Media Watch

Media Watch

MEDIA WATCH: SINCLAIR STEPS UP PROPAGANDA BROADCASTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2018 (San Diego) – Free press advocates and some anchors at Sinclair Broadcast Group are raising objections to Orwellian scripts that Sinclair is forcing its news anchors nationwide to read, including scripts denouncing “false news” that “national media outlets are publishing.”

MEDIA WATCH: BATTLING BOTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 4, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) - Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter are taking steps to combat bots, or automated accounts that have been used to spread Russian propaganda, influence U.S. politics, spreading fake news stories as well as inflammatory posts intended to divide Americans on issues such as race relations and gun control.

MEDIA WATCH: FACT CHECKERS FROM SNOPES SPEAK IN SAN DIEGO ON FAKE NEWS AND MORE

 

 

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson and Miriam Raftery

 

March 12, 2018 (San Diego) -- Millions of readers who rely on Snopes.com to fact-check news articles, urban legends, conspiracy theories and more in today’s era of “fake news” may not be aware of the organization’s San Diego roots.  At a San Diego Press Club workshop titled “Nuts and Bolts”, Snopes’ managing editor Brooke Binkowski and vice president of operations Vinny Green shared insights into the fact-checking end of the news business.

MEDIA WATCH: SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB DISCUSSES FAKE NEWS AT PROGRAM ON SNOPES.COM

 

East County News Service

February 25, 2018 (San Diego) – The San Diego Press Club will present a program on Snopes.com, a fact-checking and reference website, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27 at its downtown San Diego offices at the Spreckels Building, 121 Broadway, Suite 640. Cost to attend is free for members and $10 per person for non members. The event is open to the public.

MEDIA WATCH: BIOTECH BILIONAIRE BUYS UNION-TRIBUNE AND LOS ANGELES TIMES

 



Update February 7:  TRONC announced today that the San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times have been sold to Nant Technologies LLC, a private investment company owned by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, for $500 million cash plus $90 million in pension liabilities.

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: UCLA

February 6, 2018 (San Diego) – Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a biotech billionaire, is in negotiations to buy the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times from TRONC, formerly known as Tribune Media, the Los Angeles Times reports. The would-be media mogul currently owns a 28 percent stake in the company.  

IF YOU'RE NOT ALARMED, YOU SHOULD BE; WHO'S LEFT TO HOLD CALIFORNIA'S GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE

 

By David Lesher, editor and CEO at Cal Matters, an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government

January 25, 2018 (Sacramento) -- Dear Californians,

If you care about this state, it’s time to sound the alarm about the crisis in media and what it means for the health of democracy in the world’s sixth largest economy.

Media is declining nationally, but unique pressures have made California into America’s laboratory for a dangerous experiment about what happens to the public interest when policy is made without the public’s awareness or accountability.

MEDIA WATCH: FORMER FCC SECURITY EMPLOYEE: FCC LIED ABOUT WEBSITE HACK TAKING DOWN NET NEUTRALITY COMMENTS

 

Bombshell story from Gizmodo underscores need for FCC to address serious issues with its public comment process before making any decision on net neutrality. 15,000+ people call on lawmakers to demand that FCC comply with transparency laws

Source:  Fight for the Future

August 7, 2017 (Washington D.C.) --In a bombshell story from Gizmodo today, a former FCC security employee lays waste to the agency’s claims that a pair of DDoS attacks took down the FCC comment website at the exact moments when large amounts of pro net neutrality comments would have been flooding into the docket following viral segments from comedian John Oliver in 2014 and 2017. The agency’s inability to maintain a functional way for the public to comment on its net neutrality proceedings has become an issue of concern for members of Congress overseeing the agency, and raises questions about how it can or should move forward with its rulemaking process.

MEDIA WATCH: TRUMP’S TWEET OF PRESIDENT ASSAULTING CNN IN WRESTLING RING DRAWS CONDEMNATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 4, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump hit below the belt, in the view of professional journalists, when he tweeted a 28-second video altered to depict Trump wrestling and punching a figure with the CNN logo transposed on its head. The video also alters the CNN logo to read, “FNN: Fraud News Network.”

