch.org.