Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: News ignored by the mainstream media...

  1. #1
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    South of Mason Dixon Line
    Posts
    497

    Default News ignored by the mainstream media...

    ...if you feel this better belongs in another spot no problem, but to me this is the sort of news story in the Peshawar FRONTIER POST today, Tuesday, March 10, 2009 which is elsewhere, worldwide, often overlooked.

    Mamond Tribesmen sign peace agreement with Govt F.P. Report

    KHAR: "The Tribesmen in Bajaur Agency signed a deal with government on Monday, promising not to shelter militants in the area on the Afghan border where peace has been restored after truce pact. About 900 prominent elders belonging to Mamond tribe, in a grand jirga, held in populated Mamond valley, signed a 28-point pact with the authorities aiming at maintaining peace. They would also supplement Government efforts for the development of the region... He said the persons who had handed over their weapons should register their names with the elders of the tribe and the tribe would be bound to take the responsibility... Pinpointing the other features of the truce, he said that no foreigners including Afghans would be provided shelter. There would be no attacks on hospitals, schools or check posts. The security forces would be facing no hindrance during their movement. All the foreign contractors working in the area, would be provided full protection. No official and security forces would be kidnapped."

    http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News....at=ts&nid=4302

    The last time the local tribesman were disarmed they were then unable to defend themselves from Taliban attacks on their homes and families. There is a degree of wishful thinking, to me insanity, to the core of this wished for peaceful outcome...as this whole region is based on self defense with home owned weaponry, and that fact in many lifetimes to come will not change.

    These Pukhtuns stopped using the old doubled ended "wolf axes" many years ago and shifted to guns.

  2. #2
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Y'know, if you really want to bang the drum on mainstream media ignoring news that matters, you ought to ask why there's been no reporting at all (outside of The Economist) of Chinalco's purchase of a huge stake in Rio Tinto during the latter's attempt to fend off a hostile takeover by BHP Billiton. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're making my point for me.

    Bashing the media is like picking on Microsoft. It's so big there's no way you can't find something to pick on. But to chalk it all up to some major back-room conspiracy that somehow touches every outlet in the country is giving a balkanized industry way, waaaaaay too much credit for being that organized, devious, and competent.
    Brant
    Wargaming and Strategy Gaming at GrogHeads
    Military news and views at GrogNews

    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

  3. #3
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    South of Mason Dixon Line
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Interesting point of view. But I have "fought" the war on terrorism on the Internet now since 9/11 via publications in THE ECONOMIST, THE FRONTIER POST, THE DAWN, THE TIMES OF INDIA, and THE MOSCOW TIMES. Yet our domestic media is "just lately" become aware that the seat of the terrorism problem has always been in northern Pakistan.

    What a surprise! Of course the Western and particularly the US media has been focused on other topics, and in the UK only recently is the BBC now starting to use the term "terrorist" which formerly was a verbotten word there.

    We all have our points of view, and I think mine fit where little publicized news events best fit on SWJ which is a daily more widely read source of hot news and discussion vs. the mainstream media, anyway.

    Hurray for the SWJ, and the many points of view on it!

  4. #4
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I noticed that George used the word 'ignored'

    when referring to what the media had done -- or, in this case, as so many, not done. Bayonet Brant's example also mentions something not done. I think ignored is the right word

    I'm inclined to agree with him -- there is no media conspiracy but the practitioners therein do tend to think alike (and I use the word think rather loosely...) and ignore a lot of things they either do not understand or that are inimical to their collective worldview.

    The problem is not conspiracy -- it's ignorance. They're mostly pretty incompetent.

  5. #5
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    806

    Default Big Media?

    I was living in N. Alabama when Katrina hit. The news from local sources gave a very different picture of events than what was streaming out from the national outlets. I agree with Bayonet's point, and think that a grand conspiracy of all media strains credulity. On the other hand, I disagree to the extent that a smaller number of editors and publishers at the national level can't establish narratives that further a common agenda.

