CleverMonkey

The Opposition Press

A Daily Lesson in Media Literacy? Sure, why not. October 26, 2006

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Question: Which, if any, of the following fit the criteria for Endangered Species as defined by the CWF?

  1. Whooping Crane
  2. Swift Fox
  3. Journalistic Integrity
  4. All of the above

All you over 40s, stop peaking at your neighbour’s paper, and all you under 30s close that Wikipedia window, the rest of you are Gen X’ers and are too jaded and hip to bother answering that question anyway. The answer, sadly, is 4. The majestic Whooping Crane can now only be found in Wood Buffalo National Park these days and their numbers are estimated to be under 200. Similarly, journalistic integrity has all but disappeared from it’s natural habitat of the mainstream news media, forced out by predators, hunters, and trappers who use it’s likeness to lure their pray (public opinion) which they quickly devour completely. Some of the threats to journalistic integrity that are found in the wild are;

  • The 24 hour news network, by forcing journalists to constantly have some ‘breaking news’ story to report these networks confuddle (harry potter word?) audiences into thinking that the stories they report are actually important. In many instances stories that are actually important are not sufficiently reported at all.
  • Corporate interference in news reporting, also related to the “news’tainment” phenomenon, corporations seek to make profit at all costs, that is their nature. Therefore, if a story is not entertaining enough it is either sensationalized or not reported at all.
  • Bias, many times journalists, inadvertently, insert their own opinions and beliefs into their article. However, increasingly often the opinions, beliefs, and political interests of journalists, corporations, and owners is actually a governing factor in the method that the news media reports stories. Hence, some news anchors feel they can instruct producers to, TURN HIS MIC OFF!!! if a source says something they don’t agree with.
  • Spin, this involves selective reporting and omission of certain facts pertaining to stories. Also, more often than one might think, false facts and entire stories are reported, in addition important stories may not be reported at all. In these cases the unreported stories fade away and fail to exist because (as Peter Mackay taught Canadians this week) if it isn’t recorded, it never happened.

I can hear you all stirring in your seats right now, “what can we do? How do we help save Journalistic Integrity from extinction? Should we donate to the WWF?” Put your pocketbooks away, Vince McMahon wont be needed this time (heheh). Instead, much like a great American hero once said, “the power is yours!” Media literacy is our first weapon against these usurpers who would erase Journalistic Integrity from our memories. Now we are all busy with work, and all the gadgets that were supposed to make life easier have only succeeded in making the home a workplace as well. So, we at Clevermonkey propose to examine a news story each day and highlight the issues we see within the article. We are aware that some of some of you actually wanted to get jobs after University/College graduation so we’ll keep the Poli-Sci/Comm Studies/Journalism School/English jargon to a minimum or else provide explanations or links thereto. And, remember….

The Power is Yours!!!

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Vote Hutz!

Filed under: Civil Liberty,democracy,editorial,elections,Harper,Harper Government,law — uberskeptic @ 6:54 am

hutz1.jpgWHO does one trust, and why does one trust them? In a world filled with many monotonous diversions and the constant drone of the effervescent but useless speakers that surround us, it becomes difficult to truly realize how uselessly blind we have all become. Trust entails loyalty; loyalty binds us all together and produces unique conditions for humanity’s coexistence. For centuries politicians have lied to certain people (the majority) and told the honest truth to others (the minority), but that’s only a tiny part of a gargantuan problem that threatens to tear the world apart. Our politicians, for the most part, have become so dumb that their lies no longer comfort us. There is no cohesion to their stories, and as they try and sell peace and safety, the visible world is slowly crumbling into disparity. Centuries of bad leadership have created a void in world unity; whereas familial grudges and obvious differences should be left behind and forgotten once one is asked to represent their glorious nation, many ‘leaders’ have chosen to bring such differences to the Tables of Power (that are never round). Obvious gripes in the Middle East, constant panic surrounding North Korea and Iran, the European Union’s East versus West economic grudge match, and even Canada can’t seem to settle with Denmark over a 3 kilometer island in the Arctic Sea.

This is where our collective uselessness comes into play. Democracy is based on the voters, and although the population seems to complain about everything our politicians do, it is indeed the people that put these men and women into power. Let’s face it, democracy is no longer about politics and leadership, it’s about economics, but more specifically, who has the bigger wallet. Bay Street lawyers are running this country like a business, heartlessly cutting losses to preserve strength; thereafter refusing to lower the flag when Canadian soldiers are killed in defense of the democracy these idiosyncratic politicians praise, yet know so little about.

 

“Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

 

George was totally right. It is our fault entirely that we’ve allowed such travesties to occur time and time again all over the world. Whining and moaning will not help bring the world together. People must step forward and push union to the forefront. Until then we will have to continue voting for the guy with the money, for the fellow that owns corporations and mini-malls; either way we’re all whoring our trust out to Hutz. But that’s alright. Hutz is thrilled we like him so much!