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Monday, October 8, 2012

Peddling Propaganda ─ dangerous retreat from press in public interest idea

U.S. press
Unequal coverage of
Gulf States

U.S. government/press shill for  oppressive regimes, says U.S. journalist Amber Lyon
Editing by Carolyn Bennett

Her passion, she says, is “exposing human rights violations against protesters during revolutions.”  Her documentary “iRevolution”, examining social media’s critical role in galvanizing revolutions and exposing human rights abuse in Egypt, Tunisia, and Bahrain,  won a 2012 New York Festivals International Television and Film Gold World Medal Award and her a nomination for a Livingston Award for documentary.

Her work has covered violence against the defenseless and includes a three-part series, “Battered Justice,” which shed light on the judicial system’s response to domestic violence offenders. Another uncovered a judge who illegally charged domestic violence victims who had tried to protect their children from abusers. “Selling the Girl Next Door” was a one-hour documentary resulting from her reporting and co-production focused on child sex trafficking: the world of underage American girls caught up in the violent sex trade. Another investigated the sex trafficking of domestic minors on the online classified site, Craigslist (2010). Live from beneath the BP oil spill ─ she was the only reporter to broadcast while scuba diving in a HAZMAT suit ─ “to connect viewers with what was happening beneath the BP disaster” (2010).

Amber Lyon

A native in her youth of St. Louis, Missouri, who took her broadcast journalism credential at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Amber Lyon reports moving from Missouri to Arizona to Central America to Bahrain and, after many awards and awards nominations and reporting briefly for CNN, she still travels and dives and is now based in California, where she continues to practice journalism, investigating ongoing cases of excessive use of police force against journalists and protesters in the United States. 

In an exclusive interview today with Press TV, Amber Lyon spoke from Los Angeles, California, about biased U.S. press coverage of facts on the ground in Gulf States Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia.

Iraq's neighbor demonized by
United States
The public in the United States, she said, “is constantly being inundated with reports demonizing Iran… ─ it’s all over the nightly news, in newspapers, blogs, and a variety of journalistic outlets.”

Having spoken with “several journalists and experts,” she said they “feel we are being led into a potential conflict,” this time instead of Iraq, Iran.
In its “demonizing of Iran,” she said, “the public is being fed propaganda.

“You’re seeing other stories like Bahrain being covered up,” which is also worrying because “the public is being fed propaganda to force approval of “another conflict with Iran.”

There is an inequality in the coverage of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Lyon said. “You are not seeing equal coverage of the horrific human rights abuses in these countries.”

Bahrainis continue protesting
authoritarian regime and
In 2011, Amber Lyon also took CNN International to task for censored coverage of Bahrain. Quoting George Orwell, she said: “‘Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.’” But instead of doing this, she said ─

Instead of watchdogging governments around the world, CNN International is earning money from them, producing what might as well be called ‘infomercials-for-dictators’ ─ sponsored shows and content that cast a positive light on some of the world’s most oppressive regimes.

“With vague disclosures, the news organization is defrauding unsuspecting viewers and its own journalists who often risk their lives to expose those same oppressive regimes.

Protests of monarchy
in Saudi Arabia
“The ‘Most Trusted Name in News’ must ultimately decide whether it is in the business of government propaganda or journalism because, despite the network’s claims of objectivity, I learned firsthand that CNN is having trouble biting the hand that feeds it.”

Sources and notes

Amber Lyon, “three-time Emmy Award- winning journalist and filmmaker obsessed with hackers, human and animal rights, and revolutions,” http://amberlyonlive.com/amber-lyon/

“Ex-CNN reporter: U.S. media forcing American public to approve of war on Iran, October 8, 2012, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/08/265527/us-media-pushing-to-sell-war-on-iran/

“CNN’s Response to Censorship Allegations Misleading” (Amber Lyon), 2011, published by Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1lxXzaxIu3h6nmJnit0oHb_LEVgOdfrypn_B0VDVm1cA


Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

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