imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

FTAA Reporting in U.S. Corporate Media: Infrequent, imbalanced & substanceless

by Andrew Kennis Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2001 at 9:42 AM
AndrewInQuebecCity@yahoo.com (418) 523-6782

U.S. corporate media have openly acknowledged the importance of the FTAA, yet have not significantly covered it. At the same time, the little coverage that exists has been imbalanced and generally lacking of substance.

FTAA Reporting in U.S. Corporate Media:
Infrequent, imbalanced and
generally lacking of substance

Qu ec City, Canada: "The forthcoming Summit of the Americas prompts the most elaborate security operation in Canadian history," reports Ken Warn, of the British based Financial Times (April 10). "Negotiations on a separate Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) have been underway for more than six years," reported the Washington Post, noting further that such talks would "top the agenda at a hemispheric summit scheduled for April in Quebec City." (February 26). The trade agreement that is expected to be finalized, implemented and approved no later than 2005, will expand NAFTA across the whole continent of South America and the rest of Central America (it currently applies only to Canada, the U.S. and Mexico). While the importance of the Summitt, which is due to meet on April 20, has been openly acknowledged in the media in both the U.S. and abroad, the U.S. corporate media has failed to substantially report on this significant issue. As a result, in light of the fact that millions of Americans rely upon the corporate media for news, many folks have learned next to nothing about the upcoming Summitt and its implications for their own lives and futures.


Rundown of U.S. Corporate-Mainstream Media Coverage

A database search that gathered articles that mentioned the FTAA at least once in their text and that were from the last six months compiled 208 hits. Amongst the 208 articles only 23 were from U.S. mainstream media print outlets. While over half of the newspapers in the search were U.S. based papers, only a little over 10% of the articles came from these U.S. papers. The New York Times returned zero hits while the Washington Post only had three hits.

A closer look into these results reveal that the few articles that have covered this issue have had a lack of balanced reporting and a failure to report on substantive issues surrounding the FTAA. Of the pieces that were analysis articles, three mention activists, but only one quotes grassroots activists though does not touch on the issues in any substantive manner. One analysis mentions the "abject poverty" of Mexico, but spends only a couple of sentences on this development of NAFTA. Erstwhile, the same article fails to mention that wages in Mexico have dropped 23 percent since the implementation of NAFTA - a fact that was actually left out of all 23 articles. Another analytical piece contains all government quotes while one other contains quotes only from the business community.

There were two letters to the editor, one of which had an incorrect headline (listing NAFTA as the main topic of the letter, when it was the FTAA that was solely addressed). These letters to the editor were the only opinion pieces expressing dissent against the FTAA. Hence, the editorials were the least balanced amongst the twenty-three items of coverage, as all were in favor of the FTAA and all but one were written by government officials (while one other was from a conservative think tank). Such a performance mimics what happened shortly before the IMF and World Bank met last year on April 16, as all the editorials that the New York Times wrote expressed support for the meeting and disdain for the protests and the protesters (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting wrote a sharp critique of this).

Four of the news pieces contained only government quotes while one contained only business community quotes. An actual attempt was made to express the sentiments of protesters in the case of two news pieces (one was a longer version of the other), though one of these pieces described them in the headline as people who have an irrational "economic fear" of corporate globalization. Two short news pieces made only a passing mention of the FTAA, while two briefs did the same as well.


In U.S. Mainstream Media, the fact that the FTAA
is a Secret Document is a Secret In and of Itself

The draft text of the FTAA is secret and has not been released to the public. Nevertheless, the St. Louis Dispatch - paraphrasing a Canadian government official - reported that the official said that the FTAA "would be made public . . . [As opposed to] the past, [where] negotiations went on behind closed doors." (April 8) Meanwhile, there were no reports in U.S. corporate papers about the non-violent civil disobedience that was undertaken in Canada (over 80 arrests) by a coalition of activists, who attempted to obtain what is still the secret draft of the FTAA. A basic principle of journalism, in theory at least, is that quoting government statements should not unquestionably be taken as truth. Beyond the rhetorical promises of Canadian government officials, there is little (if any) evidence to suggest that the text will be released. Hence, the popular (and largely unreported) opposition to such undemocratic measures exists to quite a large extent.

Other papers have specifically referrred to the importance of the text, such as the USA Today, which quoted a U.S. trade official as saying that the FTAA "talks have produced a draft text that . . . should stand as the framework of a pact." Despite such acknowledgements, USA Today and other papers have still failed to write about the fact that the very "framework of the pact" is secret (as was the case in this April 2, USA Today article).

While the Christian Science Monitor did report on the existence of secret "Chapter 11" trials (a provision where NAFTA allows corporations to sue governments, under the auspices of World Bank officials), it did not mention that the draft of the text itself is secret. (April 3) Like the Monitor, The Los Angeles Times also managed to mention the secret nature of the negotiations. (March 25) On the other hand, it also reported that Latin American governments favored such arrangements, without a hint of a source or a quote from one country that has gone on record with this position. Meanwhile, the report did not refer to the fact that the draft text is secret, nor did it refer to the fact that some of the most popular resistance has come from that very region (in particular, from Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Argentina - all of which have had tens of thousands attend mass protests against corporate globalization in recent months).


Explanations &/or Analysis of Opposition to "Free Trade" amongst the Public, Virtually Non-Existent in U.S. Corporate-Mainstream Media

Several of the few articles that reported on the upcoming Summitt at least referred to popular opposition to "free trade," such as the Atlanta Journal & Constitution (April 5). Although the Journal did not quote an ordinary person or a grassroots activist, it did quote a Senator who stated that NAFTA was "not popular at all" in his state, and that he thought he spoke "for most senators who say there are large segments of the population in their own states where that's also the case." Such a quote would have been a great way to start to analyze why there is so much popular resistance to "free-trade" measures - however, there was no further explanation. The reader is left to assume that such opposition is nothing more than irrational "economic fear," as the headline mentioned above suggested.

The Atlanta Journal article was no exception, as other pieces referred to popular opposition against "free-trade" while not elaborating on such opposition - even while in the midst of expressing support for it. Such was the case when the Washington Post wrote in an editorial that "the candidate who profited most from the trade issue in the 2000 elections, [was] Ralph Nader, [who opposed all major trade treaties that the U.S. has agreed to]," and then went on to argue in favor of a "move up by two years [of] the target date for completion of the FTAA." (February 6)

In light of these results, it becomes pretty clear that in terms of coverage of global trade and economics, there are few other issues that highlight so effectively the corporate media's inability to report in a balanced, accurate and substantive fashion on major issues effecting people all over the world.



For more articles by Andrew Kennis,
see the supplemental page of
The Advocate,
an independent student paper of New York City
.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

TheMilitary of Yemen IN In The 1990's A26 5:42PM

The Shortwave Report 04/27/18 Listen Globally! A26 4:03PM

Federal Bank Examiner FDIC recalls year long 1999 robbery in 2017 A26 3:24PM

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy