Sunday, 4 November 2007

CBS and Fox News clips

Lisa sent an email with links she found relating to the research we're doing.

Fox News - New Cold War
Reuters - Bush visit to Prague
CBS - Cold War/Arms Race
CNN - Putin in Iran
Jazeera International - Caspian Sea Summit
Jazeera International - Inside Story / Putin's Iran visit

As we are still not sure whether to include Iran or not I only took a look at the ones not involving Iran.

CBS Evening News 13/10/07
During a visit to Moscow defence secretary Robert Gates failed to appease Russia’s opposition to planned US missile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic. Meanwhile Russian war planes have resumed a practice of the past and once again are testing the outer limits of US airspace. David Martin has more

David Martin (over b/w footage of bombers):
These pictures of Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska were not pulled from the archives of the cold war, they were taken last month by American pilots trying to intercept them

Gen. Eugene Renuart (in vision):
And they’ve been flying periodically since then with a bit good of activity over the last few weeks.

David Martin (oov):
The prospect of a Russian attack may seem farfetched but General Eugene Renuart, who is responsible for defending the US says that in a world where every airplane is a potential threat he has to scramble jets, air borne radars and refuelling tankers.

David Martin (in vision):
No one thinks the bombers signal a return to the cold war but Russia feels it’s been treated like a second rate power. And relations are starting to get a bit chilly.

Total length (02:12)

Even though the reporter acknowledges the fact that the prospect of an attack is farfetched the report still can't resist referencing the cold war.


Fox News (check progrmme)
Posted on 03/06/2007 – is probably not the day of broadcast

Presenter (OOV):
Russia’s making some new threats… ready for this…. About pointing nuclear weapons at Europe. What is going on here? Is Vladimir Putin just having a bad week or are we standing at the possibility of the brink of a new cold war.

I had not noticed this before but Fox broadcast writers are either really good or it is just an accident. But the presenter pauses at “possibility” then you hear the whoosh of the missile taking off then he says “brink of …….” looks and sounds very dramatic
Presenter (OOV):
Well that was a test earlier this week of Russia’s newest missile. Russian president Validmir Putin criticising the United States he says plans to install a missile defence system in Europe will increase the chances of a nuclear conflict.
Washington wants to prevent attacks from rogue states like Iran but Russian sees that a threat to its own security.

Joining us now is Fox News foreign affairs analyst ambassador Dennis Ross

Now notice the questions
What is so disturbing about what Putin says is that he may target European capitals with nuclear weapons if the US continues with the missile shield programme. Are we on the abyss now of a potential new cold war?

Dennis Ross:
I think that we are certainly at a point where the relationship is about to change…. I would not exaggerate how bad this relationship will become because I still think the Russian capability is to restablish what we used to see in the cold war is very different.

What is interesting here is that despite the sort of non alarmist answer from their foreign correspondent what we see on the screen is a picture of a missile launch with various little funfacts about how many warheads it can carry etc
You know we want to protect Europe from Iran and this specifically deals with Poland and the Czech Republic.. but what happens if we continue to go ahead with this as we are on this missile shield and Putin puts the codes in their that aims those missiles back at London and Paris?

Dennis Ross:
Well then we will obviously be in an environment that is a whole lot worse than it’s been. You know the fact is we don’t really know if the Russians ever really changed all the targeting of their weapons

(says something to the effect that they have a weaker army than before)…
What they are doing now is they are showing the symbols of power and that’s why you see new missile development.

Total length 4:20

It really is the first question again but the presenter seems to be fishing for a more alarmist answer while his correspondent is really very level headed about it.


The two clips, if we are going to use them, can be very easily linked back to Susan Moeller’s Four Habits. Here’s a quick run down of how we could do it. I am lifting relevant paragraph’s straight out of Moeller’s text.

1. Formulaic coverage
Americans like to see the world in terms of good guys and bad guys. Identifying one side in a conflict as the men in white hats allows the public to root for them and encourages the public to care about their victory or success. “That’s what a lot of news is about,” said reporter Malcolm Browne of The New York Times. “We love to see everything in terms of black and white, right and wrong, truths versus lies.” By power of suggestion, the media so fix a conception in our minds that we cannot disentangle the stereotyped characterization of a group or person from the facts.
It’s not the news itself that dictates the shape of coverage; past accounts of comparable events are a better predictor of the level and tenor of reporting.

The story is told in the language of a morality play, with good and evil fighting for ascendancy, and characters fit into the parts of victim, rescuer and villain.(think of the Fox News presenter’s “but we are only trying to protect lovely Paris from evil Iran”)

2. Sensationalized Language
It takes more and more dramatic coverage to elicit the same level of sympathy as the last catastrophe. What is strong today may be weak tomorrow. Yet sensationalized treatment of crises makes Americans feel that only the most extreme situations merit attention.
(this links with Jonathan’s Peace Reporting word list)

1 comment:

Greyson Family said...

Hi Salam: we were in contact a couple of years ago, re York University. (I'm the filmmaker, etc.) -- interested in your new project -- critique of journalism --obviously very necessary and urgent -- and in need of sharp eyes and ears. Keen to be in touch again -- please write me at -- be good to catch up. -- cheers John Greyson