Climate change: misreporting?

A story by Mike De Souza of CanWest concerns a report blaming mainstream U.S. media for “stalled international efforts to reach an agreement to fight climate change.”

An excerpt of the story:

The report, in the latest edition of a magazine published by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, said there are multiple examples of major American media organizations watering down recent warnings from peer-reviewed scientific literature about the consequences of global warming and the human-produced pollution that is causing it.

The watchdog group based its analysis on a comparison of American and British headlines and articles about the release of a series of international reports that assessed the latest peer-reviewed on climate change.

Oddly, the report by FAIR seems to be available only in print, not on the Internet. 
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Media and Chinese Olympics

Weekend protests against Chinese repression of press rights by Reporters Without Borders included a giant flag flown in Paris showing the Olympic rings transformedinto handcuffs; a bicycle rally in New York with the “Beijing 2008” handcuffs graphic; a news conference in Beijing outside the building that houses the Beijing Organising Committee; and a news conference with Amnesty International in Montreal. An op-ed was published in several daily newspapers.

The press rights organization wants China to keep human rights promises made before it was awarded next year’s Olympics — namely, the release of some 100 imprisoned journalists, cyber-dissidents and free speech activists and “an end to censorship of the news media and Internet. ”
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Tom Long and the CBC’s news future

The NDP is charging political interference by the federal government, in the search for a president and a news chief for the CBC. Tom Long, the man apparently in charge of the CBC head-hunting task for the firm Egon Zehnder International, is a former Canadian Alliance leadership candidate and is well-connected to the top tiers of the Conservative minority government.

On one hand it’s tempting to dismiss such criticism, on the other, there is evidence that the American conservatives meddled with public broadcasting in the U.S. Add that to the well-documented attempts at media management by Stephen Harper’s PMO, and the charges are worth journalists taking a hard look. Question is, given Canadian media’s reluctance to report on ourselves, who will dig deeper?

A CP story is here.

Here is the NDP press release.
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California journalist gunned down

The editor of the Oakland Post in California was gunned down on Aug. 2. Was his murder linked to his work?

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Who are you calling sleazy?

A cover story in Maclean’s entitled, “Lawyers are Rats,” is generating much controversy and attention from Canadian lawyers — which of course is the point of the provocative heading. The story is a full-on attack on the sleazy aspects of the legal profession. The Canadian Bar Association instantly demanded an apology then called the story a distorted, one-sided and sensationalized picture of the legal profession that tarnished every lawyer’s reputation.

The material in the kerfuffle is easily accessible (linked below) and makes for an interesting case study of journalism ethics.
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Media and Chinese Olympics

Reporters Without Borders is stepping up its campaign to use China’s 2008 Olympics to draw attention to China’s repression of press rights, with a press conference in Montreal on Monday.
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Harper and media control

Canadian Press reports that the RCMP is evicting journalists from a Charlottetown hotel lobby at the request of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The federal Conservative party is holding its annual summer caucus at the hotel. Police in plainclothes and the hotel manager “told reporters that the Prime Minister’s Office had requested all media be barred from the premises,” reported CP.

The story also noted, “The Conservatives have set up a media room in a Government of Canada office across the street from the hotel, and have promised to bring MPs to the building for interviews “where appropriate.”

“Appropriate,” eh.

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Annual report on Canadian broadcasting

The broadcasting industry is continuing to expand and new media are increasingly important to Canadians’ lives, said the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in its annual broadcasting report. Here are the report’s findings:
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Blogosphere at 10

In an essay in the Toronto Star, David Eaves and Taylor Owen explore the impact of blogging, which they contend reaches its 10th anniversary this month.

“Blogging continues to be misunderstood by both technophiles and technophobes,” they argue, and say blogs will neither replace traditional journalism nor threaten the quality and integrity of journalism – or democracy.

Eaves and Owen say that instead of being a substitute blogs, like books, are symbiotic with journalism, “to the benefit of everyone.”

“Ultimately blogs, like books, don’t replace journalism; they simply provide another medium for its dissemination and consumption,” the pair argue. “If anything, it has made journalism more accurate, democratic and widely read.”

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Helicopter deaths: shame

The news that four people died when two U.S. news helicopters collided last week was stultifying; the deaths seemed too pointless to even mention here.  Then I read Mark Hamilton’s blog post, and find myself in agreement with his opinion that the helicopter crash is a sign that “somehow journalism has lost its way and has copped out of making tough decisions about what deserves to be covered and about what’s important.”

Read it yourself.

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