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Posts tagged ‘media’

Link: “The Debris Shovellers” by Ben Jenkins

Original post found at: https://idiotreport.substack.com/p/the-debris-shovellers

The kind of milquetoast copy that regular political writing requires obscures a truth that should be shocking or at least urgent: that we are governed, in the main, by a group of inept psychos who are broadly making things up as they go, operating in a system that’s fundamentally rigged in favour of the powerful. There’s a good reason the political pundit can’t write a column saying that every single week: they’d sound demented. But more than that, if that premise is even a little bit true, then the insider-focused, horse-race style of most modern political reportage begins to appear not a little grotesque.

Good piece on professional pundits (or “opinion-havers”) and how being paid to come up with an opinion day after day for years actually rots your brain.

Link: “The media frames the climate crisis as hopeless – but that’s because they’re hiding the solutions”

Original post found at: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/media-frames-climate-change-hopeless-hiding-the-solutions-2021-8

While a large majority of Americans agree we need to act on the climate crisis, no one seems to know exactly what we should do, except push our government to do more. 40% of people who believe in climate change feel “helpless” about it.

But this helplessness is not an inevitable result of the severity of the crisis – severe as it may be. Instead, it’s a conditioned response to a world in which the most powerful politicians and corporations want to cast the issue as too difficult and overly complex. To protect their bottom line, those in power want to obfuscate what should be an obvious truth: We can only stop global warming if we end fossil fuel extraction. And we can only do that through direct action, protest, and political revolt.

In order to hide this truth, the powerful have used the mainstream media to make it seem like the answer to the climate crisis is in small, incremental, largely electoral steps. Mainstream news has made everyday Americans feel like we have no options to impact climate change beyond voting, and that’s given us the illusion there’s nothing else to be done. Until we adjust our media diets and start paying less attention to the everyday, overwhelming destruction, and more attention to the people who are already combating climate change, we’ll keep vacillating between overwhelm and helplessness.

Link: “We’re not the good guys: Osaka shows up problems of press conferences”

Original post found at: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2021/may/31/were-not-the-good-guys-osaka-shows-up-problems-of-press-conferences

Really sad to hear that Naomi Osaka has quit the French Open. Her reasons for not giving press conferences made perfect sense to me – and this article, from a sports journalist, backs that up – and I’d hoped she’d do well and stick it to those tournament organisers. Alas 😢

Link: “Emily Wilder’s Firing Is No Surprise: AP Has Always Been Right-Wing”

Original post found at: https://theintercept.com/2021/05/25/emily-wilder-firing-ap-right-wing/

“The Associated Press has received an enormous amount of criticism, including from its own staffers, for firing Emily Wilder, 22, after hiring her as a news associate just 17 days before. According to AP, Wilder was let go for “violations of AP’s social media policy.” AP’s action was clearly in response to a right-wing pressure campaign targeting Wilder for her activism in college supporting Palestinian rights.

Though appalling, however, none of this should be a surprise. AP has been notably conservative since its founding in 1846, with a long history of bowing to the demands of the powerful — with its many talented journalists often forced to fight its management to get the news out. While other wire services such as United Press International and Reuters have not always covered themselves in glory, AP’s history demonstrates significantly more bias.”

Link: “On Palestine, the Media Is Allergic to the Truth”

Original post found at: https://jacobinmag.com/2021/05/media-press-palestine-israel-gaza-violence-hamas

There are two ways you could report on the bloody conflict unfolding right now in Israel and Palestine.

One would be to put every new headline and story, whether that’s about Hamas’s rocket attacks or Israel’s wildly disproportionate airstrikes, in context.

That would mean explaining that the rockets came in the wake of a series of outrageous and criminal Israeli provocations in occupied East Jerusalem: a series of violent police raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam during its holiest month, that have damaged the sacred structure and injured hundreds, including worshippers; that Israeli forces were attacking Palestinians who were occupying Aqsa both to pray and to protect it from bands of far-right Israeli extremists who have been marching through East Jerusalem, attacking Palestinians, and trying to break into the compound; and that all of this sits in the shadow of protests against Israel’s most recent attempt to steal land from Palestinians in the city, and the ramping up of Israel’s theft of Palestinian land more broadly under Trump.

While you’re at it, you might at least make clear that the Israeli attacks on Gaza have been far more vicious and deadly than the rockets they’re supposedly “retaliating” against, having killed forty-three people so far, including thirteen children, and leveled an entire residential building. You might make clear that Hamas’s rockets are, owing to their own cheapness and Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, at this point closer to the lashing-out-in-impotent-frustration part of the spectrum (which, of course, is not to say they don’t do damage or occasionally take lives — they’ve killed six Israelis thus far). All of this would help people understand why what they’re seeing unfold on their screens is happening, and what might be done to stop it.

Or there’s the more traditional way of reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict in Western media. That way involves boiling systemic injustice down to nondescript “rising tensions,” describing state violence and resistance to it as nebulous “clashes,” subtly presenting Israeli and Palestinian violence as roughly equivalent in scale and moral propriety, and generally making it impossible for casual consumers of news to do anything but throw their hands up in frustration and ask: “When will they learn to live together in peace?”

Link: “Sky News Australia is tapping into the global conspiracy set – and it’s paying off”

Original post found at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/feb/24/sky-news-australia-is-tapping-into-the-global-conspiracy-set-and-its-paying-off

For those who don’t know, Sky News Australia has long been an extremely marginal cable news channel in a country with low pay TV penetration. But, owned by Rupert Murdoch as it is, in recent years it’s assembled quite a crew of right-wing ne’er-do-wells to fill its “Sky After Dark” programming, and many clips from that are getting huge circulation on sites like YouTube. (And I mean, I never watch news on YouTube and the site is constantly trying to force Sky News garbage into my recommendations, so clearly YouTube/Google is pretty complicit in this.) Just another example of how pandering to right-wing nuts is a highly profitable endeavour in this hellish economic system…

On the AusGov vs Google/FB Stoush

So, the House of Representatives has passed a bill(external link) requiring Google and Facebook to pay money to certain media outlets for content they link to within Australia. Initially Google threatened to block Australians from using their search engine if the legislation passed, but they came around and started negotiating compromise deals with commercial media outlets instead. …

Read more…

Link: “Massive Texas gas failure during climate extremes gets blamed on wind power” by Ketan Joshi

Original post found at: https://reneweconomy.com.au/massive-texas-gas-failure-during-climate-extremes-gets-blamed-on-wind-power/

It’s only been a half year since blackouts spread across California during intense summer heat. Those blackouts were immediately blamed on renewable energy; of course it turned out later on that a string of failures in the state’s gas plants were to blame. In fact, it turned out later on that a major part of those blackouts was an instance of a misheard verbal instruction issued to a gas generator. Instead of turning up as instructed, they decreased their output. And it’s five years since South Australia’s 2016 blackout, in which precisely the same sequence of events occurred. A pattern is now clear.

Major blackout events, usually instigated by grid stress related to climate extremes, become opportunities to attack renewable energy. Media articles, political pronouncements, tweets, Facebook posts, everything – the entire media ecosystem assumes that renewable energy must have done it and runs hard with it. And of course, later, it comes out that fossil fuel failures played a significant or even majority role in the cluster of causes of the event – none of which is covered with the intensity of the original stories.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.