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Media Issues in the 2004 Presidential Election Year
Media Tank provides helpful background on media issues.

A very helpful source of information about the media is "Media Tank" which views the mainstream media from the persepective of independent media. It publishes regular email announcements of key issues in the media which are going to particularly significant in this presidential election year.

Below is the current issue featuring Rupert Murdock, spending on the Iowa caucuses, George Bush's views of the media, and other issues. See the link at the end for more information about this group.

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MEDIA OWNERSHIP/POLICY

1. Rupert's World

By Ronald Grover and Tom Lowry, BusinessWeek, 1/19/04 Five stories above the frenzied Twentieth Century Fox studio lot near Los Angeles, Rupert Murdoch eases back in a leather sofa to reflect for a moment. A bank of TV sets flickers nearby. "I am a blessed man these days," says the 72-year-old News Corp. chairman, looking as fit as ever in a French-blue shirt sans tie. Yet Murdoch is feeling blessed by so much more. He just received a phone call from his top Washington lobbyist, Michael Regan, with news that federal regulators were set to announce their approval later that day, Dec. 19, of News Corp.'s $6.8 billion acquisition of a controlling interest in DirecTV. The agency's move would give Murdoch the missing link in News Corp.'s worldwide satellite distribution system, creating the truly global media empire he has dreamed about for years. "Don't worry. We don't want to take over the world," he says with a wide smile across his creased face. "We just want a piece of it." http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_03/b3866001_mz001.htm

2. A Chat with the Communications Chief By Mark Hachman, PC Magazine, 1/13/04

In a wide-ranging discussion here, FCC chairman Michael Powell said it is "very unlikely" that the industry will meet its 2006 deadline to phase out analog television broadcasts in favor of DTV. Powell spoke to Consumer Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro in a public discussion Friday morning here at the CES show. Powell, who has consistently advocated that government take a limited role in determining public policy, maintained that stance while discussing spectrum auctions, copyright protection, and the need for technology in child rearing. http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/ZDM/FCC_powell_CES_pcmag040113.html

JOURNALISM

1. Bush's Press Problem By Daniel Cappello, The New Yorker, 1/13/04

In this week's New Yorker Ken Auletta writes about the George W. Bush Administration's relationship with the American press, and about how the President manages to keep reporters at a distance. Here, with The New Yorker's Daniel Cappello, Auletta discusses how that relationship affects the public. http://www.newyorker.com/online/content/?040119on_onlineonly02

2. Electorate is checking its sources By Mark Jurkowitz, Boston Globe, 1/13/04

With an election year upon us, Americans -- increasingly convinced political campaign coverage is biased -- appear to be choosing news outlets that match their beliefs, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. The findings raise the question of whether the US tradition of an objective mainstream press is evolving -- at least in the public's perception -- into the overseas model of more overtly partisan news. http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2004/01/13/electorate_is_checki ng_its_sources/

3. Analyzing Coverage of 2004 Race By Jacques Steinberg, NY Times, 1/15/04

Reporters covering the presidential campaign will be subject to a new layer of scrutiny: a Web site devoted to analyzing their coverage. The site, the Campaign Desk (http://campaigndesk.org), is a venture of The Columbia Journalism Review and its publisher, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Journalists are the Web site's primary audience, but it is also for readers, viewers and listeners of the coverage. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/15/politics/campaigns/15MEDI.html

4. US military 'brutalised' journalists By Luke Harding, The Guardian, 1/13/04

The international news agency Reuters has made a formal complaint to the Pentagon following the "wrongful" arrest and apparent "brutalisation" of three of its staff this month by US troops in Iraq. The complaint followed an incident in the town of Falluja when American soldiers fired at two Iraqi cameramen and a driver from the agency while they were filming the scene of a helicopter crash. The US military initially claimed that the Reuters journalists were "enemy personnel" who had opened fire on US troops and refused to release them for 72 hours. http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,7493,1121995,00.html

MEDIA CULTURE

1. Perchance to dream - anything you like with the fantasy machine By Justin McCurry, The Guardian, 1/15/04

Entering an exam hall totally unprepared or walking the streets naked may soon become nightmares of the past. A Japanese toymaker, which has already brought us cats and dogs that "talk" said yesterday it had developed a gadget enabling people to turn fanciful daydreams into realistic night-time experiences. Before hitting the futon, all the owners of Yumemi Kobo, or Dream Workshop, have to do is stare at a photograph of what they would like to dream about and then record, in their own words, how the dream is supposed to pan out. Once users are in the land of nod, the gadget goes to work, combining the voice recording, lights, music and aromas to stimulate sleepers whenever it detects rapid eye movement - a sign that someone is dreaming - and directs their dreams accordingly. http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1123315,00.html

2. Forever on TV: reality soap opera that may never end By Julian Borger, The Guardian, 1/12/04

If you think today's reality television shows go on forever, you have seen nothing yet. Rupert Murdoch's Fox television is planning a new variant of the cut-price phenomenon that might literally never end. Forever Eden, which is due to begin this spring, will take a group of unmarried people on an open-ended detour from their lives, transplanting them in a luxury resort abroad and letting them get on with everything attractive, fun-loving single men and women might be expected to do when paid to spend the rest of their days on the beach or in bars. "These people could be on the air for six months, a year or three years," Mike Darnell, Fox's head of alternative programming, told Variety magazine. "If you want to stay and you play your cards right, you could be on the air forever. It's the first real try at a reality soap opera." http://media.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4833953-105236,00.html

3. A Liberal Haven on the Radio Dial By Jennifer Frey, Washington Post, 1/14/04

The much-discussed liberal radio network, designed to challenge conservatives' dominance of talk radio, took its first steps toward reality yesterday, when newly formed Progress Media announced it had both signed comedian and author Al Franken to host his own talk show and completed its first distribution deal in a major market. Franken's show is expected to air weekdays from noon to 3 p.m., in direct competition with the popular "Rush Limbaugh Show." Franken is the author of two best-selling nonfiction books, the first titled "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot." Progress Media also announced that it had signed environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to co-host another program for its anticipated lineup of round-the-clock talk radio. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A14700-2004Jan13.html

ADVERTISING

1. MoveOn.org Plans Super Bowl Buy By Sandy Brown and Ann M. Mack, Adweek, 1/12/04

MoveOn.org, the liberal political advocacy group, revealed its intentions to buy one of the remaining Super Bowl spots at a star-studded gala here tonight. If the deal goes through, it would mark the first time that a political advocacy group advertised on the Big Game, the group said. MoveOn.org Voter Fund campaign director Eli Pariser outlined the Super Bowl plan to a crowd of about 2,000 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. If MoveOn.org grabs a spot on Super Bowl XXXVIII, the group likely will air the winning entry from its "Bush in 30 Seconds" contest, which called for submissions of original TV ads focusing on President Bush. http://www.adweek.com/aw/national/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=2066856

2. Iowa Presidential Election Ad Spending Highest Ever By Ira Teinowitz, AdAge.com, 1/14/04

On the eve of Monday's Iowa Democratic caucuses, a new study says Democratic Party ad spending aimed at state residents has already exceeded $90 per Iowa caucus voter. The study, done by the University of Wisconsin, tracks electoral campaign advertising spending. Ken Goldstein, director of the Wisconsin Advertising Project, estimated that spending would top $100 per caucus voter by Monday. Through Jan. 9, $21 million has been spent overall in ad buys in Iowa. http://www.adage.com/news.cms?newsId=39568#

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Media Tank :: www.mediatank.org

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Date Added: 1/16/2004 Date Revised: 1/16/2004 11:15:00 AM

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