Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Stateside With Rosalea: What I'm Looking At

Stateside With Rosalea

What I'm Looking At

*Small screen*

Now that I have joined the modern world and have at least basic cable, I can choose from 82 channels of television instead of about a dozen free-to-air. Included in my line-up is the newby TV One,, which "offers a broad range of lifestyle and entertainment-oriented programming that respects [the] values and reflects [the] intellectual and cultural diversity" of the African American community.

To someone who necessarily has only an outsider's acquaintance with that culture, it seems that what differentiates TV One from the older Black Entertainment Television cable channel is its appeal to a younger audience. My favourite program is Sunday's "The Gospel of Music" which makes for a great antidote to the early morning political pundit shows on the national networks. Featuring a broad mix of styles, a segment on a gospel group from the past, and performers from all around the world, it's a must-watch for anyone interested in this most essential form of American music.

*Big screen*

Also included in the basic cable package is Fox News. Frankly, I can't bear to watch it any more than I can watch the CNN I also now get - because of all the clutter of graphics on the screen. Really these folks need to make up their mind whether they're going to be seen on a computer screen or a television, because the way that viewers relate to those two spaces is quite, quite different. (Or am I jjust an old fogey?)

Instead, I saw the most Fox News I've ever seen when I went to the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco on Saturday to the movie Outfoxed, which is a critique of the quality of that channel's journalistic standards. Like the editing in Fahrenheit 9/11, the editing in this movie is designed to give maximum weight to its central argument, which in this case is that, far from being "fair and balanced" as its promos claim, Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

At one point the film shows the results of a poll that asked if people thought that Iraq and the 9/11 attacks were linked, and the graphic compared respondents who got their information from Fox with respondents who got their news from PBS/NPR (the public service television/radio stations). The percentage of Foxwatchers who thought the two were linked was far higher than the percentage of PBS/NPR folks who did. But what does that prove? Or rather, it could equally prove that those who get their news from PBS/NPR were misinformed by the left-wing liberals the right wing asserts run those two outlets.

The most shocking piece of video, however, is an out-take from July 2000, when Fox's lead political reporter was warming up to do an interview with George W. Bush. In the chit chat before the cameras roll, it transpires that the reporter's wife is actively working for the Bush election campaign. To the best of my knowledge, it's considered normal practice for editors to take journalists off stories in which they are so heavily involved that they might be seen to be biased.

Not so in the United States, it seems. And I don't think it applies just to the Republican side of things. According to his autobiography, Bob Schieffer, veteran CBS reporter, married into a family that was prominent in the Democratic Party, and who's to say that his reports over the years haven't similarly been less than objective? It's one thing for columnists, pundits, and talk show hosts to be partisan at best and ill-informed at worst, but it's quite another for so-called elite journalists to be so. "Elite journalists", by the way, is a derogatory term here in the States.

The worst thing about Outfoxed is the opportunity it misses to get people to do something about the woeful state of news reporting in this country. Interviews with people who have successfully challenged the system were intercut with the credits, and many people walked out as soon as the credits rolled, so missed out on getting that information.

*Computer screen*

While doing some research about the history of biotechnology, I came across what I consider the best, most succinct information I've seen about how the media operates and the synergy between reporters, their editors, and their sources. It's from the June 21, 2004 on-line newsletter of the Scripps Research Institute and is called What Journalists Want: Nine Things for Scientists to Think about Before Talking to Reporters. I recommend it to anyone who has any interest whatsoever in the process of informing people, or being informed, about the world around them.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news