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Fracking Media Silence

Professor John Robertson who accused the BBC of pro-No bias in its coverage of the referendum campaign has turned his attention to an apparent media silence on the subject of fracking in Scotland. In a survey of a recent 30-day period of news coverage of fracking he concluded that the Scottish national press and broadcasters have hardly covered the question at all, at a time when it is attracting headlines in the UK press and also in the frack-friendly US.
During the period. The Scotsman, Daily Record and Daily Express carried one story each, while the Daily Mail had seven, most of them critical of anti-fracking opposition and especially the decision of the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to ban the industry in his state due to health and environmental concerns. The Herald news headlines and BBC’s Reporting Scotland made no mention of fracking, while STV’s Scotland Today reported fracking once.
“Scotland’s mainstream media, including of course our ‘Public Service Provider’ BBC Sc…

Free Speech - At what cost?

“Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.”I.F. Stone
We have all heard Lincoln’s dictum, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” But he failed to add the political truth “But you can fool enough of the people enough of the time.”
Without objective information, there can be no meaningful free choices.
Most people believe they have a range of choices in their daily lives and that they may choose among them freely. That is, they intuitively believe that their choices are made autonomously and without outside interference. How many individual daily decisions are determined by some degree of media manipulation? Well, for many they can include what we eat, what we wear, how we entertain ourselves, how we groom ourselves.  Those that use the media to try to sway our behavior declare that they are simply providing information that allows informed choices:…

Free speech for who?

Marx observed that the ideas of an age are the ideas of its ruling class. In to-day’s contemporary society, we are saturated by vast quantities of words and images conveyed by the mass media. Workers must always remember that the mainstream media (whatever its hue) is an instrument motivated by ideas and interests that are contrary to their interests. Everything that is published or broadcasted is influenced by one idea: that of serving the dominant class and of combating the working class. The ugly truth is this: that the media is owned by the capitalist class to support its pitiless work but the customers and subscribers are those they attack, members of the working class. Most media are obliged to address a working class audience, because that is the largest. Unless they reach this audience they will fail as businesses. To gain profits a newspaper or TV channel must get readers by the million. The media, by their nature, spread certain ideas and . and being such an important asset…

Bad News

A study in America found that over a three-year period, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN aired just 141 stories in which unions and the labor movement were either the primary or secondary topic. That's out of an estimated 16,000 news stories aired on the four networks, so less than 0.3 percent of all news stories. Not only were just the unions not getting much attention in the news their view was being ignored. CBS did not use even one union source in 24 percent of its stories on labor; NBC omitted union voices from 19 percent of the stories.
The pattern of portrayal of unions was negative, with workers critical of unions more likely to be heard. The report found that news about labor and unions related to the field of education and the automobile industry included more governmental sources than labor sources. “The news treatment thus presents the government as the organized party willing to provide solutions, but not the labor/union negotiators”.

These findings resemble those of past studie…