MEDIA WATCH: HUNTER SUGGESTS ASSAULTING A REPORTER COULD BE JUSTIFIABLE IF REPORTER ‘DESERVED IT’

 

Photo:  Suggested attire for reporters asking tough questions of government officials

Media Watch column by Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2017 (San Diego) – San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter, asked by capitol reporters what he thought about Montana Congressional Candidate Greg Gianforte bodyslamming a reporter, replied that is’ “not appropriate behavior” then clarified, “unless the reporter deserved it,” the Hill reports.

Gianforte was charged with assault against a reporter from the Guardian last night who asked his views on a Congressional Budget Office report on the GOP healthcare bill.  

The violent assault was caught on tape by Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. The attack was also witnessed by a Fox News crew, who confirmed that Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground,” then began punching him. Three newspapers revoked their endorsements of Gianforte over the brutal incident, which broke the reporter’s glasses. On tape, Gianforte can be heard shouting at Jacobs to "get the hell out" after smashing him to the ground.

MEDIA WATCHDOG: MOST AMERICANS OPPOSE CUTS IN SPENDING ON PUBLIC TV, BUT TRUMP BUDGET WOULD ELIMINATE ALL FUNDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – A new study finds that 54% of Americans surveyed oppose cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds Public Broadcasting Service ie. public television.  The poll conducted March 24-25 by Morning Consult among a national sample of 2,201 U.S. adults found that only 31% support cuts.

TRUMP CALLS MEDIA “ENEMY OF AMERICAN PEOPLE”; PROMINENT CONSERVATIVES AND MEDIA LEADERS DENOUNCE WORDS, DRAW COMPARISONS TO INFAMOUS DICTATORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 19, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump has raised disturbing comparisons to notorious dictators and to disgraced President Richard Nixon with his unjustified attacks on respected, established media outlets as “fake news” and his repeated denouncements of  “dishonest media.”  

Worse yet, Trump’s tweet this week calling media an “enemy of the American people” has drawn sharp criticisms from  a Fox News anchor, his own Secretary of Defense, Republican Senator John McCain, and Carl Bernstein, the reporter whose investigation exposed the Watergate scandal that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation.

MEDIA WATCH: CONSUMER ADVOCATES VOICE CONCERNS OVER TRUMP’S NEW FCC CHAIRMAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 29, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Consumer advocates are voicing concern over Ajit Pai, President Donald Trump’s newly appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Pai has a record of opposing net neutrality and supporting big media mergers. A former corporate attorney for Verizon, Pai could also enable Trump to escalate his war on media outlets such as CNN that he has harshly criticized for broadcasting hard-hitting news reports on his administration.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ASSAILED FOR “ALTERNATIVE FACTS,” ATTACKS ON MEDIA AND SHUTTING WHITE HOUSE PHONE LINE FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2017 (Washington D.C.) - In his book, 1984, George Orwell wrote, “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”

Recent actions by the Trump administration to discredit journalists over truthful reports and stifle public comments have alarmed First Amendment supporters, constitutional scholars, journalists, and government watchdog groups.

MEDIA WATCHDOG: UNION – TRIBUNE’S EXCLUSIVE WEBSITE SPONSORSHIP DEAL WITH SDG&E RAISES QUESTIONS

 

Updated to include clarification from  SDG&E that its sponsorship was short-term,  not long-term.

East County Magazine

By Miriam Raftery

September 19, 2016 (San Diego) — Last week, the San Diego Union-Tribune rolled out a much-touted revamp of its website featuring San Diego Gas & Electric, a division of Sempra Energy, as its only sponsor.  The deal allows SDG&E to reach news readers directly with messages such as energy saving tips, but also poses potential conflicts of interests for San Diego’s largest newspaper.

SDG&E spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan has clarified that the sponsorship was only for two days, not an ongoing sponsorship. She added thiis perspective on the sponsorship:

SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES FOIA REFORM BILL TO INCREASE ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2016 (Washington D.C.)—The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed legislation with rare bipartisan support that would make it easier for the public and media to obtain government records under the Freedom of Information Act.

