Saturday, September 16, 2006

Pilger: No News Is Slow News

In a nutshell: Resistance to the US/UK/Israel is 'slow news'. Whilst their propaganda is 'regular news'

From Information Clearing House:

When I began working as a journalist, there was something called "slow news". We would refer to "slow news days" when "nothing happened" – apart from, that is, triumphs and tragedies in faraway places where most of humanity lived. These were rarely reported, or the tragedies were dismissed as acts of nature, regardless of evidence to the contrary. The news value of whole societies was measured by their relationship with "us" in the west and their degree of compliance with, or hostility to, our authority. If they didn't measure up, they were slow news.

Few of these assumptions have changed. To sustain them, millions of people remain invisible, and expendable. On 11 September 2001, while the world lamented the deaths of almost 3,000 people in the United States, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation reported that more than 36,000 children had died from the effects of extreme poverty. They were very slow news.
Let's take a few recent examples and compare each with the regular news as seen on the BBC and elsewhere. Keep in mind that Palestinians are chronically slow news and that Israelis are regular news.

Regular news: Charles Clarke, a spokesman for Tony Blair, "revives the battle of Downing Street" and calls Gordon Brown "stupid, stupid" and a "control freak". He disapproves of the way Brown smiles. This is given saturation coverage.

Slow news: "A genocide is taking place in Gaza," warns Ilan Pappe, one of Israel's leading historians. "This morning... another three citizens of Gaza were killed and a whole family wounded. This is the morning reap; before the end of the day many more will be massacred."


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