    As an example, the coverage of successes in Iraq and Afghanistan is exclusively local and blog. (OK, a little bit on Fox.) Maybe I missed them, but I don't recall even hearing of stories on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, the NYT, WaPo, etc. about the reduction in violence and return to normalcy in Iraq following the change in strategy and increased troop strength. Instead, Iraq just dropped out of the national news.

    We can take today as a test. Will the national media cover today's bombing as out of character for the changes that have taken place, or will they use it to further their agenda?

    NYT: "Bomber Kills Dozens in Iraq as Fears of New Violence Rise" (And I'll claim my point as proved.)
    Last edited by J Wolfsberger; 03-10-2009 at 03:48 PM.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White
    ....there is no media conspiracy but the practitioners therein do tend to think alike (and I use the word think rather loosely...) and ignore a lot of things they either do not understand or that are inimical to their collective worldview.

    The problem is not conspiracy -- it's ignorance. They're mostly pretty incompetent.
    What I feel is missing from this statement is consideration of plain ol' marketing factors. The media is a for-profit industry and they produce what they perceive people want. Being as their bottom-line rides on what people watch, read or listen to, they do pay a lot of attention to these things and monitor it continuously - like Wal-Mart monitors what's flowing off of its shelves in order to structure its purchase orders. So, when we toss out the "ignorance" label, we have to apply it just broadly to the consumer - the American people.

    The consumer as the driver for media has become even more critical to the industry these days, as traditional media is challenged by the 'net and all that goes along with it. Some are doing well, many are struggling, and not a few have already died. You cannot underestimate the influence of the consumer on how and what news is produced, IMHO.

    The old cliche If it bleeds it leads is a truism - people in general are simply more drawn to the vicarious thrills of negative news than they are to positive news. Look to the content of television programming and the various show ratings for an example of how much people enjoy seeing others' misery.

    Couple the above with the general ignorance and apathy of mainstream America for what occurs outside our borders, and you have the resulting pathetic excuse for media reporting that exists in this country. Unless there is a substantive change in the general public's news consumption habits, there will be no positive change in the reporting (positive, in this case, according to the perceptions of those posting in this thread). Blaming "the media", only goes so far.

  7. #7
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    806

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    What I feel is missing from this statement is consideration of plain ol' marketing factors. The media is a for-profit industry and they produce what they perceive people want. Being as their bottom-line rides on what people watch, read or listen to, they do pay a lot of attention to these things and monitor it continuously - like Wal-Mart monitors what's flowing off of its shelves in order to structure its purchase orders. So, when we toss out the "ignorance" label, we have to apply it just broadly to the consumer - the American people.

    The consumer as the driver for media has become even more critical to the industry these days, as traditional media is challenged by the 'net and all that goes along with it. Some are doing well, many are struggling, and not a few have already died. You cannot underestimate the influence of the consumer on how and what news is produced, IMHO.

    The old cliche If it bleeds it leads is a truism - people in general are simply more drawn to the vicarious thrills of negative news than they are to positive news. Look to the content of television programming and the various show ratings for an example of how much people enjoy seeing others' misery.

    Couple the above with the general ignorance and apathy of mainstream America for what occurs outside our borders, and you have the resulting pathetic excuse for media reporting that exists in this country. Unless there is a substantive change in the general public's news consumption habits, there will be no positive change in the reporting (positive, in this case, according to the perceptions of those posting in this thread). Blaming "the media", only goes so far.
    I agree with most of your points. However, you don't seem to be properly accounting for the dramatic decline in readership/viewership for the Big Media that Ken and I are writing about. That can only be explained as a market rejection of the product being sold, in this case advocacy "journalism." I think the population deserves more credit than you're giving them.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  8. #8
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    I agree with most of your points. However, you don't seem to be properly accounting for the dramatic decline in readership/viewership for the Big Media that Ken and I are writing about. That can only be explained as a market rejection of the product being sold, in this case advocacy "journalism." I think the population deserves more credit than you're giving them.
    I thought I mentioned the impact of the current struggle for customers smack in the middle of my statement:
    The consumer as the driver for media has become even more critical to the industry these days, as traditional media is challenged by the 'net and all that goes along with it. Some are doing well, many are struggling, and not a few have already died. You cannot underestimate the influence of the consumer on how and what news is produced, IMHO.
    As was implied by the statement above, the "Big Media" is well aware that its struggle with its new and emerging competitors is one for its very existence. The consumer drives production. And every time I think I should give people (in the most broad and general sense) more credit, substantive evidence dissuades me yet again.