The bill was authored by Senator John Cornyn of Texas with San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa as the lead sponsor of the bill.

MEDIA WATCH: KPRI RADIO FLIPS TO CHRISTIAN FORMAT

 

East County News Service

September 29, 2015 (San Diego)--KPRI Radio, San Diego’s independent station known for its alternative rock format and cutting edge issues coverage, has sold the Educational Media Foundation which runs Christian music stations.  The deal will require approval from the Federal Communications Commission, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

In addition to music, KPRI radio has been home to programs such as a Morning Show that recently included discussions on issues and features ranging from climate change to the Master Chef competition.

MEDIA WATCH: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SELLS TO FOX; OWNER RUPERT MURDOCH IS CLIMATE CHANGE DENIER

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – First published in 1888, the National Geographic magazine has long been one of the world’s most popular and respected journals chronicling science and culture around the globe.   But its reputation is now at stake at news that the nonprofit magazine is turning for-profit—and just sold to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

MEDIA WATCH: COMCAST-TIME WARNER CABLE MERGER SCUTTLED

 

 

East County News Service

April 24, 2015 (Washington D.C.) -- Federal regulators have decided that a merger proposed between the nation’s two largest cable companies would not be a marriage made in heaven. On Friday, Comcast announced that it has officially dropped its effort to acquire its chief rival, Time Warner Cable.

MEDIA WATCH: INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM IN CRISIS

 

 

 

New report finds over 500 important stories went unreported in last five years because of a squeeze on investigative reporters, and that freelance investigative journalists are an endangered species. 

Source: Project Word. The report can be downloaded here.

February 28, 2015 (San Diego's East County)--The report, which was conducted by Project Word, under the auspices of Investigative Reporters and Editors, shares the results of a 2014 survey that collected feedback from over 200 freelance investigative journalists. Based in 36 states and 26 countries the respondents represented all ages, media beats, and experience levels.

MEDIA WATCH: FCC VOTES FOR NET NEUTRALITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Advocates of free and open internet access won a major victory Thursday when the Federal Communications Commission voted 3 to 2 to adopt net neutrality.

NBC NEWS ANCHOR BRIAN WILLIAMS DRAWS RIDICULE ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR FAULTY MEMORY OR FIBS

 

Update February 10, 2015:  NBC has suspended Williams without pay for six months.

By Miriam Raftery

February 8, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Journalists know that in  the news business, credibility is everything.  Former CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite was known as the most trusted man in America.

But now Brian Williams, news anchor at NBC TV, has come under fire after apologizing for claiming he was in a helicopter struck by enemy fire in Iraq when others at the scene disputed the story. His recollections of occurrences during his coverage of Hurricane Katrina have also been cast into doubt.  Williams has announced he will take a few days off as the firestorm grows, fueled by ridicule on social media. 

The Twitter hashtag  #BrianWilliamsmisremembers  is abuzz with Photoshopped images of Williams boasting of roles in various historical events, to the amusement of the Twittersphere and doubtless the chagrin of NBC. Below are a few of the more creative examples:

BILINGUAL PROGRESSIVE NEWSPAPER TO LAUNCH IN ESCONDIDO

 

By Miriam Rafferty

April 13, 2014 (Escondido) – On May 1st, a new  bilingual newspaper will launch.  The "Escondido Alliance/Alianza Escondido" aims to fill the news void left by closure of the North County Times, which folded after U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester purchased the publication.  The former Escondido Times-Advocate had previously been absorbed by the North County Times, so the series of acquisitions has left Escondido without a local press to cover politics, events and more –until now.

“People are so excited when we tell them we’re starting a newspaper,” said Nina Deerfield, co-publisher of the Alliance along with Marco Lopez.  “They’ve had no voice…There is so little coverage of what’s happening in Escondido.”

MEDIA WATCHDOG: THE ACCELERATING ASSAULT ON JOURNALISM

 

Some media figures applaud the criminalization of investigative reporting.

