Daily Archives: September 18, 2016

US elections and the media: How did we get here? – The Listening Post (Full)


Al Jazeera English

Published on Sep 17, 2016

In this special edition of The Listening Post from New York City we explore how a lack of regulation and absence of a strong public broadcaster in America has impacted the coverage of US politics.

As the 2016 presidential election campaign heads into the home stretch, many Americans are accusing their news outlets, particularly on the broadcast side, of not just reporting on the race for the White House – but actually affecting the outcome, through their commercial agendas, prioritising ratings and revenues over journalism and responsible reporting.

So how did we get here? Measuring the totality of media coverage over the entire presidential campaign – the content, the tone, the ideology – is near impossible. But what we can do is examine structural issues in the broadcasting landscape that are unique to the US.

First, America’s regulatory requirement for editorial fairness is almost non existent. Broadcasters in the US can be editorially and ideologically biased whether Fox News on the right, MSNBC on the left.

The second thing that sets the US media apart is that unlike every other advanced country in the world, America does not have a publicly-owned broadcaster provided with the resources – the budgets – to actually compete with privately-owned media outlets. So broadcasting in the US is almost entirely corporate-controlled.

We examine the corporate domination of the American airwaves, the ratings and profit imperative related to that and the effect that that has on media coverage and public discourse.

Talking us through the story are: Dan Rather, former anchor, CBS Evening News; Cenk Uygur, host, The Young Turks; Amy Goodman, host, Democracy Now! ; Nicholas Lemann, Dean Emeritus, Columbia Journalism School; Robert McChesney, communications professor, Illinois University; Janine Jackson, programme director, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting; Daniel McCarthy, editor, The American Conservative; and Patricia Diaz Dennis, former federal communications commissioner.

The Listening Post– Whole Series:

Global Climate Change
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Media

Protesters rally across Germany against mega trade deal


Al Jazeera English

Published on Sep 17, 2016

Tens of thousands of people have been rallying in cities across Germany against trade deals between the European Union, US and Canada.

World leaders say the free-trade deals under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) proposal will bring hundreds of billions of dollars of benefit and prosperity.

But opponents fear they will lead to an erosion of democracy and threaten human rights.

Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane reports from Berlin.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Panama’s Grand Canal – TechKnow


Al Jazeera English

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Panama is one of Latin America’s most diverse landscapes, with riches and luxury living alongside drastic poverty. The Panama Canal, however, is a point of pride for many – a feat that is unparalleled in the world of waterway engineering.

Designed by the French and finished by the Americans a century ago, it is one of the largest public construction projects in US history. The canal was built to ease the movement of water vessels, such as marine and cargo ships, between two of the world’s largest bodies of water – the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Every day, more than 40 ships pass through the canal. But despite increasing cargo tonnage, Panama needed to expand the canal to accommodate a new generation of container ships, the so-called neo-Panamax, which are too big for the old canal locks.

To cater to this larger transit tonnage and global shipping demands, Panama decided to take its two-lane canal and add a new third lane.

The new canal designs are set to improve upon the current functionality, such as with the new gates that slide across the channel chambers as opposed to the traditional ‘open and shut’ gates. Reinvented basins are also a new feature, helping move ships across the canal chambers using water-saving methods.

The Panama Canal expansion project is projected to double the capacity of the canal and hence considered a major boon for ports and the Panamanian government.

However, the economic promise of the canal runs alongside environmental concerns. How will the canal’s expansion affect Panama’s ecosystem?

TechKnow travelled to Panama to look at the engineering behind the massive expansion project and to hear from biologists and community leaders about Panama’s changing ecosystem.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Tokyo game show 2016: Virtual reality takes centre stage


Al Jazeera English

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Hundreds of thousands of gamers have descended on the Tokyo Game Show in Japan.

The annual event showcases the latest in computer gaming and hardware.

This year all the talk is about the virtual reality revolution that is sweeping the industry.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride reports from Tokyo.

Global Climate Change
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Bear-ly Alive: Arctic scientists surrounded by polar bears rescued after two-week siege


RT

Published on Sep 18, 2016

Russian scientists besieged by polar bears for two weeks have finally been rescued.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
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Poll Shows That Americans Don’t Trust The Media


The Ring of Fire

Published on Sep 16, 2016

A new Gallup poll shows that Americans trust the media less today than at any other point in history. And with the corporate control of most of our media, that should come as little surprise.

Global Climate Change
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Media

Did #LoserDonald Pay Pam Bondi To Ignore Trump University?


The Young Turks

Published on Sep 7, 2016

Donald Trump made a campaign contribution to Pam Bondi right around the time she looked the other way on Trump University. Ben Mankiewicz and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. http://tytnetwork.com/join

“In March 2014, Donald Trump opened his 126-room Palm Beach mansion, Mar-a-Lago, for a $3,000-per-person fundraiser for Pam Bondi, the Florida attorney general who had recently decided not to join a lawsuit against Trump University and was facing a tough reelection campaign.

Trump did not write a check to the attorney general that night. The previous fall, his personal foundation had given $25,000 to a pro-Bondi PAC. But by hosting her fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago and bringing in some of his own star power, Trump provided Bondi’s campaign with a nice financial boost.

Since he began his run for the White House, Trump has repeatedly claimed that Bondi is merely someone he has supported politically. But his fundraising efforts for her were extensive and varied: In addition to the $25,000 donation from his foundation and the star-studded Mar-a-Lago event, Trump and his daughter Ivanka each gave $500 to Bondi’s campaign in the fall of 2013. The following spring, Ivanka and her father donated another $125,000 to the Republican Party of Florida ― Bondi’s single biggest source of campaign funds…

All this money created the appearance that Donald Trump was thanking Bondi for halting any further investigation into his failed seminar programs. Trump’s efforts to boost her politically came during and after a period when Bondi was under pressure to pursue allegations that those seminars were defrauding consumers.”*

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