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Write to CNN and PRAISE them for this.

by Nanofog Sunday, Aug. 13, 2000 at 1:54 AM

Here is the URL:

http://www.cnn.com/feedback/

Everyone with a spare moment should write to CNN and emphasize how much you appreciate articles which:

1. Cover the protests

2. Don't focus on violent actions to the exclusion of all else.

3. Neither sensationalize nor trivialize the protesters.

4. Talk to protesters and give viewers/readers a chance to hear them explain why they are protesting.

Let CNN know NOW that there are people out here who are interested in hearing news about the protests in LA and would appreciate regular, fair, and complete coverage of these historical events as they unfold. Do it NOW. Be sure to be polite. It would probably help not to strongly identify yourself with the protests. Just speak as an interested consumer of news who wants to be informed of *all* the news happening re the LA Convention, in the streets as well as inside.

Every major news organization which runs an even minimally reasonable story about the protests should be deluged with positive responses from happy citizens. Without us saying so explicitly, they will get the message that if they black out news of the protests when the arrests and police brutalities and human rights violations start coming down, people across the nation and the world *will* notice them doing this and will demand to know why.

While news organizations like CNN may be owned and run by corporations, this can be turned to our advantage. The ultimate goal of every corporation is to maximize profits. Hence, the true function of major news organizations is not really to report the news, but to deliver an audience of viewers/readers to their clients - companies who purchase advertising from them. The larger the audience, the more they can charge their clients for advertising. If enough people make it clear that we want to see news of the protests, and will flock to whichever major news outlet best meets our needs, this will carry real weight with the news organizations in their decisions about what stories to run, how to slant them, and how much time to alot to them. They all know that the Convention is a scripted nonevent, and that ratings are likely to be low. (Far more Americans tuned into "Survivor" than the Republican Convention, and the Democratic Convention is likely to be little different). Anything they reasonably think will boost ratings will be of genuine interest to them. The sooner we start doing this, the more likely that it will positively influence the amount and quality of mainstream news coverage. Don't wait until the convention is in full swing. Do it NOW.

And of course, any news organizations which show a pattern of noncoverage of the protests should be deluged with indignant emails from concerned citizens. If any of their competitors are doing a better job of covering the protests, be sure to mention the competitor by name and ask why they are doing such an inferior job in comparison with their competitor.

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