Norman Solomon

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Thursday, August 24, 2000
Paying Homage To The Two-Party Media System
Isn't the two-party system wonderful? It really works! Every day, we hear plenty of opinions. Top Democrats and Republicans stay "on message," and usually the nation's major news outlets are in sync. The media landscape remains largely uncluttered, so most people won't get distracted by other perspectives and choices.
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Thursday, March 23, 2000
The Power And Limits Of Photojournalism
Despite all the emphasis on new media, photography has never lost the power to move us. Some recent photo essays in major American magazines, focusing on the poor and dispossessed, are efforts to break through abstraction and indifference. They tell us a lot about the potential impacts -- and common limitations -- of photojournalism.
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Friday, March 17, 2000
The Media's Lethal Injection of Numbing
SAN QUENTIN, Calif. -- The moon, a bit more than half full, glowed in a sky of stars and darkness. Only a faint breeze was blowing across the San Francisco Bay. A few yards from the dark water's edge, vans from local TV stations lined the road ending at prison gates. The state was ready to kill.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2000
Tribune Swallows Times: Bad Day for Journalism?
Another day, another huge media merger. This time it's the Tribune Co. swallowing up Times Mirror -- uniting two firms best known for their powerhouse daily newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. The combined media holdings include other big dailies along with plenty of mass-circulation magazines and television stations.
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Thursday, March 02, 2000
Reporting on Bloodshed, TV Journalists Play Dumb
For Americans watching TV news, March began in typical fashion. When five people were shot on the first day of the month in a town near Pittsburgh, cable networks swiftly jumped into action. They devoted hour after hour to the tragedy -- giving viewers plenty of live footage from helicopters, interviews with terrified eyewitnesses and grim official briefings. Correspondents functioned much like schizoid ghouls. The television industry is good at deploring bloodshed -- while milking it to boost ratings. But the hypocrisy only begins there.
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Thursday, February 24, 2000
Open Letter: Facing the Pacifica Crisis
Hovering over all this about Pacifica is that the composition of the Pacifica national board has shifted against progressives. Since the board has made itself self-perpetuating and able to fill its own vacancies, the prospects for positive developments in this regard are bleak. A close look at the actions and espoused positions of the people currently holding the most power in the Pacifica "leadership" is chilling.
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Thursday, February 17, 2000
NPR Floats An Ombudsman, But Problems Run Deep
What if a big restaurant chain announced that it was hiring a chief inspector -- and filled the job with the person who'd been in charge of the company's kitchens? We might roll our eyes if the incoming inspector proclaimed from the outset that the meals on the menu were delicious and nutritious.
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Thursday, February 10, 2000
E-Vandalism Intrudes On the Power To Be Heard
A specter is haunting cyberspace -- the specter of e-vandalism. Media alarms have been loud recently: Electronic commerce is under siege. A virtual crime wave threatens to wreak havoc on the World Wide Web. Any site is vulnerable, no matter how big.
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Thursday, February 03, 2000
Fine Journalism Deserves A Lot More Attention
Time magazine recently offered some notable journalism. A 14-page investigative report -- "Big Money and Politics: Who Gets Hurt?" -- provided extensive coverage of how government decisions really get made in the nation's capital. The cover story, by Donald Barlett and James Steele, was terrific. But the mass media's response to the new expose was dismal.
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