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Posts Tagged ‘Stanton’

Did you hear that NASA is going to mine the moon!? No? I didn’t either until a friend visiting from the States informed me last week. The ‘probe’ is supposed to crash into a crater on October 9th. That means that the craft carrying it has been in orbit for months. This means that this research and project has been going on for years! And we have heard nothing in the news media about this. Throughout two chapters of ‘All News is Local’ Stanton provides us with a good analysis of news media production and offers up ways in which large news media corporations must change their modes of operation in order to succeed in providing ‘accurate’ or ‘thorough’ global news. Stanton does not talk about media consumers or reference the variety of media consumption in various demographics. I also found a lack of agency created throughout his writing for us news consumers, however he does illuminate some key issues.

When looking at global social issues Non-Government Organizations are most definitely involved. In an NGO’s aim to gaining coverage “success lies in the capacity of an organization to present a strategy to news media and to governments in such a way that it will appear to emulate the institutions it is attempting to persuade and influence” (Stanton, 182). Stanton is arguing here that it is the job of the organization that is involved to frame their experience in a manner that fits the news media’s mold. Stanton notes that Oxfam invests heavily in research and news media connections to become the opposition on coverage of globalization stories. This type of investment “creates a legitimacy for [the organization] based in its research and its self-positioning as a global institution” (Stanton, 183). It is important to problematize this legitimacy and illuminate its roots in wealth, wealth of money, human resources and connections to the dominant news media. The differentiation of large aid companies and the way they are held up as leaders among civil society organizations Stanton notes, “is more often the result of good media management by the agencies than any other single factor” (Stanton 184). Here the legitimacy and credentials that news media places on any organization becomes invalid.

‘We’, as news media consumers, should then presumably be more analytic of the news sources we read. Stanton suggests that “news media, rather than being imagined as a preeminent institution within the public sphere, are in truth agents for corporate and government stakeholders seeking profit and well-being” (Stanton,192). Well, of course Stanton, and corporations definition of ‘well-being’ does not exclude obtaining wealth by harming others. “[F]or corporations, the production of goods and services based on consumer opinion and, therefore, demand is an equivalent policy position. When the news media interpret the policies and actions of global institutions they do so within the narrow game of agency that they have developed through their relationships with national governments and corporations. This is unacceptable. [Now you’re getting passionate!] The news media narrow the frame and imagine the institutions of globalization to represent the same interests as corporations and government” (Stanton, 194). Just as our group was saying; the success rates of Blogs or the significance of a YouTube video cannot be measured simply by the number of hits.

Our North American news is framed ‘locally’ with western, local importance. Stanton notes that news media is attempting to neatly package complex global issues into “digestible chunks” (Stanton, 189) so that folks here in small-town Canada can have some tidbit of what’s shakin’ in Timbuktu. And how awfully west centric is it that we have an expression for ‘the-middle-ephin’-nowhere’ all wrapped up into the name of a Malian city: Tombouctou. Because there is no way could relate to someone in the middle of West Africa.

Stanton states that this lack of thorough news coverage on global issues as well as the watering down of local news has lead to folks being detached from both. True, but where is our agency? Are we not responsible for being more consciously involved in our own communities? What about Not-for-profit organizations that don’t want to conform to news media forums? How about putting some value in nonconformities? At the same time it is important that we are holding large news media accountable for accurately portraying information and questioning how government/NASA/other corporate forces apply their filters on how the media represents a case. How come we didn’t know about or have a say in what was being done to our moon?

-Emily Hein

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