    Remember, the population of this forum is not representative of that general population. Whatever complaints about the "media" that people are mouthing - what matters is what they actually watch, listen to or read. No one cares what they bitch about. Its the hard stats that matter.

  9. #9
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,099

    Post For consideration

    If you're starving you'll eat anything. Information is the same.

    The fact that a large base of consumers accepts/tunes in to something doesn't necessarily mean its what they want, more likely simply all they've got.

    Until they find out theres more. For some this analogy may carry more meaning than to others but here it is-
    Spam is steak, until you've had steak

    The internet more than anything has allowed users to taste more than they used to and that genies not going back in the bottle anytime soon. So the ignorance argument makes sense is in that many may not have known what they didn't know until someone showed it to them.

    Also of note may be the fact that in pursuing counter-insurgency the various defense elements have had to be better at (metaphorically) providing steak.
    It might be a good idea for much of the longer standing media to figure that out. Unlike militaries where there is the information environment and physical environment and thus even if you intitially lose on the info side the people are still there so you get more than one chance.

    For the media, information is what they got and if they lose it there very well may not be a second chance. The people are still there but they don't have to ever listen to you again if they choose not to.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  10. #10
    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    806

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    I thought I mentioned the impact of the current struggle for customers smack in the middle of my statement:

    ...

    As was implied by the statement above, the "Big Media" is well aware that its struggle with its new and emerging competitors is one for its very existence. The consumer drives production. And every time I think I should give people (in the most broad and general sense) more credit, substantive evidence dissuades me yet again.

    Remember, the population of this forum is not representative of that general population. Whatever complaints about the "media" that people are mouthing - what matters is what they actually watch, listen to or read. No one cares what they bitch about. Its the hard stats that matter.
    Actually, I could have been clearer in my response.

    I think you've reversed cause and effect, or perhaps I'm misunderstanding your point. I don't think Big Media is declining because of new competitors, I think new competitors are emerging because of people abandoning Big Media. Organizations in the traditional arenas still succeed to the extent they make an effort to adhere to traditional standards of journalism.

    As a case in point, look at Fox News, and to some extent, NPR's "All Things Considered." What they have in common is doing a decent (but not perfect) job of presenting news, and separating it from commentary and agenda. In NPR's case, they simply devote more time to the story than anyone else. In Foxes, they deliberately strive to balance opposing points of view. One is right, the other left, but both enjoy growing audiences.
    John Wolfsberger, Jr.

    An unruffled person with some useful skills.

  11. #11
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I agree with everyone...

    True the media is consumer driven -- to a point; they also try to drive consumers to their point. I recall a Pew study not long ago that said, essentially 40% wanted local news, 16% wanted international news and 5% wanted celebrity news. The MSM, they said, effectively reversed that with 5% international news, 15% local and 30%+ celebrity.

    No argument from me that the typical news consumer pays little attention to the things most of us watch (and I fault the Mothers and Fathers of America and the Educational system in about equal quantities) but the media does nothing to do themselves a favor and do a little educating on their own. They also, I believe, think they have far more impact on events than they like to believe.

    Lot of things cause the problem; the end result is just sad.

    Interesting point on Katrina; here in NW Florida with a bit of recent hurricane experience, the local TV and newspaper folks were scathing in their comments on national media coverage of 'reports' from New Orleans -- all had folks there and our local Sheriff sent 25 folks over. Very different view than the mainstream national stuff.

