CNN's Reliably Narrow Sources

The media watchdog FAIR/Extra! has studied the guestlist of CNN's Reliable Sources to see how many critical voices were heard on the program that claims to "turn a critical lens on the media." Covering one year of weekly programs, the FAIR study found that Reliable Sources strongly favored mainstream media insiders and right-leaning pundits. In addition, female critics were significantly underrepresented, and ethnic minority voices were almost non-existent.


From Muckrakers to Buckrakers

Three decades after their stories in the Washington Post led to President Nixon's resignation, Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein have sold their notebooks and other materials from the Watergate years to the University of Texas at Austin for $5 million. "Woodward and Bernstein have found a new way to buckrake," comments Richard Blow. "While that may make them richer, it doesn't enrich the profession, or the regard in which the public holds it."


Poster Boy for War

Just when you thought American TV couldn't stoop any lower, now we have the plight of Ali Abbas, a 12-year-old Iraqi boy who lost both of his arms, along with his parents, three siblings and ten other relatives, in a missile strike on Baghdad. Now he has become "a redemption story, the kind we like," muses Joan Walsh. The U.S. military has flown him to Kuwait, where reporters are breathlessly following his medical treatment. "But some of the stories have tried to deal with an uncomfortable fact. Ali is, um, well, he's angry at the U.S. for killing his family," Walsh writes.


Live from the Middle East

Curious to know how the news is reported in Arab countries? Now you can see for yourself. Working with WorldlinkTV, the Internet Archive is archiving and providing non-commercial access to "Mosaic," a TV program that iMosaic selects, translates, and repackages news programs from the Middle East for a western audience.


Pentagon PR Star Torie Clarke Embeds the Press

Bill Berkowitz writes that "a relatively quick war against an overwhelmed and outmatched foe -- sanitized of civilian casualties -- has been a tonic for a Pentagon hungry for good publicity. ... Embedding reporters is the brainchild of Victoria 'Torie' Clarke, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Clarke brings considerable PR experience to the task of winning the spin war.


"It's The Policy, Stupid"

"The front line in the war for hearts and minds in the Arab world and
beyond is here, at the U.S. Central Command headquarters and media
center," writes the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof from Doha, Qatar. Kristof gives the Bush administration credit for reaching out to the foreign press, noting that Al Jazeera was assigned a front row seat for press briefings while the Times was in the second row. But he suggests international journalists see through the spin.


Cameraman Killed In Northern Iraq Worked For Pentagon PR Firm

Australian cameraman Paul Moran, who was killed by a suicide bomber on March 20, had worked for the Rendon Group, a Washington-based PR firm currently being used by the Pentagon, the Adelaide Advertiser reports. At the time of his death, Moran was on an assignment for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in northern Iraq.


War Is a Rich Time for Students of Propaganda

PR Week commentator Paul Holmes writes that "the 'embedding' of reporters in military units is the most brilliant
strategic decision of this entire campaign, since its effect appears to
be the transformation of usually intelligent reporters into Pentagon
[Public Relations Officers]. As someone in the administration obviously realised, it's hard to
hold on to journalistic integrity when you're dependent for continued


Official Story Vs. Eyewitness Account

"A recent Washington Post article describing the killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers at a checkpoint outside the Iraqi town of Najaf proved that 'embedded' journalists do have the ability to report on war in all its horror. But the rejection by some U.S. outlets of Post correspondent



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