Emerson Prof. Bemoans Lack of March Coverage

This professor recently wrote an Op-Ed for the Christian Science Monitor about the MSM blackout on the huge anti-war protests. CBS PubliEye just Interviewed the Professor, who had some interesting things to say.

Some snippets:

Matthew Felling: It's a point of conjecture, to be sure. But why do you think the media failed to cover these rallies, beforehand or afterwards?

Jerry Lanson: I wish I knew the answer to that. It perplexes me to a large extent. We can all come up with theories or guesses having to do with the economics of newspapers today, that their staffs are smaller; they're doing the safe thing; they're piling on the big celebrity story; they're piling on the big sports story. But by doing so, they're running away from their responsibility as I see it - which is to inform the public.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, if that's where you're pushing me. I don't believe that there's a mainstream press that's owned by large corporate giants and therefore they won't go anywhere near an anti-war rally. I think that it's subtler than that and I think it's subversive.

[SNIP]
I do think the news media today are pulling their punches. And if you compare that to the Vietnam period, and the Pentagon Papers, there's really no comparison.

[SNIP]
I was on the desk at the San Jose Mercury News when we decided to run a photo of an American soldier getting dragged through the street in Somalia. That day, we lost several hundred subscriptions to the newspaper.

[SNIP]

How can the traditional newsmedia complain and whine that they're losing their readership and viewership if they're not covering news that (A) affects a lot of people and (B) a lot of people are participating in.

[snip]

I was marching this weekend with my cousin who reads the New Yorker -- which covered this weekend's rally -- and he'd never heard of Jena Six until I told him about it. That's a pretty interesting story about race relations in this country, and it came and left in a day...

But when I got back from France, I had a week of Paris Hilton and how much time she was going to have to spend in jail. I don't give a damn. That's the easy story. It's something that TV can cover cheaply that gets ratings. But it's not something that informs the public dialogue. And it ends up with a public that's not very well-informed.</block&gt

Tags: Activism, anti-war, march, Media, MSM, protest (all tags)

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