Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Our Mainstream Military Media

(The first part of this post is a slightly different version of an article that I worked on for Raw Story that was published on Monday: "Military releases seep into Katrina news articles.")

Where does our news come from?

An article written by Jim Krane for the Associated Press this past Saturday called "Air Force Sending 300 Home From Iraq, Afghanistan" refers to a "statement."

Also on Saturday, an unbylined article written for United Press International called "Miss. air base struggles to reopen" refers to an Air Force "news release."

At an uncredited story appeared on Sunday called "300 troops with kin in Katrina zone sent home" mentions "an Air Force command statement" and "a news release."

A Reuters article published in the L.A. Times - also without a byline - ran as "U.S. Troops Deployed Abroad Returning to Aid Recovery," which closed out the third paragraph with "the Air Force said in a statement released in Qatar."

In this particular instance most of the news contained at the aforementioned mainstream media links came straight from this September 3rd press release posted at the Air Force Website: "Hurricane-affected Airmen to redeploy."

The press release is credited to AFPN which stands for Air Force Print News: "The Air Force news wire service providing Air Force and Department of Defense news and information, with daily updates from around the world."

Back on March 13th, 2005, a lengthy expose about “prepackaged” news was featured on the front page of The New York Times (truthout link of The Times article) that attracted an awful lot of attention from the press and even a number of Congressional Democrats. In "Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged Television News, "David Barstow and Robin Stein wrote of ”a world where government-produced reports disappear into a maze of satellite transmissions, Web portals, syndicated news programs and network feeds, only to emerge cleansed on the other side as "independent" journalism."

I can understand why the mainstream media would rely on military news releases for overseas matters (though I still object to it)...but why the hell are they doing it for what's going on in America?

to be continued


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