Biting the Hand That (Doesn't) Feed

| September 27, 2000

Biting the Hand That (Doesn't) Feed

Growing up in a home where news was on all the time (like a Pavlovian subject, the All Things Considered theme jingle still makes me think of dinner), and then eventually deciding on a career in the media myself, I have been fascinated by how the News decides what news is news. Even today, it often seems arbitrary, like in the case of presidential hopeful Ralph Nader.

Nader, garnering crowds of thousands of supporters (in Portland, Oregon, 14,000 came out) is newsworthy whether the big media conglomerates will admit it or not. Nader and his supporters suspect, however, that it is out of fear that thhey have stayed away, as Matt Welch writes in News For Change.

Nader is bitingly critical of the mainstream media, citing one example where they avoided his press conference on corporate crime, which was, in his words, 'because there are six or seven giant media conglomerates who control most of the audiences, and the newspaper and magazine circulation.' Considering their position and the current trend of increasing corporate control of all aspects of the media, he puts the pieces together: 'You think they want to report on corporate crime, fraud and abuse?'

As Nader tries to climb his way further up the single digits in the polls, with the hope of at least 5 percent, which would mean federal funding next time around for the Green Party, he will need the media's spotlight. -- Amanda Luker
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