An Interview With Julian Assange, the Nation, Chris Hedges, 8 May 13″…….The press of a nation at war, in every conflict I covered, is an enthusiastic part of the machine, cheerleaders for slaughter and tireless mythmakers for war and the military. The few renegades within the press who refuse to wave the flag and slavishly lionize the troops, who will not endow them with a host of virtues including heroism, patriotism and courage, find themselves pariahs in newsrooms and viciously attacked—like Assange and Manning—by the state.
As a reporter at The New York Times, I was among those expected to prod sources inside the organs of power to provide information, including top-secret information. The Pentagon Papers, released to the Times in 1971, and the Times’s Pulitzer-winning 2005 exposure of the warrantless wiretapping of US citizens by the National Security Council used “top secret” documents—a classification more restricted than the lower-level “secret” designation of the documents released by WikiLeaks. But as the traditional press atrophies with dizzying speed—effectively emasculated by Barack Obama’s use of the Espionage Act half a dozen times since 2009 to target whistleblowers like Thomas Drake—it is left to the renegades, people like Assange and Manning, to break down walls and inform the public.
The cables that WikiLeaks released, as disturbing as they were, invariably put a pro-unit or pro-US spin on events. The reality in war is usually much worse. Those counted as dead enemy combatants are often civilians. Military units write their own after-action reports and therefore attempt to justify or hide their behavior. Despite the heated rhetoric of the state, no one has provided evidence that anything released by WikiLeaks cost lives. Then–Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in a 2010 letter to Senator Carl Levin conceded this point. He wrote Levin: “The initial assessment in no way discounts the risk to national security. However, the review to date has not revealed any sensitive intelligence sources and methods compromised by the disclosure.”
The New York Times, The Guardian, El País, Le Mondeand Der Spiegel giddily printed redacted copies of some of the WikiLeaks files and then promptly threw Assange and Manning to the sharks. It was not only morally repugnant, but also stunningly shortsighted. Do these news organizations believe that if the state shuts down organizations such as WikiLeaks and imprisons Manning and Assange, traditional news outlets will be left alone? Can’t they connect the dots between the prosecutions of government whistle-blowers under the Espionage Act, warrantless wiretapping, monitoring of communications and the persecution of Manning and Assange? Don’t they worry that when the state finishes with Manning, Assange and WikiLeaks, these atrophied news outlets will be next? Haven’t they realized that this is a war by a global corporate elite not against an organization or an individual but against the freedom of the press and democracy?……..http://www.thenation.com/article/174227/interview-julian-assange#
Bad news Has the media hidden the truth about Fukushima? Number 1 Shimbun 2 May 13, David McNeill, Two years after the Fukushima nuclear crisis began, two media experts dissect how it has been covered by the media. Takashi Uesugi is a freelance journalist and author of several books on the Fukushima crisis, including Terebi Wa Naze Heiki De Uso Wo Tsukunoka? (“Why does television tell so many lies?”). He is also one of the founders of The Free Press Association of Japan (www.fpaj.jp), an attempt to offer an alternative to Japan’s press club system. Mamoru Ito is professor of media and cultural studies at Waseda University and author of Terebi Wa Genpatsu Jiko Dou Tsutaetenoka? (“How did television cover the nuclear accident?). Both are highly critical of the media’s performance.
Uesugi-san, is it true that you have been banned from the media because of your comments on Fukushima?
Until two years ago, I had regular programs on television and radio. Now the only regular radio that I do is Tokyo FM. I don’t do TBS radio [where he had a regular slot]. I have no hope of appearing on NHK or on the commercial networks. I used to be a regular or semi-regular on several shows but now not even once. I was also a regular guest on radio shows, but not anymore.
I found out two years ago that the electric utilities in Japan are major TV sponsors. That year, they spent ¥70~88.8 billion on advertising, more than Panasonic’s ¥70 billion and Toyota’s ¥50 billion. When I started claiming that this amounted to bribery of the media by Tepco, I no longer was asked to appear on radio shows……… http://no1.fccj.ne.jp/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=870
Japan’s Media, Mega-Ad Agencies, & Nuclear Industry: A Lethal Combination? BY NATHALIE-KYOKO STUCKY AND JAKE ADELSTEIN , NOVEMBER 17, 2012 ·
Ryu Honma, author of Dentsu and the Nuclear Coverage (電通と原発の報道) spoke at the FCCJ a few weeks ago and his explanation of how Japan’s powerful advertising agencies, “the fifth estate”, stifled unfavorable coverage of nuclear power was eye-opening.