A media advisory from Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

http://fair.org/take-action/media-advisories/the-accelerating-assault-on...

September 27, 2013 (San Diego) – U.S. soldier Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning's 35-year sentence represents the harshest punishment issued to date for providing media with evidence of government wrongdoing (Forbes, 8/21/13). She is the first whistleblower to be convicted under the Espionage Act, ratifying the new reality that those who give the press information that the government wants to keep secret will henceforth be treated as spies.

MEDIA WATCH: WHY I QUIT THE ROADRUNNER: MY INTRODUCTION TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

 

By David Ross

(originally published September 6, 2013 at the Valley Center Press).

While being clueless isn’t a prerequisite for earning an MBA, it’s a good start.

I had my introduction to the global economy during the first week in December of 2012 when a new owner purchased The Roadrunner after it had been owned and operated by Dale & Shirley Good for nearly 20 years. Before that it had been owned by a consortium of five owners after being founded in 1974 by Van Quackenbush, who brought me on board in 1984. I edited the publication for about 27 years.

MEDIA JUSTICE FORUM JUNE 17: ECM EDITOR ON PANEL

 

 

June 1, 2013 (San Diego) –Access to information from truthful, unbiased media are cornerstones to democracy.  As KNSJ prepares to launch its public, nonprofit radio station transmitting from Descanso in East County, you’re invited to a forum on media justice hosted by Activist San Diego.

East County Magazine editor Miriam Raftery will be among the panelists at the forum on Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m.  at the Joyce Beers Community Center on Vermont Street (one block north of University Avenue across from Trader Joe's). 

Joseph Pulitzer  observed  back in 1883 that the media “should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privilege classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.”

But today, the major broadcast media and many print publications are owned by the very same corporations over which media should serve as watchdogs--and they have are far from impartial . Six corporations control the vast majority of our airways and more.  Consider this:

MEDIA WATCH COLUMN: THE URGENCY FOR MEDIA REFORM

By Jennifer Douglas, jen@saveklsd.com

May 3, 2013 (San Diego)--The need for media reform and putting a halt to further media consolidation now seems urgent. Since late April, we have learned that billionaire conservative activists are moving ahead in a bid to buy the Los Angeles Times; Obama's nominated a former corporate lobbyist to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC); a senator reminds us that six mega-corporations own most of our mass media, and a leading champion of media reform, Common Cause leader Bob Edgar (photo, left) has died suddenly.

MEDIA WATCH: MEDIA REFORM SUMMIT APRIL 27 IN LOS ANGELES

 

By guest columnist Marie Ida Johnson

April 24, 2013 (San Diego) --If you are concerned about media control, ownership and reform and how your community is served, a summit this Saturday may offer thoughtful perspectives.  While the focus will be on Los Angeles news coverage, don’t think that these discussions will not affect you.  Media concerns and new ideas for better news in any area of the country concern all of us and the summit speakers are quite impressive.

LA Media Reform Group announces its 6th Annual LA Media Reform Summit at Occidental College in Los Angeles from 1-5 p.m. followed by a reception.  The summit is co-hosted by: California Common Cause, The LA Progressive, and the Occidental College Urban and Environmental Policy Institute.  To complete the evening MoveOn is hosting the first public showing of a new documentary on whistleblowers and the free press.

MEDIA EXPERTS PARTICIPATE IN PANEL TO ADDRESS CONTROVERSIAL PRESS PASS ISSUES

 

By Janis Mork

April 15, 2013 (San Diego)- Last week, in the KPBS studio at San Diego State University, U-T San Diego public engagement reporter Matt Hall moderated a three-member panel  hosted by the San Diego Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)  to explore the controversial issue of press credentials.

Should San Diego Police Department stay in charge of who gets press credentials countywide?

Who needs press passes—and how does SDPD determine who does and doesn’t receive them? 

These are among the questions addressed on a panel consisting of  U-T San Diego public safety reporter Kristina Davis, true crime author Caitlin Rother, and freelance videographer James ‘JC’ Playford, who filled in for  San Diego Reader journalist Dorian Hargrove originally scheduled.

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