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Iran and the Media

June 16, 2009

Did you know we’re in an election frenzy here in Canada? Did you know we may be going to the polls, again, this summer if Iggy pulls the trigger? And do you care?

No, of course not. And why would you, when Iran is imploding in the wake of a blatantly stolen vote? I’ve been watching things unfold there, nodding as I read pundits who say “this is democracy in action” and “why didn’t Americans rise up like this in 2000” and “Weren’t we just advocating the bombing of these people?” If you want to learn more, Google it. I’d post links, but WordPress isn’t fast enough to keep up with this ever-changing story.

To be as clear as possible, let me say this: I have very little interest in the Iranian political situation right now. If I stopped to concern myself with odd politics in other countries, I would get even less sleep than I do now. What concerns me about Iran today is the scary lack of coverage of the issue in the U.S.

I’m lucky enough to live in a country with a public broadcaster. For all its faults, the CBC is governed more by ideas than dollars, and it’s my go-to for radio and television news. The same goes for the Globe and Mail, one of Toronto’s four daily newspapers, and the only one that still offers impact journalism on a global scale.

Americans aren’t so lucky. The major news organisms are ignoring Iran this week. Why? I don’t know. But it makes no sense. Journalists who report based on anything other than the right to report the public shouldn’t call themselves journalists. It’s shameful. Other news organizations, like Bloomberg, are covering the crisis, but they lack the accessibility of TV “news” networks.

On a positive note, social media and the Internet are doing the job CNBC, Fox News and CNN couldn’y. Log on to Digg, Reddit or Twitter, and what you see is Iran Iran Iran … You know what? Someone else explained this better than I can. Let me quote:

We are witnessing two revolutions here – one, the “green revolution” in Iran which may or may not be a success, and the other the technology and news information revolution. We are witnessing the unwitting suicide and slow death of the news media as we know it, as they cave to ratings and apathy rather than getting out there and covering a real story, as they aid and abbet the numbing and dumbing down of the American people.

If you were reading the Dish this weekend you were living in a different universe from someone watching Fox or MSNBC. There is very little difference between no information and misinformation. That is what the American people are getting – a starvation diet of no news and lots of empty carbs. Fatty, salty food with no nutritional value. And we’re too damn apathetic to demand better. There is a great divide in the decisions we make as an informed populace vs the decisions we make as an uninformed or misinformed one. The people I know who rely on the MSM for their news consistently know less about what actually happened than my blogger friends do, and have less nuanced opinions about these events. That’s a damn shame if you ask me. It leads to the support of bad policy.

… E.D. Kain

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2 comments

  1. I normally agree completely with your posts, but there is no lack of coverage in the United States. I can barely turn on the TV, especially CNN and not see it. It is there I promise, I am actually watching Kyra Phillips talk about it right now on CNN


  2. I have seen ALOT of coverage here in the US. We are even talking about it at work. I am sure that there could be more coverage, but sometimes, the “media” only covers what it wants us to see. (Like next week when one of the major stations will be coming live from the White House to “discuss” the health coverage that Obama is trying to pass through. With no coverage on the people who are against it.)



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