Media Wars / Edition 1

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"Limiting access, limiting information to cover the backsides of those who are in charge of the war, is extremely dangerous and cannot and should not be accepted. And I am sorry to say that, up to and including the moment of this interview, that overwhelmingly it has been accepted by the American people. And the current administration revels in that, and they take refuge in that." —CBS News Anchor Dan Rather on BBC News Night, May 16, 2002 In Media Wars: News at a Time of Terror, MediaChannel founder and editor, Danny Schechter, "the News Dissector," critically examines media coverage since 9/11. Schechter analyzes what has been covered and, more tellingly, left out, in news coverage of the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. Drawing from the reporting of over one thousand worldwide radio, newspaper, television, and internet affiliates, the result is a scathing account of how the media has become a megaphone for the U.S. military and its war on terror. More than just a critique, Schechter suggests a series of changes to improve our news sources and return them to the vital role a free and independent press must play to preserve a democracy. Media Wars is a timely assessment of what we are and are not being told in the most important story of our new century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Schechter, formerly a mainstream journalist, now a producer for Globalvision, a television and film production company, has collected some of his own post-September 11 reportage, in addition to articles written by colleagues at Media Tenor (a firm that analyzes media content), the Project for Excellence in Journalism and other critical outlets. Schechter believes the American media (here, mostly television, some newspapers and magazines, but not radio) have failed the American public by not providing meaningful coverage of world news, largely due to government and corporate pressure. Even after September 11, the question the media addressed wasn't "why terrorism?" but "who to blame for it?" After several introductory essays, Schechter's opinion takes over, as he shares his own reactions to world news post-September 11, interrupted by flash-forwards or backwards, and intercut with charts categorizing the content of various television shows or newspapers, as well as analyses by other media "dissectors." The concluding section reviews Schechter's own career, describes the formation and mission of Globalvision and his other endeavor,, and even reprints sections of the introductory materials, notably Walter Cronkite's remarks on the need for dissent. While there is some excellent material here-notably Independent correspondent Jake Lynch's "Tips for Covering Conflict"-the book overall is disorganized and repetitious, making it hard to read cover-to-cover. All the same, Schechter's call for journalists to stand up to pressure and start reporting on the world again is vitally important. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A media analyst, former CNN and 20/20 producer, and self-proclaimed "news dissector," Schechter (The More You Watch, the Less You Know) is also the creator of, a media issues web site featuring criticism, breaking news, and investigative reporting from organizations worldwide ("As the media watch the world, we watch the media"). In this penetrating critique and assessment of the media after 9/11, Schechter has put together web log entries, columns, and articles by correspondents and alternative journalists analyzing the events of 9/11 and the media's coverage of the U.S. government's war on terrorism. Three underlying themes tie together the contents of the book. First, Schechter stresses the lack of international coverage in the American media and the impact this has on our perceptions of foreign policy and our relations with other countries. Second, he examines media distortion, oversimplification, and government propaganda as major roadblocks in accurate coverage of terrorism and war. Third, in what is in fact the book's strongest section, he provides a thorough analysis of the news media, discussing how 9/11 affected the content of broadcast and print news sources. What Schechter ultimately points to is the lack of a truly free and independent press in America owing to government and corporate control. This is not a traditional scholarly study but an informed argument supported by statistics; it is also a timely and thought-provoking challenge of current practices in journalism. Recommended for larger public libraries and for academic libraries with journalism and media studies collections.-Katherine E. Merrill, SUNY at Geneseo Lib. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742531093
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 4/9/2003
  • Series: Polemics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Danny Schechter became known as the "news dissector" in Boston and his television career has included time as an on-air reporting at Boston's WGBH, CNN producer, as well as producer for ABC's 20/20. He is currently the executive producer and co-founder of the television and film production company Globalvision and editor of Schechter resides in New York and his writings have appeared in leading newspapers and magazines including The Boston Globe, Newsday, The Detroit Free Press, The Village Voice, and The Columbia Journalism Review. Media Wars is his fifth book.

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Table of Contents

Introductory Statement: On Media Responsibility
Opening Salvo
Pt. I Warring with the Coverage of War
1.1 The Attack - September 11, 2001: From the News Dissector's Weblog 3
1.2 The Day Video Cameras Were Everywhere 9
1.3 Flashback: Before September 11 11
1.4 The Global News We Ignore Can Be Fatal 14
1.5 Death and Civic Renewal: From the News Dissector's Weblog 17
1.6 A Blow to the City 24
1.7 Week Seven: From the News Dissector's Weblog 26
1.8 The "Turbanators" and the Terrorists - War Crimes and Media Omissions: From the News Dissector's Weblog 30
1.9 The Week of the Skeptics : From the News Dissector's Weblog 41
1.10 The Role of CNN 46
1.11 Looking for Light at a Time of Darkness: From the News Dissector's Weblog 51
1.12 Return to Normalcy? 55
1.13 Project Methodology 79
1.14 The War on Terrorism 91
1.15 An Indian Perspective on Media Coverage 111
1.16 "Terrorism" Is a Term That Requires Consistency 117
1.17 The Government and the Press: War - Media Connection 121
1.18 Warning - Media Management Now in Effect: From the News Dissector's Weblog 126
1.19 Information Warriors: From the News Dissector's Weblog 130
1.20 Is the Media Ready for a New War? 135
1.21 Media War: The Cultural Dimension 139
1.22 Cultural Responses - Music As Media: From the News Dissector's Weblog 142
1.23 Media, Celebrity, and Family 145
1.24 Independent Film and Media Coverage 151
1.25 Cultural Responses: Humor 156
1.26 Israel-Palestine 158
1.27 Israel on Receiving End of Media's Image of Terror 163
1.28 Media and the Middle East 165
1.29 Tips for Covering Conflict 170
1.30 The Arab Worldviews: U.S. Alternative Journalism 174
1.31 Counseling Journalists 179
1.32 On Asking for Help 181
1.33 Fast Forward to Summer: From the News Dissector's Weblog 183
Pt. II Monitoring Media and Promoting Democracy
2.1 The World of Media and Media As a World 193
2.2 and Other Ways to Change the World 197
2.3 One World under Media 219
2.4 Who Sets the Media Agenda? 224
2.5 Media Monitoring 230
About the Contributors 233
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