The collusive role between Japan’s major advertising agencies, the media, and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)–one of the largest advertisers in Kanto while having a monopoly on electric power—has been blamed for allowing TEPCO to get away with unsafe practices and malfeasance for years. Some have argued that Japan’s major media, bloated on a diet of TEPCO advertising dollars, failed to fulfill their role as monitor and critic of the nuclear industry. A recently published book about Dentsu (電通）Japan’s largest advertising agency and their impact on Japan’s reporting on nuclear power was released this year and stirred up controversy. However, except for one or two magazines, just like the book, TEPCO/The Dark Empire東京電力：帝国の暗黒–the book has been ignored by the major media outlets it criticizes…..
In his book “Dentsu and the Nuclear Coverage,” Ryu Honma offers a clear insight about the great influence Dentsu and Hakuhodo have had on the media coverage of Japan’s nuclear power plant safety issues. Read more »
Paper: News blackout over mystery barrels in Lake Superior — Purplish ooze, bouncing Geiger counters reported — No ‘immediate’ health threat to public http://enenews.com/paper-news-blackout-over-mystery-barrels-in-lake-superior-reports-of-purplish-ooze-bouncing-geiger-counters-no-immediate-health-threat-to-public February 23rd, 2013
Title: Our view: New mysteries emerge in big-lake barrel saga
Source: Duluth News Tribune
Date: February 22, 2013
h/t Anonymous tip
Our view: New mysteries emerge in big-lake barrel saga
[...] 1,400 barrels dumped in [Lake Superior] in the late 1950s and early 1960s not far from the Duluth-Superior Harbor. The Department of Defense barrels were said to hold scrap metal from a grenade project the U.S. was eager to keep secret from the Soviets. But reports of purplish ooze, bouncing Geiger counters and more long fueled speculation, concern and even conspiracy theorists.
The [Red Cliff Band of Chippewa] recovered only 25 barrels, and it did so under what was called a “news blackout.” No media was allowed near the recovery work and there were no briefings with reporters about what was going on or what was found. A “safety zone” kept curious boats well away.
“We need to stay focused on the work rather than informing the public,” Red Cliff Environmental Director Melonee Montano said in an August story in the News Tribune. [...]
In January, the band did say there were no “immediate (health) threats or concerns to the public,” an assurance it reiterated a month later. [...]
A Tribune editorial from 2012: Duluth Newspaper: Maybe Yucca Mountain-type nuclear waste dump should be in Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan instead — Sounds scary, but is it?
In contrast to official Japanese government policy which allows 20 millisieverts of annual background radiation, a joint French and Japanese NGO project found that “external radiation” continues to cause “unacceptable health risks for hundreds of thousands of citizens” and that government estimates ignore internal consumption of radionuclides through food, water and air.
Powerful Lies – The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster And The Radioactive Effects On Human Health By Richard Wilcox PhD 2-22-13 Rense.com, “……. How many people will die from Fukushima nuclear meltdown radiation? Two years have passed since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster. Every day we learn of more evidence of the dangers of low-level radiation from a variety of natural and man-made causes, including medical x-rays and scans (11; 12). Our health, and particularly the health of people in Fukushima, is under increasing distress.
We now see evidence of children with thyroid cancer from the Fukushima area . It has also been revealed that the mass media in Japan is unofficially BANNED from discussing radiation issues. Journalists who write about radiation dangers will be fired whereas they are permitted to debate whether Japan should use nuclear energy or not .
The latter debate is permissible because it is long-term and changeable depending on the whims of government policy and manipulation of public sentiment. Serious discussion of radiation danger strikes fear in the heart of the public, and may also lead to costly liability payments, and is therefore taboo. Undoubtedly, the ban on discussing the danger of radiation in the media translates into public ignorance about radiation. It is astonishing to me that most of the people I talk to in Tokyo are only dimly aware that radiation is entering their bodies on a daily basis: from public water supply, food, drinks, ongoing air pollution emissions from the FNPP, and the burning of radioactive debris in public incinerators. People think that it is only a small risk. Read more »
Youtube: How Japanese media censors information about Fukushima nuckear radiation Issues of Radioactive Exposure are Considered Taboo on Japanese Media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHtbi1Q4aZ8
Title: Issues of Radioactive Exposure are Considered Taboo on Japanese Media
Source: World Network for Saving Children from Radiation
Date Recorded: Dec. 20, 2012
Date Published: Feb. 13, 2013
Takashi Uesugi, Journalist: I can only write about the reality of nuclear power […] Anything implying the danger of radiation is not [accepted].
