This blog post is to alert our readers towards an excellent website -- Media Lens -- which brings out regular updates of the bias, political corruption and incompetence of the British mainstream media. With the slogan: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media, this website has been at the forefront of exposing the manner, often subtle and sometimes direct, in which 'independent' media in Britain has been complicit with the agenda of imperialism.
There are occasions in history when collective trauma brings a nation intimately in contact with its deepest anxieties. Mumbai 26/11, to use the media shorthand for the horror that began one night in November and carried on for close to three days, was one such. The terrorist attacks that began November 26 and transformed swiftly into a 60-hour long siege of three landmark buildings in India’s commercial metropolis, have deeply transformed the national polity. The true consequences will take a while manifesting themselves.
The role of the mass media (MM) in influencing mass and class behavior has been a central concern among critical writers, especially since the turn of the Twentieth century. Debates and studies on the MM have focused on its political bias, ownership and links to big business, relationships and ties to the state, relative openness and diversity, promotion of wars and corporate interests among other major issues affecting the relations of power, wealth and empire. Of particular interest to writers opposing and supporting the role of the MM is the impact of the MM in influencing mass outlook, opinions and behaviors. Essays, monographs and empirical studies have been published as to the extent of MM influence, the time frame in which it retains control, the ‘depth’ of loyalty to MM inculcated opinions, and the ‘place’ in which MM messages have the greatest influence in inducing mass opinion in conformity with ruling class interests.
An understanding of the role and power of the MM in contemporary capitalist society requires us to organize the debate according to three major schools – conservative, liberal and Marxist – before proceeding to a critical analysis and finally presenting notes towards setting alternatives to elite-controlled communications networks.
Such is the power of the media, that in recent months, the very names of Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal have become synonymous with forcible land acquisition by the state all over India. This is truly remarkable, because in fact no land was ever actually acquired for industrialisation in Nandigram after the violent protests against it. And it is widely acknowledged that the terms of acquisition of the 1000 acres required for the Tata automobile factory in Singur were the most favourable for the peasantry, of any such acquisition across India.
Several Indian newspapers fell victim to a hoax about the arrest of a supposed Nazi war criminal. Apart from the media’s alarming ignorance, the episode also reveals our fascination for unconfirmed news from ‘intelligence’ sources. Article, courtesy The Hindu.
A new allegation is now being bandied in the pro-American press about the intentions behind the opposition to the nuclear deal. Prakash Karat makes a statement about remarks by a CPI(M) PB member on the nuclear deal. A short comment on the issue.
Saibal Bishnu and Chirashree Das Gupta argue that the attempts to build a 'coalition of the willing' by the opposition in West Bengal, despite its motley hues, is bound together by the common agenda of anti-communism.
Carlos Bastidas was only 23 years of age when he was assassinated by Fulgencio Batista’s secret police after having visited Fidel Castro’s forces in the Sierra Maestra Mountains. Edmundo Bastidas, Carlos’ brother, told about how a river of changed flowed from the Maestra (teacher) mountains, symbolized by his brother’s efforts to help secure a new future for Cuba.
The celebration in Havana was held in honor of World Press Freedom Day, which is observed every year in May. World Press Freedom day was proclaimed by the UN in 1993 to honor journalists who have lost their lives reporting the news, and to defend media freedom worldwide.
How U.S. funding of the world press corps may be buying influence.
Real News Network video featuring Aijaz Ahmad analysing the nuclear weapon status of Israel and the perceptions of the US corporate media about the peacemaking moves of former US president Jimmy Carter. Video, courtesy "The Real News Network", www.therealnews.com .