Do Politics Control News Coverage?

How do you feel about news media and coverage of government?


I enjoyed talking to Laura Hanes and her American government class at the tonight. Her students had very interesting comments about the news media and how it covers politics.

The topic has been hot lately. 

wrote an that drew heavy negative criticism from Pottstown Patch blogger  

And when I got home from MCCC tonight, I received a press release from Ginny Grimsley, national print campaign manager for the public relations firm EMSI in Florida. The firm is publicizing the book “Government Control of News: A Constitutional Challenge,” written by Corydon B. Dunham that “recounts the evolution of government control of television news and the Fairness Doctrine,” the release states. 

When I see the words “evolution” and “government” in the same sentence, I can’t help but recall the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, also known as the Dover intelligent design trial in 2005. I was a newspaper correspondent then and covered events related to the case.  

At that time, journalists from two competing newspapers that covered the Dover school board meeting and broke the initial story were under fire from the school board’s lawyers who questioned their reporting. 

A lot has changed since then in the way we report and deliver news. Back then, we had deadlines to file a story so it could make the morning paper. Today, I publish some stories as they happen.

But some aspects of reporting news, especially in Pennsylvania, are the same as they were many years ago during the Dover episode. The fight to get and publish information from government continues. 

I’ve called our state’s Office Of Open Records numerous times over the past few years to get details on the Right-To-Know Law and legalities of government that withholds information. Too many times, when calling about specific news reporting events, OOR told me, the government violated the "spirit" of the law. 

So, our law is essentially a ghost? There’s a new spin on transparency in government!

truthsayer March 09, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I believe the media has become a partner with government, and is the "communications wing" of government. This seems obvious to me when you look at the big media outlets such as NBC and Fox, who merely "shill" for the two major political parties. They taint the news with their agenda. Even locally, the media has been reduced to social networking gossip outlets, relying solely on news releases from government agencies. They do not investigate stories, nor do they "dig up" news. The media merely reiterates the information that government issues. The media is the distribution network for government. Technology continues to strengthen the choke hold government has over the media. As local governments, such as Montgomery and Berks counties purchase expensive public safety radio systems, they will likely encrypt the signals,stopping the ability for the media and the public to "listen in" via police scanners. Now government has successfully eliminated public access to information, and goverment will "lend" the technology to the media so it may monitor, but only as long as the media complies with government. This has already occurred across the country, and will continue to spread. Recently, a Florida government removed the radio technology it had loaned to a media outlet, after the media had reported unfavorably on the government. "Journalistic integrity" will have been forgotten in another ten years, and the new paradigm of government sponsored news will be the norm,
Teresa McMinn March 09, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Wall Street Journal Tweet: Could our feelings towards words be shaped by how they are typed? The QWERTY effect: http://on.wsj.com/zMX5kM
Tom Bartman March 10, 2012 at 04:38 AM
"Technology continues to strengthen the choke hold government has over the media". Well said. What you are seeing is a soft transition to a state run media. A gradual and slow shift goes unnoticed. The SOPA internet bill is an example of the next phase. PIPA, the “Protect IP Act" is also in the works. "Journalistic integrity" no longer exists in the MSM. It's no secret, truthsayer. Everyone knows what they're getting when they switch from MSNBC, to FOX, to CNN. You know what you're going to be fed. Media should report news and let viewers decide. What we have now -- anchors who set the context of an interview before it even airs, if not silenced by a news director - you know who you are...


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