Media Myths

See Full Report 10. Airlines are solely to blame for the unfriendly skies. Media myth : Blame the airlines for all those flight delays; never mind the obsolete government-run agency creating the gridlock. 9. Consumer spending is the be-all, end-all of the economy. Media myth : Without excessive consumer spending – especially at Christmastime – the U.S. economy will collapse. 8. The stock market is trouble, whether it goes up or down. Media myth : One day the stock market can’t sustain growth; the next, we’re just one drop away from another crash. 7. Anyone who ‘denies’ global warming shouldn’t... continue reading
See Executive Summary 10. Airlines are solely to blame for the unfriendly skies. Media myth : Blame the airlines for all those flight delays; never mind the obsolete government-run agency creating the gridlock. The media were quite unfriendly to airline companies this year, attacking them repeatedly for flight delays and for making a profit . NBC’s Meredith Vieira even tried to extract a promise from one CEO – asking him to guarantee that no flight would ever be cancelled again. “Do you fly to San Francisco by any chance?” the host of NBC’s “Today” show asked Northwest’s Douglas Steenland on... continue reading
See Executive Summary If you want to drive faster, you hit the gas. Network news shows that want higher ratings do the same thing, except they hit gas prices. Now that gasoline has topped $3 nationally for 2007, the networks are again warning about prices that could reach at least $4 a gallon. NBC’s Meredith Vieira complained about “gas pains” during the May 3, 2007, show. “Why you could be paying $4 a gallon when you hit the road this summer,” she teased. Such warnings are nothing new. Since Jan. 1, 2005, ABC, CBS and NBC have mentioned prices that... continue reading
See Full Story Gas prices have again passed $3 a gallon. But Americans should be used to high prices by now – the mainstream media have been warning them of $4, $5 and even $6 a gallon for more than two years. According to a May 7, 2007, CNN poll , “more than three quarters of Americans” think they'll have to pay more than $4 a gallon this year. It’s no wonder. The media have been telling viewers that for years. Some key points: High-Priced Hype: ABC, CBS and NBC have done at least 70 stories that mentioned $4-a-gallon gas... continue reading
While environmentalists claim to battle for renewable energy, dams that provide renewable power to 10 percent of the United States have come under increasing attack. Power from the people – The three broadcast networks had a news blackout on environmentalists’ campaign to tear down America’s dams. In 13 months of network coverage, not one story touched on the topic. By comparison, the top five newspapers did 65 stories on just one of the possible dam tear-downs. Other threats are important – ABC, CBS and NBC agreed that some dangers to the dams – overwhelming storms, poor maintenance and terrorism –... continue reading
Good economic news filled 2006 – the Dow topped 12,000 for the first time; 1.36 million jobs were added, along with a Labor Department revision that included another 810,000; average wages increased 4.2 percent and corporate earnings set records. But the three broadcast networks buried that good news beneath bread line images from the Great Depression or warnings about a possible recession. ABC, CBS and NBC referenced the Great Depression or suggested that recession was on the horizon a total of 49 times in 2006. Depression and recession were also mentioned in a historical context 28 more times. That wasn’t... continue reading
See Full Report 10. American manufacturing is obsolete Media myth: All the manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, and the only ones left are in the almost empty plants of the Big Three automakers. 9. The American dream has become a nightmare Media myth: It’s no use trying, because you’ll never achieve the American dream. 8. You can’t be trusted with a fork and spoon Media myth: From your morning doughnut to your afternoon potato chips and your evening burger, the government should stop you from killing yourself. 7. Wages are stagnant Media myth: Workers are getting left behind in... continue reading
See Executive Summary 10. American manufacturing is obsolete Media myth: All the manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, and the only ones left are in the almost empty plants of the Big Three automakers. The media turned to manufacturing layoffs to illustrate worker woes , though The Economist magazine explained in its July 1, 2006, issue that the American manufacturing sector was flourishing – even with the much-publicized problems at General Motors and Ford. “Net profits have risen by nearly 9 percent a year since the recession in 2001 and productivity has been growing even more rapidly than is usual... continue reading
What goes down must come up. That’s what many reporters have been saying since gas prices started falling. Gas prices have dropped a total of 68 cents, dropping every business day for the past 35 straight business days since August 11. But after they started dropping, journalists continued referring to them as “rising,” “soaring” and “high” almost half the time. And even when reporters admitted prices were falling, the news was often undermined by reminders that prices could go back up. “Despite the decreases, analysts warn that we are just one hurricane or one major political crisis away from higher... continue reading
See Executive Summary When is a dollar a taxpayer dollar? A. When it’s paying for stem cell research. B. When it’s going to the military in Iraq. C. When it’s supporting public education. D. When it’s aiding sick and hungry Africans. E. All of the above. The correct answer, of course, is E. but that wasn’t how broadcast journalists answered in the last year. They treated taxpayer dollars unequally – claiming many were “government funding” or “federal funding.” Viewers’ ears are likely to perk up when their tax dollars are mentioned, especially when they’re told those dollars are going to... continue reading