Sunday, February 04, 2007

I Read The (S)Nooze Today Oh Boy

Jill Carroll Criticizes Foreign Cutbacks in Harvard Report

“NEW YORK Jill Carroll, the Christian Science Monitor reporter who spent more than 80 days in captivity in Iraq last year before being freed following an international call for her release, is criticizing cutbacks in foreign news coverage in a new report she authored for the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University.

Researched and written during her fellowship at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy last fall, Carroll's 23-page report claims that media companies cutting back on foreign bureaus and correspondents in the face of financial pressure "are making a financial miscalculation and missing an opportunity to capitalize on an asset that they appear to undervalue.

Carroll, who was kidnapped just over a year ago in Baghdad during an incident in which her driver was killed, followed her release last spring by writing an extensive series on her 82-day ordeal, which also included online video interviews and became the Monitor's most popular syndicated series and web-based report. She took a leave of absence from the paper during the fall semester at Harvard, where she was one of four such fellows.

Her critical report includes statistics that note the number of foreign correspondents at U.S. newspapers had dropped from 282 in 2000 to 249 in 2006. She also points out that the number of foreign bureaus at the three major networks had "dropped significantly since 9/11. ABC, NBC and CBS all had six foreign bureaus by the summer of 2003, according to American Journalism Review, after ABC and NBC cut seven and CBS cut four bureaus since the 1980's."


…Her critical report includes statistics that note the number of foreign correspondents at U.S. newspapers had dropped from 282 in 2000 to 249 in 2006. She also points out that the number of foreign bureaus at the three major networks had "dropped significantly since 9/11. ABC, NBC and CBS all had six foreign bureaus by the summer of 2003, according to American Journalism Review, after ABC and NBC cut seven and CBS cut four bureaus since the 1980's.

the fad solution to the industry's struggle to maintain 20% profit margins is to focus more on local news


…The daily (s)nooze blinds us, leaves us unable to see both the problems and the solutions that only an informed society can deal with, if it has any hope to remain a democracy. The (s)noozes media would have us believe that the crises confronting us came at us out of nowhere, presents our enemies as irrational monsters with objectives impossible for us to understand. The politics of fear has or representatives passing laws in total ignorance of their context or contents. Fearmongers gnaw away the foundations of our liberties, accomplishing what the terrorists never, ever could.

You can't apply common sense when there is only common ignorance instead of common knowledge. (S)nooze media would have us believe that Shia militias are responsible for our failure in Iraq, when our failure, to provide safety, jobs, rebuilding, even electricity are responsible for the militias. Willful ignorance created our failures, which, in turn, created the need for the militias. Need has made them a political force in Iraq just as need made Hesbollah a political force in Lebanon and thwarting Fatah made Hamas an acceptable force in Palestinian politics.

Even opponents of our policy in Iraq are buying into blaming the Shia majority for our failure to accomplish wishful thinking disguised as rational goals. …


Will we stop (s)noozing? A close look at New Orleans, Baghdad, or Gaza suggests that we won't. At least not anytime soon.

con·cept: I Read The (S)Nooze Today Oh Boy