  12. #12
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    True the media is consumer driven -- to a point; they also try to drive consumers to their point. I recall a Pew study not long ago that said, essentially 40% wanted local news, 16% wanted international news and 5% wanted celebrity news. The MSM, they said, effectively reversed that with 5% international news, 15% local and 30%+ celebrity.
    Ah yes, but one of the follow-up studies showed that when the broadcasts conformed to the ratio people said they wanted, the ratings went down. Turns out a lot of people were telling the questioners what they thought they wanted to hear, instead of the truth. When they voted with the ratings, it was clear what the viewers really wanted.

    There's a reason that the NBC Nightly News is 30 minutes, but Extra, Access Hollywood, and all the others add up to about 120 minutes/day on the same network. There's also a reason that only the first 30 minutes of the TOday Show (if you're lucky) are hard news, instead of dog shows, teen sexting, and the Octo-mom. People are voting with the ratings, and Pakistan's NWFP ain't it.
    Brant
    Wargaming and Strategy Gaming at GrogHeads
    Military news and views at GrogNews

    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

  13. #13
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Ratings are like polls and regulations --

    they're meant to be intelligently disregarded. The ratings exist mostly because teenagers watch television. I agree that few teenagers are interested in the NWFP. Most adults I've talked to seem watch local news regularly, watch CNN or Fox sporadically and even more sporadically, one of the network channels and they have two to four favorite shows. Aside from the few that get the WSJ or the WaPo by mail or local delivery of some sort, they get only local news from the local paper.

    Things are changing; we'll see where it ends up. Strikes me that as they said of other industries; the media thought they were in the media business; they just forgot they were really in the the news business.

    Oh, wait; who owns 'em all now? Like I said, they think they have more clout than they do -- Entertainment conglomerates own TV 'news,' broadsheets are forced to emulate TV 'news.' The conglomerates want you to want 'celebrity news.' Thus we all suffer.

    Well, not we. I quit watching the tube all together about five or six years ago and do not miss it a bit. I do read the comics in my local paper, they and the letters to the editor provide my morning entertainment every day; Gannet isn't capable of providing much more...

    So I still agree with everyone...

  14. #14
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,457

    Default

    I'm 40 years old and I gave up network news years ago. I still watch the PBS newshour on occassion. Those morning shows? Don't watch them either. I do watch the cable networks for breaking news - that's about it. Look at the cable news shows during prime-time. None of it is really news. Most of the "news" on the cable channels is during the day when most people are at work.

    The problem with the random article on the NWFP is that there is no context and there's no room to provide any context. How is the average American to know what some news item from the NWFP means without context? I've been studying Afghanistan and the border area for years and a lot of the time I don't get it either unless I spend time doing my own research. Yes, places like the Frontier Post and others provide a lot of good content on the border region and Afghanistan and Pakistan, but most of it is incomprehensible without a lot of background knowledge - knowledge that most Americans don't have.

  15. #15
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    South of Mason Dixon Line
    Posts
    497

    Default

    You are right.

    Occasionally the TIMES OF LONDON, THE WASHINGTON POST, and THE NEW YORK TIMES can be looked to for background or broader, deeper reporting.

    Someone else today on this site, this AM mentioned THE ECONOMIST MAGAZINE. I think it has shone in recent years and has top notch articles, but it is a very expensive publication, have to go to a library to affordably read it...it is not a daily newspaper in short, but darn good coverage and editorial thinking in print.

    Of course, I would expect most all readers and contributors to SWJ to be untypical and extremely well informed on both Pakistan and Afghanistan, with all our services giving them prior to deployments briefings, maps, books and articles/magazines/newspapers to read on current and historic context events over there. Maybe I am too hopeful we are doing such good background education prior to deployments?

    Thanks for your inputs.

