You Didn’t Read This In The Newspaper
Newspaper publishers have retreated to a local focus that gives them the best chance of retaining subscribers and favorable advertising rates. It’s meant something different for readers when it comes to news topics beyond the city limits.
|You Didn’t Read This In The Newspaper|
People may have a good idea of when the city plans to tear up the local roads or hold a school board meeting from reading the paper. There are broader issues in the world, of course, and the retreat by newsprint has opened up the door for controversial stories to reach people through the Internet.
Even so, many are missing out on topics they probably ought to consider. Project Censored at California’s Sonoma State University turned up its latest annual list of the top 25 stories censored by the major media outlets.
Habeas corpus concerns rated the top of the Project Censored list. Articles criticizing the Military Commissions Act, like ones at CommonDreams and ConsortiumNews, contend citizens are as subject as non-citizens to losing rights to a fair trial.
Then there is story number two, regarding the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007. Toward Freedom cited Vermont Senator Pat Leahy as finding the Act encourages the sitting President to declare martial law. Here’s a paragraph that ties story 1 and 2 together:
President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is “martial law.”
The obvious place for such debate should be on the broader public stage. Neither of these Acts have been perpetrated by fringe groups, regardless of one’s political feelings; they have been passed by Congress and signed into law. But they aren’t being discussed or investigated rigorously; only online do these matters receive further scrutiny.
Project Censored comprises 25 stories, worthy of people reviewing them and asking questions. California Senator Dianne Feinstein won’t enjoy story number 23, suggesting a massive conflict of interest regarding her Iraq votes and her husband’s firms receiving billions in military construction contracts.
News isn’t supposed to be relentlessly positive, and we aren’t saying that it is. The printing presses and talking heads of major media don’t need to be relentlessly silent, though.