Rissig Licha, the Fleishman-Hillard PR firm's executive director in Argentina, is urging businesses there to "show their hand and defend the capitalist system. Once society begins to question the system, it will be much more difficult," says Licha, whose clients have included Philip Morris and the Clarin Group, a powerful media conglomerate. The problem is that Argentinians are already doing more than "question" the system. "You know what we want to do?
Are the ways most media report and discuss the Israeli-Palestinian war making the crisis worse? Do accusations of media bias push people farther apart? How can news stories help bring about peace? The MediaChannel offers a compendium of news features and essays.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a media mogul who already owns most of the country's television outlets, is trying to stamp out the few voices of dissent left on the airwaves. "On Thursday, the conservative prime minister accused two journalists and a comedian who have been critical of him in the past of the 'criminal use' of state television," reports the New York Times. ... Under his government, Mr. Berlusconi said, state television 'cannot be so seditious.'"
An increasing number of observers are reaching the conclusion that the Bush administration covertly backed the recent attempted military coup in Venezuela. As Josh Marshall points out, there is "something odd and perplexing about the drifting accounts being provided by administration officials. Every day there's a new detail.
Former Senate Majority Leader and Presidential candidate Bob Dole is lobbying for Malawi reports O'Dwyer's PR Daily. "His firm, Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, is receiving $300,000 in annual fees from the country, where the average life expectancy is 37 years for both men and women. Malawi's ten million people face an HIV/AIDS epidemic, deforestation and erosion among other problems.
The Internet has been hyped as "a revolutionary new medium, so inherently empowering and democratizing, that old authoritarian regimes would crumble before it," but Andrew Stroehlein points out that the reality is more sobering. "The idea that the Internet itself is a threat to authoritarian regimes was a bit of delusional post-Cold War optimism.
In the aftermath of the failed coup against populist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, Bush administration officials have admitted that they "met several times in recent months" with leaders of the coup "and agreed with them that he should be removed from office." Those meetings, and the haste with which the White House proclaimed its support for the military-installed regime, have prompted suspicions that the U.S. helped instigate the coup.
"Every Arab is watching this closely," says an Egyptian attorney who, like his neighbors, has been glued to the television in horror watching the Israeli military offensive in the Palestinian territories. "It may be worse for us even than Sept. 11 was for you - because it goes on and on," he says. "Every time you turn on the television, it's as though you were watching someone beat you." According to the New York Times, the story's impact in the Muslim world is comparable "to the way television news reports from the Vietnam War shook Americans in the 1960s.
"Something very bad has been taking place in the relationship between the Israel Defense Forces and the media in recent days," says Amos Harel, a correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. Harel is critical of the IDF's exclusion of journalists from its war zones in the West Bank, but is skeptical of reports that the restrictions were intended to cover up a massacre.
Israeli troops are still denying foreign reporters access to the Jenin refugee camp, amid reports that they are burying bodies in mass graves, but Israel "cannot bury the terrible crime it has committed: a slaughter in which Palestinian civilians were cut down alongside the armed defenders of the ca