Kazuhiro Haraguchi, former Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications: It is still taboo to talk about radiation exposure […] In June 2011 […] we also demanded the government evacuate at least women and children. [...] I think it is the Japanese government [that made it a taboo to discuss radiation exposure].
Watch the video here
Nuclear power and press freedom, Japan Times, FEB 10, 2013 Japan fell
from 22nd place to 53rd in the rankings of press freedom last year,
according to the nonprofit organization Reporters Without Borders.
Japan’s plummet was attributed to a single factor — the lack of access
to information related to the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s
Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
In the past, Japan could be relatively proud of its reputation for
press freedom compared with that of most countries. But being ranked
lower lately than countries such as El Salvador or Haiti is an
embarrassing reminder that press freedom can quickly erode under
pressure from the government and corporations.
In reporting on the serious disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear
power plant, many reporters have met with restricted access, lack of
transparency and even lawsuits. Read more »
Iceland wants to be seen as the ideal place for online media and data storage banks to locate their servers in order to shield themselves from the threats of censorship, filtering and closure, and to provide the best protection for the personal data of their users.
NEW LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE EXEMPLARY PROTECTION FOR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION 21 JUNE 2010. HTTP://EN.RSF.ORG/ISLANDE-NOUVEL-ARTICLE-18-06-2010,37771.HTML Iceland’s parliament, the Alpinghi, has unanimously approved a resolution known as the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI) that calls on the government to draft legislation in line with its recommendations for the protection of media, journalists and bloggers.
Reporters Without Borders hails this ambitious and positive initiative, adopted on 15 June, and calls on the government to do its utmost to respect the parliament’s will when it drafts the law.
“This proposal is on the right track,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It regards freedom of expression as a fundamental right and would create optimal conditions for investigative journalism. Even if the precise impact of this proposed law remains to be seen, especially as regard journalists’ legal protection, Iceland has established itself as a pioneer.”
The press freedom organisation added: “We hope this will serve as an example to other governments. It is certainly a promising departure from the general tendency, especially in democratic countries, for press freedom to be eroded and for harassment of journalists and their sources to increase.” Read more »
Journalism Professor: Goebbels would smile in his grave to see how nuclear establishment handled disaster — Lots around world will die from Fukushima contamination (AUDIO) http://enenews.com/journalism-professor-goebbels-would-smile-in-his-grave-to-see-how-nuclear-establishment-handled-fukushima-disaster-audio
January 30th, 2013
Update Here: Jiji: Japan plummets in press freedom list — “Almost zero respect for access to information related to Fukushima… Should sound an alarm” -Group
Title: Nuclear Hotseat #85: Journalist Karl Grossman Reveals 40+ Years of Nuke Media Manipulation
Source: Nuclear Hotseat
Date: Jan 29, 2013
Karl Grossman, , Professor of journalism at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury: What we’re undergoing now is a huge coverup […]
There’s nothing. When was the last time you read or heard or saw, regarding mainstream media, any information about Fukushima?
Lots of people are going to end up dead, not just in Japan, but all over the world because of the radioactivity released, continuing to be released […]
The media have been basically silent. I mean Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, would smile in his grave to see how the nuclear establishment has handled, quite successfully, the Fukushima disaster.
Jiji: Japan plummets in press freedom list — “Almost zero respect for access to information related to Fukushima… Should sound an alarm” -Group http://enenews.com/jiji-japan-plummets-press-freedom-list-almost-respect-access-information-related-fukushima-sharp-fall-sound-alarm
Title: Japan dives to 53rd in press freedom list
Source: Jiji Press
Date: Jan. 30, 2013
Japan plummeted to 53rd from 22nd last year in the 2013 press freedom ranking released by Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based nonprofit organization, on Wednesday.