  16. #16
    Former Member George L. Singleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    South of Mason Dixon Line
    Posts
    497

    Default Here is some background info which may shed light

    I apologize for not recognizing that I could and will now shed some background light on my todays (3/10/09)Peshawar FRONTIER POST article and on the Pakistan "frontier" areas broadly speaking:

    1. Reference to reopening Swat area girls schools is somewhat bogus.

    2. Girls madrassas to be operated by radical Islamics to indoctrinate/brain wash girls is what is mainly being opened there, using...Wahabai Arab terrorist money of course, probably some Arabs as teachers.

    ***Swat under a Prince until about 1969, and then under a moderate provincial government until repeated take over attemtps by the Taliban was a shining example of moderate Islam, good but separate boys and girls academies; colleges and universities as understood to be such by the locals; improving housing, power, water, etc.
    Chaos and backwardness is now imposed with the third time in 15 years return of Sharia Law and it's attendant thugs in Swat, men and their families who are not from Swat nor of their tribes but are the new "mafia" in town so to speak ruling from the barrel of a gun "in the name of extremist Islam."

    3. Most free enterprise businessmen have fled so little real economic activity now exists and unemployment thanks to the Taliban and al Qaida violence there is now probably 80% or higher. To our on this site friend Bob this means more young boys, and now girls, to feed into the shredder of terrorist war actions within Pakistan and on in and out raids into Afghanistan, although suicide missions have only one way tickets.

    4. Local police in the main fled, so those there now are a combination of the most severely extremist in their thinking and imported Taliban and al Qaida thugs.

    5. "Freedom of the media" is a joke...I posted last week where a Pakistani Geo TV reporter was in Swat covering a large Taliban street march and he, the reporter, was gunned down, shot 32 times according to the Peshawar FRONTIER POST.

    6. A/the key Taliban senior leader has been in and out of Swat and associated areas three times in the past 15 years, back now in Swat area. This tells you that no matter which Pakistani national and regional governments are in power they are afraid of this guy and will not "put him down." No wonder our military leadership in the field doesn't trust sensitive information to and with the Pak Frontier Force and general Pak military and Pak Government, as it/they are like a Swiss cheese shot full of Taliban, Taliban sympathezies, and al Qaida quizzlings and hirelings.

    In short, it is a raw situation in FATA, Waziristan, Swat, the NWFP, where once more moderate Muslims ruled and ran free enterprises.

    Part of the background problem is that the local Pukhtuns, the vast majority of the population, those who aren't making a living in the Pakistani military or government, are otherwise in about a 50/50 sense, today, in favor of outright Pukhtun ethnic revolution to found an "overlaid Pukhtun majority polpulation"...read that gerrymandered population...that would cover the majority of Afghanistan and much of Northern Paksitan (all areas named above in this posting). This would lend itself, my view, the/a Pukhtun general revolution, to severe persecution of minority population Paksitanis and Afghans in both nations.

    Let me add that my information sources in all cases came and still today come to me voluntarily via interpersonal e-mails to tell me how bad things really are, ever since 9/11.

    One Karachi based Pakistani, who would be a Punjabi ethnically speaking, they are hated by the radical Pukhtuns, Punjabis, called me long distance at his expense one Saturday morning our time...about a year or less ago...from Karachi, to thank me for my efforts writing letters (around 50 in DAWN since 9/11, well over a 100 in the FRONTIER POST since 9/11)...and to say how bad things continue to get. This Christmas, 2008, we also got a Christmas card from this Karachi based I would say early 30s young businessman (engineer), which I/we appreciate, as he truely is a moderate, well intentioned young Muslim gentleman.

    Punjabis are the majority ethnic group of all of Pakistan, but Pukhtuns are the local/regional majority ethnically in Northern Pakistan.
    Last edited by George L. Singleton; 03-11-2009 at 01:35 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. COIN & The Media (catch all)
    By Jedburgh in forum Media, Information & Cyber Warriors
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 02-28-2009, 11:55 AM
  2. The Al-Qaeda Media Nexus
    By Jedburgh in forum Media, Information & Cyber Warriors
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-15-2008, 10:59 PM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-02-2006, 10:08 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •