Thursday, August 9, 2007

Journalism: The Real News Network: Jeff Cohen On TheREALnews

The Real News Network is a project begun by and organization by the name of Independent World Television. Their goal is to create a non profit, independent, cable news network that will first launch on the internet this fall and then move to TV a year or so after that. An introductory video which they call The Promise can be found on the front page of their website and as the featured video on their YouTube account. They are hiring professional journalists from all over the world to contribute and they will have no financial ties to corporations or government and no commercials. The reasoning is that information should not be a for profit venture because that corrupts it. I happen to agree. Just think about the ratings mongers who run the news shows today and want sexy, novelty and celebrity content for ratings. Think about how they define their success on those ratings rather than the quality of the content or the service they provide. Consider that corporations have been known to pull advertising for their products if a news story on that channel paints them in a bad light. When you consider how one parent corporation could represent hundreds of products to be advertised that represents a whole lot of influence.

Jeff Cohen (not to be confused with the child actor) is a former cable news host and producer and today he is a respected media critic. He is also the founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting a watchdog group that collects information on the news media for analysis. They check things like how many liberal viewpoints are featured on cable news shows vs. conservative viewpoints (as many as 5 to 1 I believe). They also noticed that PBS has lots of investor shows and business shows that feature owners and business leaders but not one show that represents the labor movement. He is appearing on The Real News Network here to talk about the corruption that exists in todays mainstream media and to explain how important a project like this is.

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