Japan “has been affected by a lack of transparency and almost zero respect for access to information on subjects directly or indirectly related to Fukushima,” the group said in a statement, referring to the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. “This sharp fall should sound an alarm,” it added. [...]
See also: Professor: Goebbels would smile in his grave to see how nuclear establishment handled disaster (AUDIO)
“After Failed Climate Coverage, CNN Reports Americans Don’t Understand
Climate Change” Society of Environmental Journalists, 27 Jan 13
“Promoting a recent poll, CNN is treating climate change as a matter
of opinion, saying Americans are divided over whether or not it is
real. But the network itself has fueled such confusion, often failing
to report that manmade emissions are driving climate change or giving
credence to those who deny the science behind it.” Read more »
Media Silent on Fukushima Radiation Impact in US http://www.opednews.com/articles/Media-Silent-on-Fukushima-by-Brian-Lynch-130108-588.html
By Brian Lynch OpEdNews Op Eds 1/8/2013 Sometimes big news stories can only be seen by the shadows they cast. You would think that it should be easy to find detailed updates on the Fukushima disaster’s impact on our fishing industry, milk production, global radiation distribution patterns, etc. You would be mistaken. The massive media coverage following the initial disaster has fallen nearly silent. Some frustrated environmental advocates have suggested that there is a media blackout. Probably not, but media follow-up stories are few and far between these days.
In July of last year there were major stories about Fukushima and the plume of radiation reaching across the Pacific Ocean towards North America. On July 16, 2012, Deborah Dupre of the Examiner reported the following:
“As hair falls out of a Fukushima victim’s head, a new German study reports that North America’s West Coast will be the area most contaminated by Fukushima cesium of all regions in Pacific in 10 years, an “order-of-magnitude higher” than waters off Japan, according to a new German study followed by a former New York Times journalist going inside the no-entry zone and reporting radiation levels over 10 times higher than Tepco’s data.”
The article was accompanied by this scary graphic:
Murdoch right on carbon and trees, were it that simple, The Age, Tom
Arup. January 8, 2013 Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was right to say the
world’s forests are growing faster and thicker because there is more
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a leading climate scientist says.
But it does not mean the world is better off for rising greenhouse gas
Mr Murdoch tweeted to 388,000 followers on Monday: ”World growing
greener with increased carbon. Thirty years of satellite evidence.
Forests growing faster and thicker.”
Mr Murdoch then referred followers to an article on the topic in The
Wall Street Journal last week by Matt Ridley, a prominent climate
CSIRO’s Pep Canadell, also executive director of the Global Carbon
Project, said it was correct to say that increased concentration of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere meant vegetation is becoming
greener….. But Dr Canadell said it did not mean the proportion of
total human greenhouse gases being absorbed by forests and other
terrestrial carbon sinks had increased as forests had become greener.
Studies by the Global Carbon Project have found the accumulation of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is faster than the growth of
terrestrial carbon sinks such as forests…… Forests can also only
absorb so much carbon dioxide, and will reach a saturation point. That
saturation point could be reached within the century, he said.
Nor does the increased ”greening” of forests due to higher carbon
dioxide emissions mean the loss of global forests has stopped.
A 2010 study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation found that
between 2000 and 2010 5.2 million hectares of forest a year was lost
globally, an area about the size of Costa Rica.
Will the FCC Give Rupert Murdoch the Powerful Gift of Media Consolidation?, 26 November 2012 By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Just in time for the holidays, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering changes to media cross-ownership rules that watchdogs say could good give Rupert Murdoch’s massive conglomerate News Corporation the go-ahead to acquire more big media outlets.
The proposal could also keep women and minorities out of the media market, according to civil rights groups.
Reports suggest Murdoch has recovered from the British phone hacking scandal and is ready to jump back into the media consolidation game. Both the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times are on the list of potential targets. Read more »
The detention is likely to have international ramifications given the stature of Bradbury as a film-maker
Australian Film-Maker Stopped by Police in Koodankulam, Tamil Nadu By Sri Lanka Guardian October 26, 2012 Chennai, Amid conflicting reports about detention of Australian Film-maker David Bradbury in Koodankulam, we are posting below the updates as we receive them. After deportation of a German tourist and 3 Japanese activists, this is yet another move of stifling democracy by the Government which must be condemned in strongest terms. Read more »
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